Asus' 8.9" Eee draws crowds at CeBIT

Asus' 8.9" Eee draws crowds at CeBIT

Summary: Here in CeBIT 2008, crowds descended on Hannover Germany to see the latest technologies. Germany is certainly a lovely country but there's nothing lovable about the 5.

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Here in CeBIT 2008, crowds descended on Hannover Germany to see the latest technologies. Germany is certainly a lovely country but there's nothing lovable about the 5.60 Euro per gallon gas prices.

CeBIT is certainly one of the more unique conventions I've been to since everything is spread out over a square kilometer and it's like going to 10 mini conventions. While you get some outdoor air between the halls, don't expect any fresh air with all the smokers there. The temperature delta certainly makes proper attire a challenge because it's too warm inside and freezing outside.

Asus had a massive presence in building 26 which is one of the more popular spots at CeBIT and they managed to draw crowds wanting to get a closer look at the new and improved 8.9" Asus Eee PC. The new 8.9" Asus Eee comes with more SSD flash storage, a bigger LCD screen with 1024x600 resolution, a better quality webcam. The same Pentium M 900 MHz CPU is the same as the original Eee. [See gallery for a close-up view.]

The Windows XP model comes with 8 GBs of SSD flash memory when the Linux model comes with 12 GB of SSD flash memory. So far we only know that the price will be 399 Euros (which typically means it will be fewer in dollars for the US market), but we don't know if there will be a price difference between the Linux and Windows XP model. It is possible that the price of the flash memory offsets the licensing costs of Windows XP.While holding the lightweight Eee with one hand, I tested the quality of the Mic and the Webcam and confirmed that the quality if fairly good. The Webcam is definitely much better quality than the old Eee. The Eee also comes with a wired 10/100 Ethernet port as well as 802.11g. The one down side to the Eee is that it doesn't have a DVI output and instead has a DB-15 VGA port.

Here's a comparison of the older 7" Asus Eee versus the 8.9" Eee. As you can see, the screen is much bigger and the color and contrast appears to be much better. The speakers had to be moved to the bottom of the laptop because the bigger screen pushed them off the lid. You can also see that the track pad is also larger.

george-eee-2.jpgI wouldn't doubt if people buy the 12 GB Linux version and use NLite to install a trimmed down version of XP though having Linux on this device is extremely useful if you're going to use it as a security auditing tool. The 8 GBs of SSD is more than enough to hold the OS and key applications and a $60 16 GB SDHC card is more than sufficient to hold plenty of movies and data. With the larger screen and nicer webcam and adequate microphone, it becomes a great Skype video conferencing solution. The bottom line is that the Asus Eee is very pleasing in the hands and it runs Windows XP very quickly if you keep bloatware/crapware off of it.

Topics: Hardware, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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27 comments
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  • ASUS NEW! little unit is nice looking and so is the price of memory.

    Let's not full ourselves here this is a notebook. And, should be used for day to day; weekend data storage, only. My view anyway. Uploads should be rather easy and is not for the novice. Connectivity is not mentioned in available adapter for direct hub uploading. But, rest assured Microsoft will have a Venture Desktop for these two operating systems with this SSD-cache.
    rtirman37@...
  • Nice work George

    Bet you want one. See if you can bring back an eval unit.
    D T Schmitz
    • It's a pretty cool laptop, but I want the Diamondville one

      It's a pretty cool laptop, but I want the Diamondville one which is based on a 945 chipset instead of the 910 and it's based on Intel Atom.
      georgeou
      • Timex...

        It's just too funny. I have a 2nd laptop set up in my 2nd bedroom that is a Pentium M 1st generation (before they came out with the Celeron label). It just keeps on a tickin'...:

        [b]
        dietrich@linux-do0u:~> sudo cat /proc/cpuinfo
        root's password:
        processor : 0
        vendor_id : GenuineIntel
        cpu family : 15
        model : 2
        model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Mobile CPU 1.70GHz
        stepping : 4
        cpu MHz : 1200.000
        cache size : 512 KB
        [/b]

        The thing doesn't break a sweat.
        D T Schmitz
  • Close to what I want

    I wanted a unit like this years ago from my Compaq TC1000.

    Now some of the smaller laptops aren't as powerful as their bigger counterparts, but they at least have enough punch to make a difference and still accomplish specified tasks. Network Auditing being one of them. I seen another unit for around $800 with a full hard drive that looked ideal for the task as well. $400 dollars for a system that you can buy better for the same or less doesn't sound like a good deal, unless it comes with a hand crank to power it.
    nucrash
    • You can't buy anything this size or close for double the price

      You can't buy anything this size or close for double the price. If you want a small portable device, this is the best you can do under $400 or even $800. You can't compare the price to a cheap desktop you build.
      georgeou
  • Agreed

    $900 is about as close as it gets, but there is a hit in screensize and I think they use the same processor.
    nucrash
  • RE: Asus' 8.9

    Who needs a Win XP version? Once you gunk it up with anti-virus, anti-spyware, proper firewall, it will slow down to a crawl. Linux is the way to go, and the one to have. This is a perfect little device for travelling. Can't wait to get my hands on one.
    jorjitop
    • I would probably do dual-boot

      I would probably do dual-boot. Windows XP without anti-virus for my Windows applications and Linux for the network auditing.
      georgeou
      • For the price...

        I would consider two. One for Linux auditing and one for being on the Go. I think Windows would probably make a better media player, but I have been wrong before.
        nucrash
      • A Question of Interest?

        Can the "official" Windows version be removed & Booted/Used remotely on SD/USB etc?

        (I know you can keep Linux on the external)

        But again what real need is there for Windows,
        When Xandros or another Linux distro can do far more?
        LazLong
        • For one thing, it runs your Windows apps

          "But again what real need is there for Windows,
          When Xandros or another Linux distro can do far more?"

          For one thing, it runs your Windows apps. Second, most people will ask for Windows because it is what they know.
          georgeou
        • Still a Behind...

          The Times.....
          Please Name any windows apps that necessary?
          Yes there is that illusion, But that is one,
          Only "buy" You guys who should better?

          And Again that Mis-conception is mostly driven buy you guys.....?

          Altough almost liked the piece on IPCOP?
          Still It should be AKH's job, but what about
          Asus.. Display Link?
          LazLong
      • Sounds just about right ! (nt)

        nt
        hkommedal
  • RE: Asus' 8.9

    Can you actually touch-type with these tiny eee notebooks?
    xrayman
    • Yes, it is workable.

      Yes, it is workable. The new keyboard as I understand it is slightly bigger than the old one. It's not quite full size but it is very usable.
      georgeou
  • RE: Asus' 8.9

    But is the eee keyboard really big enough to touchtype? These things are the size of a hardcover book! Anybody had any hands-on experience to share?
    xrayman
  • RE: Asus' 8.9

    I haven't seen one up close, but I think this is the perfect ultra-portable. Not too big that it takes up too much space, and not too small that you can't get actual work done. Pretty nice. I'd like to see one in person.
    bricar2
  • RE: Asus' 8.9

    It the processor fast enough to play flash movie content (youtube and the like)?
    Free_Thinker
    • More than fast enough to play Youtube, it will also play DVDs

      More than fast enough to play Youtube, it will also play DVDs if you rip them to the cheap SDHC card. You can play full screen DivX content too so you can easily fill up a 16 GB card with 16 movies for your on-the-road entertainment.

      It should also run Skype Video standard mode without any issues. It boots XP in about 30 seconds (I timed it) and that includes BIOS post time and login time. It is extremely usable for any money.
      georgeou