It seems we were right – Asus hasn’t put Intel’s new Atom in its new Eee PCs. It’s a shame, since Asus raised expectations at CeBIT last month that Atom would be under the hood.
We're waiting for confirmation from Asus as to exactly what chip is used in the new models. That's because the spec sheet is poor, citing only 'Intel Mobile' as the chip type and without any speeds.
However, we're led to believe that it's the same Celeron M chip as in the original Eee, clocked at 900MHz. If so, that's a big disappointment but we'll get the opportunity to judge for ourselves when one arrives in the office tomorrow.
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Has Asus blown its early advantage in this market? Not yet. We're now seeing details of more contenders for the Eee's crown emerge and several will be sporting the Atom processor. But none have made any impact on the market yet. After all, Asus has sold over a million Eee PCs since the original’s November launch.
Those models still soldier on in the new line-up (2G at £199 and 4G at £219), but the new 900 series sees the screen grow from 7-inch to 8.9-inch, with memory up to 1GB and more solid state storage. There's not yet any sign of a touchscreen though, much mooted over recent weeks.
The EeePC 900 Win has a 12GB SSD and Windows XP installed, while the EeePC 900 vanilla version has Linux and a 20GB SSD. Both are £329, so the choice of Windows bizarrely costs you storage space. All the new models have a built in webcam and a battery life of 3.5hours.
Asus is also making available a £249 EeePC 4G Win edition – an older 4G model with Windows XP preinstalled. All the models debut in UK stores on 1 May.