The Asus Eee PC will boast Intel’s Atom processor by the end of June. That’s according to an Asus representative who visited the TechRadar.com offices this lunchtime. Asus was in town to drop off the new Eee PC 900 which we've already reviewed.
Before we were briefed about the 900, TechRadar asked Helen Ling from the company’s UK office about the arrival of Atom inside the Eee PC. She said that the new machine will arrive by the "end of June in [the] UK, I would have thought." Later in the session Ling added: "I think it should be after Computex".
Atom will get its proper debut at Taipei’s Computex at the beginning of June, but we'd question whether we'll actually get it in the UK so soon.
Atom on the way
Colleague Iain Bristow spoke directly afterwards and was distinctly more reserved. "We all know that Atom is on its way, and obviously all our competitors are saying ‘we’re going to have an Atom machine'. While there hasn’t been anything directly confirmed - I couldn’t possibly say ‘yes there’s going to be one’ - I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t."
Hmm. We all know there's going to be one - prototypes were even shown at the recent Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.
Can the Eee PC keep its strong position in the market? "We know there's a lot of competition coming through," added Ling. "This one is the same chassis, we’ve increased the screen from 7-inch to 8.9-inch and the camera to 1.3megapixels."
And what will Atom bring to the party? Well, Bristow said he expected "a significant power saving... you’d get a lot more battery life". Asus is already quoting a 1.5hour better battery life on the 900 model, though our colleague Paul Hudson over at Linux Format expressed amazement at this figure due to the bigger screen size.
We'd have to say we concur, and we've explored the issue in our full review.