Asus Eee 900 to hit shelves on 1 May

The second iteration of the subnotebook will cost £329 in the UK, although the Windows and Linux versions will include differing amounts of solid-state storage

The second version of Asus' low-cost subnotebook, the Eee PC, will go on sale on 1 May.

The Eee 900, which will come with an operating-system choice of Linux or Windows, will cost £329. The Linux version will have 20GB of solid-state storage on-board but the Windows version will have only 12GB.

As previously revealed, the screen size has increased from that of the first-generation Eee 701, from seven inches to 8.9 inches. The screen resolution is an unusual 1,024x600 pixels (1,024x768 pixels is more common). The RAM has doubled from 512MB to 1GB and the built-in webcam's resolution has been boosted from 0.3 megapixels to 1.3 megapixels.

The Eee 900, at 990 grams, will be about 100 grams heavier than its predecessor but will also include a multitouch touchpad, similar to that seen on the MacBook Air. This kind of touchpad makes it easier to zoom in and out of images using two fingers.

The four-cell battery included in the package will give around two and a half hours of usage, according to Asus, but a six-cell battery can be bought as an optional extra. Although Asus has hinted at plans to incorporate Intel's low-powered Atom chipset, that processor is still a few months away from hitting the market, so the Eee 900 will retain its predecessor's 900MHz Celeron chipset for now.

Also available for the first time on 1 May will be the Windows version of the Eee 701's 4GB solid-state drive (SSD) model, priced at £249, with a mouse included. The Linux version of that model has a recommended retail price of £219.


 
The Asus Eee 900 boasts a larger screen and twice the RAM of its predecessor, as well as a multitouch touchpad