Asus Eee PC 900 Ultra Mobile PC

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion


Asus has done a good job with the Eee PC 900.  Almost all of the things that we - and virtually everyone else - like about the Eee PC 700 have been improved upon in some way, shape or form - except for the price.  The Eee PC 900 delivers a much better user experience than its older counterpart, thanks to its larger, higher resolutions screen, default CPU clock speed of 900MHz, and 1GB of RAM.  The bigger screen makes using the Eee PC easier on the eyes, and it will likely make users more productive too, simply because of the increased real estate.  Having more available memory definitely helped the machine feel smoother and more responsive as well, which is another major plus.  And despite a bigger screen and better overall performance, the Eee PC 900 is only 7mm larger than the Eee PC 700 and provides only slightly less battery life.  Like we said, Asus has clearly done a good job.


 


The Eee PC 900 also just "worked" right out of the box.  And we found it to be perfectly compatible with a handful of wired and wireless routers, USB flash drives, hard drives, keyboards and mice.  When Asus says the Eee PC is easy to work, easy to play, and easy to learn, as corny as it sounds, they mean it.  Open the box, charge the battery, turn it on, and you're ready to go.

From a usability standpoint, there is a lot to like about the machine as well.  It is virtually silent, ultra mobile,  it runs cool,  it provides good battery life, and the flash storage is very durable in comparison to standard hard drives.  The Eee PC also boots very quickly and all of its included applications load in seconds.  The wealth of software included on Linux-based versions of the Eee PC is also impressive (Note: The Windows XP Home version includes Microsoft Works and Windows Live Suite).

It's not all sunshine and roses, however.  The Eee PC 900's small keyboard definitely takes some getting used to and will likely slow down touch-typists.  And the keyboard feels somewhat "mushy" with too much flex for our tastes.  While we liked the larger screen, it is not very bright, even on the highest brightness setting.  But these drawbacks comes with the territory.  You can't very well have an ultra mobile PC with a full sized keyboard and a brighter screen would likely increase power consumption and heat, and decrease battery life.

Perhaps the biggest concern with regard to the Eee PC 900 is price.  In comparison to the 700 series, the Eee PC 900's $549 price tag is easily justified - the unit has a bigger screen, more memory, and much more storage.  But at that price, the Eee PC must compete with much higher performing, larger machines, that also offer more storage and integrated optical drives.  Currently, there are a host of 14.1" to 15.4" notebooks with more memory and storage available at numerous on-line retailers for less than $500. When shopping for a machine of this type, consumers must make a choice - go with the ultra-mobile, small form factor, durable Eee PC 900, or a larger, heavier, but higher-performing traditional notebook.  If mobility is high on your list of priorities though, the Eee PC 900 is an incredibly compelling product.  We can't wait to see what Asus has in store with the Intel Atom-based 901 and the larger 10" 1000 series of Eee PCs.


     
  • 8.9" 1024x600 Screen
  • Ultra Small Form factor
  • Tons of Included Software
  • Fast Boot and Load Times
  • Good Battery Life
  • 20GB of Durable Flash Storage
  • Silent
  • Keyboard is Cramped and Mushy
  • Screen Not Very Bright
  • Much More Competition at its Price Point



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