Thought you'd missed that pic for a mo...
Not quite as funny as the long-running Andrew Neil 'and friend' pic in Private Eye but thanks for keeping up the tradition!
Asus has formally launched the second generation of the diminutive Eee PC sub-notebook, the 900. It confirmed the specs announced when it first unveiled the little laptop, but it was decidedly coy when it came to the machine's CPU. Asus Eee PC 900 Asus' Eee PC 900: bigger screen, more storage space The 900 is based around …
"The 20GB model will come with Linux, Asus said, while the 12GB version will be pre-loaded with Windows XP Home Edition."
Does this strike anybody else as odd? Seems to me this should be the other way round, given Windows' propensity to gobble HD space. Or is it to keep the prices more or less equal?
Me I'd go for the 20GB and install XP Pro....
Icon because I don't understand IT...
We've got a couple of 701's with 4 GB native storage, plus a 4 GB SD Card and a RAM upgrade to 2 GB, and have managed to install XP Pro and Office 2007, attach them to our domain and have them running quite happily. It took a few hours, but for anyone who wants to do a decent sized deployment of these, I doubt that'll be a problem. Further, we've been able to image them and restore the image successfully. The only real barrier for us buying four dozen was the screen size. As that seems to be sorted, we'll be getting these, though availability will probably mean we need to get them imported.
The only disappointment is Asus going back to a power brick. The adapter on the 701 was far more portable than a power brick is likely to be. Plus I'm concerned about the battery life, which wasn't great with the smaller screen and slower processor...
They've saved on the storage to ensure that the XP and Linux variants launch at the same price point, after factoring in the license cost for XP. XP and Office can be installed into a lot less than 12GB, so I don't see that being a problem, although I can see Daniel's solution being the best option - 20GB + XP Pro SP2.
Personally, I think it looks like a great update.
In fact, I'd imagine the XP version would be more expensive anyway, due to the cost of the licence (perhaps this is balanced by the size of the hard drive - less storage, but xp = same price). Slightly annoying that the 20Gb version will be the only one offered with Linux though - I'd happily have a 12Gb Linux install.
Perhaps this version will work by default with WPA2 Enterprise (damn my workplace)...
This does look like a nice update but I think it will still be a couple of months before we can buy in the UK.
At £329 its a bit higher than I'd like ... it would be competing with the 3G iphone at that price in June and as the eeePC really needs an HSDPA modem to be truely portable for me then its a trade off between always available Internet access and mobile productivity tools, hmm.
I might get one (or an HP 2133 mini-note) and retire my 701 to be a car computer; add a touchscreen, usb GPS, HSDPA modem and build it in to the dash ... sweet!
Rumours have been high for a while. However the touch screen and blue tooth seem to be missing. I would guess that it is a rush out a new model before HP job...
The Intel Atom is effectively slower than the included celeron at 900MHz ' but with a much longer battery life. So get the good models whilst you can...
Asus chief has also mentioned that there will be more specs in the future: perhaps this includes the touch screen and maybe more WXGA resolution and bluetooth... and ZIF HDD.
However something strange: No US release dates for this... the 8G disappeared in Europe to be replaced by 900. So perhaps 8G gets US dumped and Europe gets the 900 Celeron... then US gets the Atom. If there are not enough machines because of battery fires etc then it is a interesting way to fill supply and demand.
Mines the too much time reading...
Isn't this version suppose to have a Touch Screen?
No mention of it.
No doubt we'll see lots of dodgy US versions on sale at PCworld and EBay again.
IIRC doesn't US 802.11b/g hardware use different channels/power levels to the UK version?
No doubt by Xmas there will be other companies with their versions.
This market is really hotting up!
Frankly I'd rather get the lesser model. The appeal of these devices are their price, they are almost disposable at £200 - but at £330 why would I bother? I'd rather get a higher spec'd 15.4in machine for £300 and lug that around just as I do with my existing notebook.
Without question the portability of the Eee is it's biggest feature, but it's size is also limiting and I'm never going to work for long periods on such a small device. Therefore it's price has to reflect the use I'd get from it and that means it has to be cheaper than a normal laptop/notebook.
I don't really need the larger drive, what would I put on it?! Asus should consider releasing an updated 701 model, same spec with the larger screen and at the same price.
