Asus promises much increased battery life.
It is the update all patient Eee PC devotees have been waiting for and now 24 hours before Computex kicks off the details are out…
Long known to be dubbed the 901, the Atom based subnotebook will ship with a 1.6GHz variant of Intel’s latest low power CPU, an 8.9in LCD, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, WiFi, a memory card slot and the established order of a 20GB SSD for Linux builds and a 12GB SSD for the still more pricey Windows XP. As with the 900 (pictured) before it, the 901 will weigh slightly more than the original Eee PC at 1.14Kg.
Ok, enough foreplay: battery time. According to Asus the CPU switch will see the 901 manage up to four hours on its standard battery and a mouth watering six hours on the extended one. Naturally such figures are likely achieved during light Word processing sessions with screen brightness down and WiFi and Bluetooth off – but they represent a potentially major improvement to the 900’s 2/2.5 hours.
Interestingly, Asus says a WiMax edition of the 901 will be in the offing but won’t appear until later in the year. It will be optional for those not yet convinced by the standard.
As for existing Eee PC owners, there’s good news and bad news. Everyone always wants the bad news first and it is that Asus will begin slashing prices of the Celeron M based 701 and 900 editions following the 901’s release – mostly likely to clear out stock. As for the good news, UK Eee PC 900 owners peeved at being short changed with a smaller 4400mAh battery compared to the more powerful 5800mAh version generally fitted elsewhere will now get the option to upgrade for £17.50.
Asus has long argued that the two year warranty given to UK dwellers more than compensated for the smaller battery, but given two year cover appears for many nations as well it didn’t really have a leg to stand on. The replacement programme kicks off in June and should add an extra 30 minutes running time.