Archive for May 5th, 2008

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Asus Eee PC 900 unboxed & mini review


Love it or hate, there is not denying the popularity of the Asus Eee PC, demand for the 701 has far exceeded supply since it was originally launched last year. In fact these are still very hard to get hold of.

I’ve been using my 701 for about 6 months and love the portability of it, sometimes you just don’t need a ‘proper’ laptop to do what you want to do.

New versions of the Eee PC have been on the cards for quite some time and finally Asus have launched the new 900 model. Very similar to the original 701, it’s the same size and virtually the same weight, same CPU and basic hardware. However where the 900 differs is in the screen department where you can now find a 9″ display running at 1024 x 600 – a vast improvement. There’s also a 20GB SSD in place of the old 8GB unit.

Asus Eee PC 900

Asus Eee PC 900

What’s in the box?

The device itself, instruction book, installation CD, battery, power adaptor, er, that’s about it take a look at the unbox video below for more.

Asus Eee PC 900 unboxed

Asus Eee PC 900 Specification:

  • Intel Celeron M 900mHz CPU
  • 8.9″ TFT display – 800 x 480 pixels
  • 1GB RAM
  • 20GB SSD storage
  • SD Card Slot (SDHC compatible)
  • Built in WiFi 802.11b/g
  • Ethernet connector
  • VGA socket for external monitor
  • 3 USB2 sockets
  • Linux pre-installed (Windows XP Compatible)
  • 0.92 kg
  • 4 Cell battery: 5200 mAh, 2.5hrs
  • General

    The Eee PC opens easily to reveal a small, but full QWERTY keyboard, trackpad and mouse buttons.

    Asus Eee PC 900 keyboard

    Asus Eee PC 900 keyboard

    One of the complaints about the older 701 was that the screen was quite small and looked a bit lonely in the middle of the top part of the unit. However you’ll now find a 9″ unit filling this area.

    The Ethernet port is located on the left hand side next to one of three USB2.0 ports and the audio lines In and Out. There are a further two USB ports on the right along with the SDHC card slot.

    Asus Eee PC 900 left side

    Asus Eee PC 900 left side
    Asus Eee PC 900 right side

    Asus Eee PC 900 right side

    The removable battery slots very smoothly in and out the spine of the unit and power cord plugs into the back. The AC adapter has also changed from the 701, you now get an inline power brick style charger rather than an adapter that plugs in to the wall. The adapters now also match the colour of the Eee you purchase.

    There’s also a built in webcam which can be used for video conferencing and with later versions of Skype.

    As you can see from the picture below, the overall foot print of the 900 is the same as the 701.

    Asus Eee PC 900 vs Eee 701

    Asus Eee PC 900 vs Eee 701


  • Simple but usable OS
  • Ease of networking
  • Lowlights

  • Battery life
  • Review

    It has to said that the keyboard, trackpad and mouse button does feel distincltively cheap, but that said the device IS cheap so you get what you pay for and given what you get on the inside it’s hard to grumble. That aside the only other disappointment was the screen size which, given the overall size of the device does feel a bit small. However a larger screen would no doubt to have added to the price and made it feel less economically attractive.

    The default installed OS is Xandros Linux on this model but a version with Windows XP pre-installed should be available some time in June.

    Now that the screen has been upgraded to 1024 x 600 it makes the 900 much easier to use. Most web pages assume a resolution of 1024 x 768 so some pages didn’t look right or load properly on the 701 and those that did required a lot of scrolling. This is a lot less of a problem now with the 9″ screen in place.

    However, the having a larger screen is not without penalties. We praised the battery life of the 701 getting about 3-4 hours use out of a single charge depending on the usage. The 900 has barely half the battery life though, needing a charge at around the 2 hour mark. Hopefully this will be addressed with bigger batteries!

    Ram has been increased on the 900 and you now get 1GB as standard. This certainly helps those applications run more smoothly. It’s not just RAM that’s been increased though as the Solid State Drive is now up to 20GB (From 8GB on the 701). For those out there that want to install other operating systems on the device the additional SSD space will make the process a lot easier.

    A number of owners complained of problems with the SSD installed in the 701 and the reliability of the drive has been called in to question. It’s too early to say if the SSD in the 900 will suffer the same fate but lets hope this has been sorted!


    A vast improvement over the original 701 the new Eee 900 is now my next must-have gadget. It’s just a shame that the battery life has been reduced so much by that larger screen. However, larger batteries are said to be available soon.

    Posted by: Matt

    [Post tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, Windows Mobile blog, UMPC, Asus Eee PC, Laptop, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: Reviews