Had I ever found somewhere with stock I would have bought the 701 already.
I do like how Windows users get a lower spec machine, plus only XP Home. That's definitely one in the eye for Billy boy and Vista.
With them being priced the same it'll be interesting to see which one people will buy? The one with the six-year old OS and getting close to its use-by date or the modern, light-weight OS which will make the most of hardware...hmm?
@Dario: You must have had a duff one. I've had a 4G since before Xmas, connected to my home network in minutes (would have been quicker if I'd not entered the wrong password to start with...duh!) and connects every time. Also connected easily with my sister's network and the one at work. Nary a problem. I have a friend with a 2G who happily uses free connections at Macdonalds and Wetherspoons too. The thing just works, beautifully IMHO.
A Dell Inspiron for £349 you say? Have a look at the prices of the *small* Inspiron XPSs for a fair comparison, and you will find that you will pay double that. They are a lot more expensive because they are smaller. Get it, now?
And the EEE does have an operating system, by the way - a very capable one, which avoids the Microsoft Tax.
Hmm, if they'd done it for the article-quoted HongKong equivalent price (£262) as opposed to the "Rip off Britain" one (£329), then I'd have put in a pre-order as fast as I could type the details.
At that higher RoB price, as Eddie and others have said, the Asus box is up against "proper" laptops, as well as wierdo's like the Nokia 800/810's and the Jesus phone, (he says carefully ignoring the extra costs of the latter - and that it's crap), plus lord-only-knows how many smartphones, (e.g. Nokia N95+B'tooth keyboard - smaller screen, but arguably more features and certainly more portable).
Side point - if the 900 is coming soon, does this mean that the current 700 models are going to get cheaper? If so, then I think my credit card is going to get some exercise shortly ... this'd be a nice replacement for my Nokia N700 tablet.
Hmm - first off, wonder when work'll buy me one of these? (the 20GB,linux please!) Still, if they dont then I've already got a 4g 701 which is very nice thank you so much...
Dario - Did you use the network wizard to create the connection, or just drop it in off the taskbar? I made that mistake on the first one I used, and it kept dropping out of the network. As soon as I put a profile in, it worked fine.
has it that Microsoft are preparing a special stripped down version of XP for the EEE, which in itself isn't very interesting, aside from the fact that I'll be able to install said version on a standard desktop hopefully, doing without a lot of the bloat that gets included by default.
Sorry for the lazy grammar.
If Asus were Really SMART, they could add a snazzy website, where people could specify which options they want and build their computer how they wish.
Different case colour/design, Solid State/Rotating Disk, Higher Resolution Screen, Free Choice of Operating System, bigger battery, More Memory, Choice of Processor. Flash Card Reader. The punters would Love IT.
Asus woman knows a SMART offer when she gets one.
She's using it on the beach because she's found it will *not* connect to wep/wpa at any time.
The wireless network manager isn't very coherent, and the Atheros end of things needs some work.
ASUS is working on a fix. I hope.
Meanwhile, to get your eeepc online, connect it to an Airport Express via the ethernet port :-)
Skype video "just works", well under Linux at least 8-) Actually its pretty damn good video with Skype even over 3G !
There is no key with the flying/crashing Windows logo on it but there is a dedicated "home" key with a little house on it which shows the icon desktop in Linux so I guess it gets used as the Windows key in XP (if you are silly enough to want Windows on the eee 8-)
I've had no problems with the Wireless under Linux on the eee, connects everytime and no dropouts ... however this has been mostly through an iMac sharing its ports 8-)
However I agree the "automatic" networking side is a bit ropey and needs some work ... I'm having real problems with the 3G modem being dropped by Linux whenever it feels like it and then the 3G connection does not always work even though it connects okay, DNS servers won't respond etc. So I need to find a HSPDA monitoring tool to see where the problem really lies; my guess is that it is signal strength issues causing the drivers to timeout/fail and not reset themselves.
Yes, I expect they'll use the "home" key. My point really was about politics though. Even mobile phones are getting these Windows keys now - ugh.
Still, if this shopping survey (http://money.cnn.com/POLLSERVER/results/39114.html) is anything to go by, perhaps people don't want to be reminded: "What big company are you most likely to buy products from?" Microsoft: 5%.