Dell, Acer, MSI and Sony - to name but a few - may have hopped aboard the subnotebook bandwagon in recent weeks but Asus is back aiming to show who is boss. The Taiwanese giant has today finally, finally unveiled its much-leaked Atom-based successors to the ultra popular 7in Eee PC 701 and 8.9in Eee PC 900.
Available in black or white finishes, the 8.9in Eee PC 901 and 10.2in 1000 and 1000(H) look primarily to succeed where their forebears have been questioned: battery life. With this in mind, we'll cut to the chase since Asus' claims the new range can offer lifespans of up to 7.8 hours on a single charge (3.2 hours minimum). This vast increase isn't solely down to the CPU switch however there is a new 6-cell battery along with the introduction of 'Super Hybrid Engine' technology, which provides three GUIs to easily adjust CPU frequency, voltage and LCD brightness.
Away from the increased stamina, the latest line is rather familiar. Worst kept secrets such as the Atom's 1.6GHz clock speed, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth and 1.3MP web camera we all expected as well as options for up to 2GB RAM and minor cosmetic tweaks. One area of surprise does remain though, since the 1000 series will give the option of an 80GB HDD (hence the 'H') - the first time the line has abandoned solid state - or a capacious 40GB SSD. Storage for the 901 remains in two flavours: a 12GB SSD for Windows XP based systems and a 20GB SSD for those who chose Linux.
Thankfully pricing is looking good too with the 901, 1000(h) and 1000 anticipated to retail for NT$16,988 (£285), NT$18,988 (£318) and NT$19,988 (£335) respectively in Taiwan. Start praying really hard that those numbers translate well to Europe...