The 900 ran for just under two-and-a-quarter hours, enough for a full-length movie, but not a long plane journey. We estimate you'll get around three hours or so out of the 900 for general use, depending on your workload. That's no improvement on the 701, and not as poor as we'd expected considering the lower-capacity battery and the higher-clock CPU.
Battery Life Results
Laptop runtime in minutes
Longer bars are better
Incidentally, the 900 comes with a small brick-style AC adaptor - a step back, we feel, from the 701's similarly sized but more convenient phone-charger style power unit. The new adaptor weighs a little less than the 701 charger's 110g, but add the power plug and its cable, and overall the 900's mains link is the heavier of the two. Even if it wasn't, we'd still prefer the 701's adaptor.
Lastly, we come to price. What will the 900's bigger display, higher storage capacity and large-but-gimmicky touchpad cost you? The standard price is £329 - £110 more than Asus' asking price for the 701. That takes the 900, just out of the 'it's so cheap, why the heck not' band and past £299 into the 'maybe I should get a bigger, cheap laptop instead' zone.
Of course, the 900 isn't competing with dirt-cheap 15in notebooks - different horses, different courses - but a lot of consumers will compare the two. The decision's easy: do you want power for your 300-odd quid or a high degree of portability? You can't, for now, have both, so make your choice according to your computing needs.
We'd would be happy to pay £329 for the 900's portability and storage capacity were it the only Eee available. But the 701's £220 price tag is irresistible, and we've grown accustomed to its small screen size. It has sufficient horsepower for this kind of machine.
Then there's Atom. Asus has promised an Atom-based Eee for late June. All other things being equal, it should at least give the Eee more performance and a longer battery life. For that, we'll wait.
The Eee PC 900 is all about ease of use and portability, so it's churlish to grumble about specifications. The little laptop ticks all the right boxes when it comes to features and performance. It's probably not going to replace your 15in workhouse notebook, but it might well become a favoured second laptop to take with you on your travels.
There's the extra storage space, of course, but the real benefit here is the bigger screen. It's both easier to read than the 701's and, because of the higher resolution, able to show more. The 900 isn't the revolution the 701 was - or, thanks to the higher price, as compelling. But with this model Asus got the form-factor down pat.
Asus Eee PC 900 Linux Edition
Have ASUS signed a contract with the devil?
I wonder whether ASUS has signed a contract with Microsoft to not sell the Linux version for less than the price of the XP version? This would explain why we don't get a 4GB or 12GB Linux version. This means that once again we are paying a Microsoft tax, but this time in hardware that we don't necessarily need. If this is the case, then ASUS really deserve to flop with this one. We do not need the Microsoft middleman involved in the pricing of a Linux laptop. Hey, looks like Microsoft have almost screwed up OLPC project as well. If they're quick and they get their dirty little fingers into all the small-laptop manufacturers pockets, maybe they can still keep their monopoly? But only if we let them.
As a serious amature photog, I can make the case that ANYTHING less than a quad-core, 4 Gigs of RAM, RAID-equipped desktop with dual 24" screens is insufficient for photo and video editing. Really - try it once and you can never go back.
But the average user doesn't have that, and uses various amounts of patience, the hand tool, and zooming to accomplish their tasks. Gets the job done (unless working with high-def video streams in real-time, for which there IS no solution other than what I described above). The 701 and such just demands MORE patience and zooming...OK, not great, but doable certainly.
I can almost guess that you are an American, unused to the mobile society that we have here in the EU (and exists in Asia). When the population uses mass transit as much or more than cars, then portability matters a great deal. The 701 is the perfect machine to take in a small messenger bag (even a manbag) while walking around a city and not even know it is there. You pack it as an accessory, not as a laptop - that is what I see as it's true value.
No, I don't own one - my Toshiba M200 still works for me too well, and I like a tablet form factor sometimes. But if I replaced it, I would definately get the Asus.
For everyone debating the 900, you can view it as Asus already HAS the 700, and is just expanding their model line-up and price points. From a marketing point of view, choice is always good. I would not be surprised to see an upgraded 750 or something in a few months, with a larger screen in the same 700 body perhaps...selling at £240 or so. Maybe with the Atom.
Posting with GO, as it's the least used symbol on the forum and feels discriminated against.
Competing with laptops?
"Indeed, but it's nonsense to suggest these aren't competing with laptops "different horses, different courses" - wtf is this if it isn't a laptop? "craptop" perhaps."
I'd call it a thin client. The original Eee was "mobile access to a real computer located elsewhere". A conventional laptop is a self-sufficient beast. Nice if that's what you want, but as a thin-client it is hugely over-specified and over-priced.
So no, they weren't competing with laptops. However, with the new price tag, they probably are.
Re. Battery Capacity
Anonymous: the review unit was supplied by Asus UK, so hardly a grey import. The battery supplied was 4400mAh, and we have to review the unit on the basis of what it does include, not what it might include.
Not for me............
As a 701 owner I'm really happy with it. There are "tweaks" out there for speeding up the CPU and changing screen resolution. There is no way on the planet i'm stumping up another £110 over the 701 for a 901.
Like a lot of people have said £220 hits a sweet spot for a cheap ultra portable laptop. Its brilliant for the money. At £330 the 901 is up against some serious competition.
I think ASUS has stuffed up. They had the product and pricing structure bang on. The 901 is never going to take off the same way the 701 did.