The original Eee was cheap and cheerful – it broke into the market at a super low price and has gained huge popularity, but the quality of product left a lot to be desired for many.
The new 8.9” Eee PC 901 and 10/10.2” 1000 and 1000H raise the quality to a new high standard to match the MSI Wind and other competing products, and also introduce a ton of new features too. However, our immediate concern is cost – the biggest attraction to the Eee in the first place.
After having nosed at them for a little while, we reckon the 901 is definitely the one to go for because the 10” screen really doesn’t look that much bigger than the 8.9” but seems physically bulky.
The 901 features an 8.9” LED backlit screen with an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of DDR2 and the choice of a 20GB SSD with Linux and 12GB SSD with WinXP Home. The sound has improved to offer HD audio stereo speakers and the Asus Array Microphone, as well as Dolby Sound Room too. There’s wireless LAN in the form of 802.11b, g and surprisingly n, as well as 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth thrown in for good measure. It’s also got a 6-cell battery, 1.3MP webcam and weighs just 1.1kg.
The 1000 and 1000H offer the larger 10” LED backlit screen and much the same features, apart from the SSD in the 1000 which has been upgraded to a whopping 40GB (only the Linux version is available here), whereas the 1000H includes Dolby Sound Room and a normal 80GB/160GB (WinXP/Linux) 2.5” hard drive instead. They both have the same six-cell battery, but naturally the SSD model quotes a few hours longer life – from 3.2 to 5.0 hours with the 1000H to 4.5 to 5.5 hours with the 1000.
We’d love to know how much these are going to cost, because with plenty of new competition and the fact that licensing Dolby Sound Room and building in 802.11n wireless and a 40GB SSD can’t be cheap at all.
So the quality is up, features are up, but is the cost up too far as well? Will the Acer One, HP Mini-Note, MSI Wind, Dell or any number of other companies take the spotlight instead? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums