Asus introduces Eee PC with 9.5-hour battery life taking advance orders

Online stores are taking advance orders for Asustek Computer Inc.'s new Eee PC 1000HE netbook, which offers up to nine and a half hours of battery life and features Intel's latest mobile processor.

The laptop includes a six-cell "Super Hybrid Engine" battery pack. Depending on usage, the battery pack offers a choice of adjustable performance and power consumption modes, according to, which is taking pre-orders for the netbook.

The laptop uses the Intel Atom N280 processor, which draws about 2.5 watts of power, according to Amazon. Intel hasn't officially announced or talked about the processor yet.

Batteries in netbooks now on the market can run for up to four hours depending on display and wireless usage, said Richard Shim, an analyst at IDC. The claim of nine and a half hours on the 1000HE Eee PC blows away past claims of netbook battery life, he said.

"I'd have to see this thing to believe it," Shim said.

The extended battery life could help stimulate netbook demand, said David Daoud, another IDC analyst.

Weighing 3.2 lbs. with the battery pack, the netbook includes a 10-in. screen, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It also includes 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi capabilities and Bluetooth wireless networking.

The laptop uses Windows XP and users get 10GB of free online storage. Retail sites didn't list models of the netbook with Linux.

The new netbook is priced at $399 on the Asus Web site, but offered it for $374. Asus officials could not be reached immediately for information about shipping dates.

The low-cost laptop industry took off when Asus introduced the Eee PC in 2007. The netbook is the poster child of a laptop category that now includes offerings from top vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Shipments of netbooks totaled 10 million in 2008 and will likely double this year, according to an IDC study.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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