Asus EeePC 900

Asus EeePC 900

Feature

Asustek was the first company to realise the potential of small, portable and affordable computers.

Performance (cntd.)
Asus EeePC 900
In the case of our Linux equipped review sample, we naturally could not even try out any of the hot titles to report frame rates of one per hour, but we did try some of the casual game titles provided with the system and they all launched quickly, as did the OpenOffice and Firefox. One 3D game that I tried was BrutalChess, which gave around 1.1-1.2 FPS, which is not that remarkable to say the least and far from being playable. However, Armagetron (watch the movie Tron if you haven't already) reached FPS around 120, so a lot depends on the efficiency of the programming as well (though the graphics of the latter game are far less demanding, as well).

However, the quick loading times of the pre-installed applications coupled with the fact that the unit starts to the UI in under 30 seconds after you press the power button, you can be browsing the net or editing a document quickly and easily even on a short break from your daily activities.

The battery life is pretty much the most important factor on a netbook – going above the performance of the processor itself. Unfortunately, EeePC 900 doesn't impress that much in this area – the review sample only had a 4 cell 4400mAh battery which provides about 2 to 2.5 hours of glee depending on whether you use the wi-fi or not and what you use the netbook for. This is clearly inadequate if you plan to use the netbook on the road or aboard a plane a lot. The newer EeePCs reach much better results with the new Atom processor, however, so you might want to check them out. As it is, the EeePC 900 is good enough to use in and around your house and garden, and perhaps for some computing on the road, but you really need to invest in a bigger, or a second, battery if you want to use it away from the mains a lot.

Our verdict
Overall, the EeePC900 is a great little netbook or UMPC, if you understand its limitations and what it is meant to be able to do. The negative issues that I mentioned about application installation do not concern most people who will be using the netbook and are only annoyances to power-users. Furthermore, if you purchase the WinXP version, you will be able to use it as you would any Windows system even though you will be restricted with a smaller SSD (only 12GB for the Windows version).

For casual web browsing on the sofa or at the nearby cafe with wi-fi, EeePC is the perfect choice. The resolution is just right for the screen size and with an add-on like Fullerscreen for Firefox, you can take full advantage of the space available. However, if you are looking for a netbook that would also be your only computer, I'd advice you to give the EeePC 1000 models or MSI Wind a look. If fact, we'll try to bring you reviews of those units in the near future as well.

Our grade: 8/10