If there's one area where the new Eee PC 900 doesn't really improve on its predecessor, it's battery life, and that's a real shame. With the improvements that Asus has made in this new Eee PC model, battery life is about the only chink in its armour worth mentioning, but it's still a significant chink. Asus quotes 2.5-hours battery life for this machine, but I barely got two hours out of it, although to be fair I had the screen on full brightness and wireless running. Perhaps with a bit of a tweak to the brightness and more frugal use of wireless I could have matched Asus' estimate, but even then, two and a half hours isn't much by today's standards.
Ideally I'd like to see at least four hours battery life out of an Eee PC, especially since full fat ultra-portable machines like the Sony TZ can last well over six hours. Of course you can buy a larger battery for the Eee PC, but that will push both the price and the weight up. On the plus side, the power brick is tiny, so it wouldn't be too much of a chore to carry around with you, but that's not going to help you if you want to work out in the garden, or perhaps in a park where there are no plug sockets.
Battery life aside, Asus has thrown enough enhancements into the Eee PC 900 to make it a very attractive proposition for anyone who's thinking of buying a small, thin and light notebook. Of course those enhancements have also pushed the price up, with the Eee PC 900 costing £329 instead of £219. Even so, I can't see too many people being put off by the higher price point. In fact some of the guys in the office have already said that they'll be buying one of these little notebooks as soon as they get paid.
Asus has done a brilliant job of updating an already great product. The engineers have clearly listened to all the comments regarding the original Eee PC and attempted to put them right. The 1,024 wide screen makes the Eee PC 900 a joy to use, especially if you spend a lot of your time in a browser window. The extra memory and storage are also very welcome additions, and help make this version of the Eee PC a real alternative to a fully featured notebook.
Yes the price is higher than the previous model, but I personally believe that the Eee PC 900 still represents staggering value for money. Ultimately, if you want a notebook that's small, light and still very affordable, the Eee PC 900 should be top of your list.