posted by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Apr 2008 21:12 UTC
IconWhen Asus released its Eee PC, praise was almost universal. People loved the device's size, low price, and the fact it came with Linux appealed to many geeks. Consequently, the device sold rather well, and was a hit for Asus. However, the device had two major shortcomings: its small screen (7" 800x480), and its relatively short battery life. Asus took the critcism to heart, and came up with the Asus Eee PC 900, which has a 9" 1024x600 screen. So, what's the verdict?

El Reg rules favourably about the device in its review, stating in the conclusion that:

The Eee PC 900 is all about ease of use and portability, so it's churlish to grumble about specifications. The little laptop ticks all the right boxes when it comes to features and performance. It's probably not going to replace your 15in workhouse notebook, but it might well become a favoured second laptop to take with you on your travels.

There's the extra storage space, of course, but the real benefit here is the bigger screen. It's both easier to read than the 701's and, because of the higher resolution, able to show more. The 900 isn't the revolution the 701 was - or, thanks to the higher price, as compelling. But with this model Asus got the form-factor down pat.

CNet is slightly less enthusiastic, but overall still recommends the device:

The Eee PC 900 is a likeable update to the Eee PC 701. We're disappointed its keyboard is still so difficult to use, but the addition of a larger, high-resolution screen, multi-touch mouse trackpad and better storage gives it the edge over just about all of its rivals. It falls slightly short of a wholehearted recommendation due to the mooted touchscreen version and the huge likelihood that Asus will begin using newer Intel Atom CPUs, but for those who can't wait, it's a fantastic purchase.

TrustedReviews is also full of praise:

Asus has done a brilliant job of updating an already great product. The engineers have clearly listened to all the comments regarding the original Eee PC and attempted to put them right. The 1,024 wide screen makes the Eee PC 900 a joy to use, especially if you spend a lot of your time in a browser window. The extra memory and storage are also very welcome additions, and help make this version of the Eee PC a real alternative to a fully featured notebook.

Yes the price is higher than the previous model, but I personally believe that the Eee PC 900 still represents staggering value for money. Ultimately, if you want a notebook that's small, light and still very affordable, the Eee PC 900 should be top of your list.

BitTech.net adds a lot more nuances to the mix than the other reviews, by stating that the 900 model, while nice, doesn't really add all that much to the 701.

The Eee PC 900 is an exciting little laptop on the surface but, when you break it down to the basics, it isn't all that dissimilar to the original Eee PC - and that throws the whole thing into a state of confusion. What has the Eee PC 900 got going for it? Well, there's more memory, more storage capacity and a larger screen. That's it really and, while the trackpad is nice, it doesn't anything fundamentally important to the Eee PC. Still, if you haven't got an Eee and you're in the market then this is definitely the cream of the crop right now and if you're looking for a new 'netbook' then we can't recommend the Eee PC 900 enough.

I think we can safely say that the new Asus Eee PC 900 has been released to raving reviews. I think this also stems from the fact that there really doesn't appear to be much in the form of competition for the Eee. Personally, I see the Eee PC as the MacBook Air 'for the people', and ever since it initial release, I felt strangely drawn towards the little device.

Carrying a 15" PowerBook around gets old at some point, you see.

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