Asus Eee PC 900 breaks cover (and EG2)

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Asus unveils its latest low-cost mini-laptop, inspiring Apple fanboi levels of lust in those with shallower pockets. Not to mention another Everywhere Girl...

Dan Nystedt is nice, Ted:

The next generation Eee PC laptop by Asustek Computer will come with a multi-touch trackpad in addition to the larger screen, better Web cam and increased data storage ... The Eee PC 900 boasts an 8.9-inch screen, larger than the 7-inch display on the original Eee PC 701 model, along with a 1.3-megapixel camera and 12G-byte solid-state disk drive (SSD) ... The Eee PC 900's oversized touchpad works similar to the Macbook Air ... will come pre-loaded with either Microsoft Windows XP or Linux OSs ... will likely hit some markets by June this year. Pricing will vary by country, but in Europe, the new Eee PC will cost around €399 (US$626). more
Brandon Hill adds background:
ASUS turned more than a few heads with its original Eee PC 401. The $399 device came out of nowhere and stole the hearts of many computer enthusiasts (and non-enthusiasts). Over time, ASUS released models that slotted under and above the original 4G model and added more colorful options. Earlier this month, details began to leak on the Eee PC 900 ... Today, however, we were all greeted with a wealth of new information (and pictures) on the new Eee PC 900. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website is abuzz with a new entry detailing ASUS' latest and greatest. The FCC entry provides numerous pictures of the Eee PC 900 from the inside and the outside along with the device's user manual ... Throw in the rumored touch screen and GPS and things could get really interesting. more
Matt Buchanan is in ur internets, surfin ur fedz:
The Asus Eee PC 900 is out of the cat's FCC's bag. No WiMax, GPS or touchscreen, and the specs are otherwise what we've heard. But here's the biggie: The manual reveals it's got a MacBook Air/Pro style multi-touch trackpad, with two-finger pinch zooming, and two finger scrolling. Check it out, along with the guts and a bunch of spec gobbledygook at the FCC. more
Ideal for Joshua Topolsky: he isn't a rich man: [Get on with it -Ed.]
Eee fans, your second-wildest dream has just come to pass. ASUS' next version of the mini-laptop has hit the FCC, and we've got the pictures to prove it. Yes, as we speak (possibly, but maybe not) inspectors from the agency are poring over details of the 9-inch, second generation system -- referred to here as the Eee 900 -- desperately hoping that none of its radio waves do anything funky to anyone else's radio waves. There's no secret-sauce WiMAX or drastic changes we can see, though the manual does make mention of "multi-finger gesture input," which will apparently provide the ability to zoom in, zoom out, and do familiar two-finger scrolling on the newly resized trackpad. Check the pictures in the gallery for loads of looks at the new entry, including a view of its insides that'll make your eyes water. more
Joe Hunkins waddles in to say:
I’m very impressed with my eee PC so far and it appears ASUS has a lot more cleverness in store ... This is an interesting play ... The brilliancy here is that ASUS has set the price points so low that they are really no barrier to purchase. Other UMPCs have been so expensive that the viability of buying one for the x/365 number of days a businessperson needs one was very limited, but at $300 for the cheapest Eee PC, most traveling onliners can hardly afford to be without one until perhaps mobile phone technology creates usable keyboards and comfortably viewable screens. I recently wrote an analysis of the Airbook, suggesting it would have limited appeal. Technically it is not a UMPC but it’s close, and I was also skeptical of much growth in the UMPC market. However, as prices plummet things could change considerably as even school kids may start to sprout Eee PCs. more
Jack Schofield brings a tear to YHB's eye:
The subnotebook PC has taken a long time to take off. Hewlett-Packard had a good go with the Omnibook 300, which had the option of a 10MB Flash drive, instead of a hard drive, in 1993. Others included the Toshiba Libretto in 1995, the Sony C1 in 2000, and the FlyBook in 2005. All failed to sell in volume. Part of the problem was that people expected a subnotebook PC to cost less than a traditional big-screen portable. However, the costs of miniaturisation, including low-power x86-compatible processors, and lower sales volumes usually mean they cost as much, or more. more
Michelle Thatcher raises the roof:
I can't help wondering if these developments are pulling the Eee PC from its primary selling point: low price. Reports have priced the second-generation model anywhere from $500 to $600. Granted, that's not much more than the current Eee PC, and it does include such welcome improvements as increased RAM and a larger drive. But it also teeters dangerously close to the cost of more full-featured budget laptops from the major manufacturers. In a field that seems to grow more crowded every day, will consumers accept a slightly higher price point? more
Meanwhile, Nilay Patel 411s a trad. vendor:
We'd been hearing that HP's slick UMPC 2133 was going sport VIA processors, and now we've got some more info to back that up ... it's VIA C7-Ms all around, with graphics courtesy of a VIA Chrome 9 chipset. According to our source, these will hit on April 7th, and it looks like those pricing whispers were pretty accurate as well: $600 will buy you a 1.2GHz C7-M, a 120GB drive, 1GB of RAM and Vista Home Basic, while $749 bumps you up to 1.6GHz and Vista Business and adds Bluetooth, another gig of RAM, and a bigger battery ... what really caught our eye was the $549 model that shares the same specs as the $600 unit, but looks to be running SuSE Enterprise -- another rumor that's come true. That could be the one that HP expects to sell like hotcakes -- after all, the goal is to have people buy these "without a thought." more
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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