Channel 5

Asus EEE PC 900

Wednesday 24 September 2008

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

Asus's second gen version of the hit ultra-portable Eee PC comes in the same shell as the original 700 and 701 models. This time though there's an 8.9 inch screen, intelligent trackpad, 1GB of RAM and 12 or 20GB flash drive to complement the 900MHz processor, SDHC card slot and three USB ports.

The good

Asus makes PCs easy. You might say they're Eeesy PC. Anyway, we digress. The biggest improvement on the Eee 701 is the screen. Gone are the speakers either side of the panel, and in its place is a full 8.9-inch panel with a crispy 1,024x600 resolution. The Linux operating system is a piece of cake to use while installing Windows XP is a slice of the same confectionery, and the teeny trackpad offers zooming functions with your fingers like Mac multitouch. Mmm. Delicious.

The bad

It's only half a year old but the 900 is already a bit dated by netbook standards. The Intel Atom processor that's now standard is absent - there's the same old 900MHz processor in the 701, and while the 12 or 20GB Flash memory will prevent dropped laptop death, the 160GB hard disk squeezed into later Eee numbers is far more enticing for multimedia libraries. At around two hours, the battery life also leaves a little to be desired.

The bottom line

The Eee 900 is a great improvement on the original models: the screen is now just about visible, while the same fantastic portability is maintained. The only question is the price: with original Eees now going for under £200, are you prepared to pay another £150 for an extra bit of screen and storage space?
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Asus EEE PC 900 is tagged with Asus, laptop, Windows XP, Linux and compact. Select a tag (Asus, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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