Asus announced its 11.6in netbook, the Eee PC Seashell 1101HA, last week, but we had a chance to take a closer look today and went away cautiously optimistic.
Since it's an 11.6in machine its main selling point is the higher resolution display. At 1,366 x 768 there's a lot more screen real-estate to play with here than your typical 10in netbook, whose 1,024 x 600 resolution tends to be a little restrictive - particularly where productivity tasks are concerned.
As the 'Seashell' moniker suggests, this system is based on a similar chassis to the svelte Eee PC 1008HA. They'll be white and black versions, with the white version being our preferred choice because of the nice contrast between the white body and glossy black bezel.
We couldn't help noticing that the system on display had Asus branding on the lid, rather than Eee PC. We're not sure why this is given Asus has been promoting the Eee PC brand on its own, unless Asus has decided people only knew about the Eee PC brand and didn't know who was responsible?
Inside the 1101HA is a little different to most netbooks. It uses the Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset, which can process HD video provided you have compatible software. This necessitates a CPU change, with the 1101HA destined to ship with an Intel Atom Z520, which is clocked at just 1.33GHz. This is backed up by the usual 160GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. Other features include Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.