• Recommended by TR
Asus Eee PC 900


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Few could argue that Asus created something special when it launched the Eee PC last year. The idea of making a truly mobile, yet very affordable mobile computer was welcomed by the Press and consumers in equal measure. Although the Eee PC 4G 701 that Andy reviewed back in October 2007 was a great machine, there were a couple of issues that took away some of the shine. Now however, I have the Eee PC 900 to play with, and it looks as though Asus may have got everything just about perfect this time.

Anyone who's got a few years under their belt, like myself, will be well aware that the concept of a basic, portable computer with solid state storage and no moving parts is nothing new. About ten years ago I did a significant amount of my writing on a Psion Series 5, which was laughably referred to as a PDA. In the Series 5, Psion created a device so usable, that I was able to write entire features on it while sitting on the train. The company then pushed the boundaries even further when it launched the Series 7 and eventually the NetBook.

What Psion got right with its machines was a balance of essential functionality, small form factor and great battery life. As time moved on, though, fully fledged notebooks became smaller and lighter and end users wanted to run feature rich (read bloated) operating systems on their mobile computers. All this spelled the end for Psion hardware (although it did spin off its EPOC OS as Symbian), and for a long time we simply didn't see machines like the Series 7 and NetBook. Thankfully Asus realised that there was room in the market for a basic, affordable machine that didn't need to run the latest version of Windows - thus the Eee PC was born.

For anyone who hasn't heard of the Eee PC before (where have you been hiding?), let me give you the low down. The Eee PC is a very small machine measuring 225 x 165 x 35mm (WxDxH) and weighing around 1kg. that puts it well and truly into the ultra-portable sector, being lighter than even a Sony TZ31MN, and smaller too. This is a machine built to be used on the move, without the need to make much space for it in your bag. The Eee PC comes in two colours, pearlescent white, like the one I'm reviewing here and black - yes, that does sound very similar to Apple's MacBook range, but that's most definitely where the similarities end.

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June 12, 2008, 5:09 am

I found this review very helpful. I had been looking at the 701 but now having read the review on the 900, my mind is made up. I'm ordering one today! I know I'm going to find it especially helpful when travelling.


August 13, 2008, 11:33 pm

This looks so neat. I wonder though, why don't they drop the harddisk completely, and use flash memory instead. That would use less power and flash memory doesn't cost much. You could easily add 20 or even 40 GB for the same price.

Battery life should really be improved to the double.

What I miss in this review though, is an overview of specifications. I'd like some speed comparison.

eye shield

August 28, 2008, 6:10 am

hmm..they cannot drop hard drive completely...Usually hard drive offers better protection to the data(shock)..and laptop read the data from hard drive faster than USB flash memory.

Stuart 4

September 27, 2008, 4:09 am

Actually, you have that completely backwards - SSD is much better in both ways you mention - both when dropped (no moving parts) and in read times. Unfortunately it still costs more to manufacture, hence although larger SSD drives are appearing (into the hundreds of gigabytes), they're far, far more expensive than the equivalent SATA or PATA HDD.


October 10, 2008, 9:55 pm

I really like the eee pc 900. I have a white one myself, and it's very useful for carrying around. I take mine to university. It's small and neat enough to have out in lectures, and it's very portable, which is necessary when you're carrying stacks of books around as well!

I've recently stumbled on a free competition to win a black eee pc 900 online. I don't need another one myself, but I thought I'd mention it here in case anybody else wants to enter it. It seems worth it to me.

It's at


October 13, 2008, 3:23 pm

Please Help!

I'm contemplating getting a new notebook for the very first time! I have the choices of the ASUS Eee PC 900, Advent 4211, or Dell Inspiron Mini! I really like the ASUS, but want to know if it comes with bluetooth connectivity? Which do i get & why? Please help!

Gary H

October 22, 2008, 5:19 pm

I have been contemplating an ASUS but have put up with lugging around a large laptop however since using (which is great) i am now going to buy an ASUS leave my laptop on at home, if i need anything on my laptop I can just access through the web browser on the ASUS and I have full use of my laptop without carrying it around like working at home.


October 23, 2008, 1:51 am

what do you do if the pc gets corrupted , how do you reload the operating system without

a cd dvd drive. how do you put on new software(is it via a memory stick and usb).

John Dow

October 24, 2008, 7:46 pm

Not sure on the corrupted issue but you can share a CD drive on another computer to install software from. Or use a usb CD to install or probably even reload from Linux bootable CD (you can copy any data, even WinXP).


