Asus’ head honcho has spilt more beans on details of the version two Eee PC model. It will use Intel’s recently-branded Atom processor designed for sub-notebook machines just like the Eee and its growing band of rivals.

In an interview with Laptopmag.com, Jerry Shen said later versions of the Eee PC may even come with a built-in hard drive as opposed to solid state. New versions of the machine were announced at last week’s CeBIT show for launch in the summer.

A Windows XP version will be available – the 8GB Eee PC 900, while storage now tops out at 12GB for the high-end model with Linux on board. That’ll replace the current Eee PC 701 model.

The new machines will feature the ‘Diamondville’ derivative of the 45nm Atom processor. The chip is a 1.6GHz low voltage, single-core variant with a 512KB cache. A dual-core version seems likely to follow.

New colours also planned

What’s more, the Eee will ship in other colours. Shen said there would be "a very new colour design" introduced in the early summer.

The new 900 will cost €399 and will boast an 8.9-inch screen. Asus said the model was on the way during its press conference at CES in January, when it also announced it was working with Intel to provide WiMAX support on the machine.

This won’t be in available until later in the summer it seems, but will instead be in the third-generation machine late this year – also depending on partnerships with WiMAX or cellular providers.

Asus is quoting quite staggering sales figures for the machine. Some 350,000 have been sold since launch with a projected 3 to 5 million units to be sold this year. The diminutive lappy is certainly creating a lot of interest.

Any hard drive-based Eee won’t appear until far later in the year, said Shen.