We know you've probably just taken the shrink wrap off your shiny new 9-inch Asus Eee PC 900, but it's already time for the next version of the insanely popular netbook-style laptop.
These new models, just unveiled at Computex in Taiwan, are called the 901 and the 1000, have 8.9- and 10-inch screens, respectively, and will feature a 1.6GHz Atom CPU from Intel, replacing the now-dated Celeron M that's been one of our few pain points with the otherwise excellent Eee PC.
Asus promises new power-management software, called Super Hybrid Engine technology, that can purportedly offer up to 7.8 hours of battery life (although we'll believe that when we see it). You get the same 12GB and 20GB solid state hard drives in the Windows XP and Linux versions, but with an additional 20GB of hosted online storage space for data backup (something also offered by Dell and other PC makers these days). Design tweaks appear to be minor, and the keyboard still isn't as full-size as the one on HP's 2133 Mini-Note, but it looks to be less cramped than the original finger-twisting 7-inch Eee PC.
Since its launch in October 2007, the Eee PC series has sold more than 1 million units, at between $399 and $549 each, and the brand is now expanding into other products, such as the small form factor Eee Box desktop PC.
"With constant innovations and implementation of the latest technologies in the new Eee PC range, we have since expanded the original 3 'E's into 'Easy', 'Excellent' and 'Exciting'. 'Easy' will still encompass the core value of Easy to learn, work and play, 'Excellent' will highlight the Eee PC's role as an Excellent mobile Internet device, and 'Exciting' entails utilizing the Eee PC for Exciting multimedia enjoyment." says Jerry Shen, CEO of Asus.
Pricing and availability for the new Eee 901 and Eee 1000 are still up in the air, but we expect them to both be north of the current Eee PC 900's $549 price--bringing them more into line with traditional budget laptops.