October 28, 2008, 10:56 am

This product line seems to be loaded with malware for some odd reason. We have had it twice now happen at two random stores. We buy a EEE PC 900 and find that there is a worm (I believe the NOOH worm) sitting comfortably on the machine out-of-the-box! The worm's symptoms are as follows: Command prompt is disabled, task manager is disabled, registry editor is disabled, every time you choose to show the hidden files in view options it reverts back to the do not show setting. So far I have not yet completely neutralized the worm but I've been able to find some of it's tracks: an autorun.inf on the d: partition with a companion sys.exe file. A similar problem was reported with the Desktop version of the EEE machine. The guys at The Register and PC advisor resound the same findings. This is not just disconcerting, it is outrageous that ASUS should allow such incompetence to reach out and damage their customers' networked environments.


October 29, 2008, 9:11 pm

To Griff,

you can use a usb drive to boot your EEE

u can also use a portable dvd driver which canbe connected via usb hub.

Jim Mickle

December 28, 2008, 3:04 am

I note that there is no mention of the battery drain when off. The drain is about 10% per day. Asus is still fumbling around on a fix. I'm currently waiting on the third try. Will find out if they fixed it on Wednesday, when it is scheduled to be back from Fremont, CA.

The 901 does not have the problem as far as I know.


January 22, 2009, 2:31 am

Val19800 and others

I bought an external CD/DVD player writer for about UK&#16325.00 which is perfectly adequate for program loading etc.

The bonus is it works from the internal battery of the PC; a slightly double edged sword as it will deplete the limited battery life further...however the drive is supplied with it's own external PSU so can be mains powered for those moments when the base program needs restoring.

Adding programs in Linux is done via the inter-web no drive being required, just a trawl through the thousands of programs available and a few key strokes via the repository to download and install your chosen game etc.

The are many support groups for the Eee who can point owners in the right direction to get the conventional 'desktop' working for the supplied Linux program.

Blue tooth dongles are easily available and the smallest one can be fitted in one of the USB ports without spoiling the smooth line of the Eee.

The only issue you may have with the Linux version of the 900 is the required driver may not be available, so you may end up having to load Ubuntu 8.10, M$ XP or the Beta version of M$ 7 to get your bluetooth working.

The alternative is to buy the slightly more expensive Eee 901 or Eee 904 then you get blue tooth built in.


March 6, 2009, 11:06 pm

Not recommended for the internet.

Anyone thinking of using thsn eee pc for the internet should take into account their slowness. Typically it takes over 10 mins to connect to the internet, and often takes over 20 mins. If you need a computer for the internet I would strongly recommend that you look elsewhere.

Alex Samson

April 21, 2009, 9:22 pm

Let me get to the point straight away: I love my Eeepc, I don't love Asus. I have been a victim of the dreaded battery controversy. I purchased by Asus late last year from a computer store I trust implicity and have always used. They sold me the Eeepc on the understanding that the battery would provide 3-4 hours battery life. Being a mobile user who spends a lot of time on the road this sounded ideal. Unfortunately Asus missold the product to the shop and the shop in turn fed me inaccurate information.

In the summary the issue is this: Asus supplied the UK and US market with Eeepcs powered by 4400 mAh batteries and the Asian market with 5800 mAh batteries. The 4400s provide just about 2hrs if you're lucky. The 5800s go much longer. Asus neglected to tell the store this.

Luckily for me, the store are fighting my corner because they appreciate that I did not get what I was paying for. Asus apparently offered a month/2 month window during the summer of 2008 to exchange 4400 batteries for 5800 batteries for a fee of &#16310. Because I purchased my Eeepc in the December I can't even get that concession. As a result I have been fighting for a battery for the last 4, nearly 5, months.

Is it worth Asus' relationship with my store to debate this issue or should they simply hand over a battery? I don't know the answer to that, but as a consumer I have lost all faith in the brand, which is a shame because the product is very cool. The problem is, Asus don't seem to understand or appreciate the relationship between the product and the brand image. Ultimately, I'll keep using the Eeepc until it dies and then move back to the safer territory of HP, Dell, or Sony.


December 10, 2009, 7:21 pm

hi, im roldan from philippines, i had a 3e pc 900 with linux. is it possible to install yahoo messenger in linux or where can i download yahoo messenger for this specific linux version in 3e pc. pls help...


June 13, 2010, 11:53 pm

can i not download windows on this

Mai Ana

May 23, 2013, 7:43 pm

Not true with mine. i think it simply depends of the wi-fi or lines quality but nothing linked with the pc itself.

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