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Asus Eee PC 900

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ASUS Eee PC 900 - Celeron M 353 / 900 MHz ULV - RAM 1 GB - HDD 12 GB SSD - WLAN : 802.11b/g - Win XP Home - 8.9" Widescreen TFT 1024 x 600 ( WSVGA ) - camera

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      03.10.2013 00:19
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      Economical, efficient, essential, easy for everyday use, expeditious etc.

      ---------------------
      INTRODUCTION
      ---------------------

      The Asus 'Eee PC 900(HD)' is a mini laptop of sorts, classified as a 'netbook' with the original purpose of being convenient for people who like to be online when out and about - at the time they were seen as web friendly notebooks. I remember a fair bit of online buzz surrounding the launch of the Eee 900 in 2009/early 2010 but it didn't get to run its course as Asus decided to release a whole line of variations in record time. Regardless of mine being one of the early models and hence not 'updated' with whatever super duper features the later ones had, I find it to be easy to use, intuitive for those used to Microsoft/Windows common products and quite simply compliments my lifestyle.

      I'm a laptop gal and there's no getting away from it, I have no issues with PC's but a portable laptop is where my heart is. Even then though I find laptops can be quite bulky and heavy as a travelling kit in a specifically designed carry case (with the added risk of being a target for muggers) or a rucksack.
      When my darling Dell Inspiron died (RIP) after an arduous ten year lifespan with consistent use and abuse (parrots...) I received the Asus netbook as an Xmas gift whilst in the US. I don't know what the price was but I remember looking it up online at the time and the prices were approx $140. I can't find any for sale anymore in the UK (not surprising as the market moves along so quickly) except for a couple of similar models on Amazon for £90-100, there are cheap ones available from the US but it wouldn't be worth the potential import tax. That said all of the replacement parts are still available in the UK at places like Amazon and eBay though thankfully I haven't needed to change the adapter, battery or upgrade the harddrive or RAM.

      I haven't needed to upgrade the harddrive or RAM some of you may say? For my personal use I don't need an overly powerful machine, I'm not a pro designer or big gamer and I don't use the active desktop. For those who don't remember what an active desktop is due to the lack of it in Vista, it's where you can customize your desktop further than just changing the theme and background. You can make it into something akin to website, almost, by adding links, animations (gifs) and video content that will work offline. Doing that eats up a fair bit of power and I used to change mine on my Dell regularly but this with this machine I don't want to risk slowing it down or overloading its ability and I don't really need an interactive visual desktop.

      -----------------------
      'THE SCIENCE BIT'
      -----------------------

      Inside the box I received the standard fare; the netbook, power lead/adaptor, manual, quick user guide, a recovery CD and support CD, battery guide (with info such as how to dispose of it) and warranty. For those that don't have access to a CD/DVD drive the CD's are a moot point as this netbook doesn't have a CD/DVD drive.

      It came pre-loaded with Windows XP Home (the gift giver knew I had an aversion to Vista but then who didn't, at least as first) and took very little setting up; actually it was the fastest and easiest Windows setup I ever had to do. Once I pressed the start button for the first time it simply asked me to christen it with its own name, choose some settings, register the warranty and voila ready to go. For reference the Asus Eee 900 and 900HD came with optional operating system, either Windows XP or GNU Linux.

      GENERAL SPECS
      ---------------------

      WHAT IS HAS:
      *8.9" LED backlit screen (*sigh* I miss my LCD liquid crystal display from Dell)
      *512MB internal memory for XP (1GB for Linux)
      *160GB harddrive capacity
      *1GB RAM (can be replaced with upto 2GB max)
      *10GB free online storage (bit more on that later)
      *0.3M built-in webcam/microphone
      *Rechargeable Li-on battery (boasting a 3.5hr life *SCOFF* for XP and 3.3hr for Linux)
      *Size: 170mm(L) x 225mm(W) x 34mm(H)
      *Weight: 1.12kg/2.5lbs
      *Colours: Infusion Shiny White, Shiny Black, Pearl White, Black (mine is standard Black)
      *High speed wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
      *Max Resolution 1024 x 600 (it does go to 1024 x 768 but you'll find the desktop becomes too big for the screen)
      *Harddrive Interface: eSATA - so if your hdd dies for some reason you can get a SATA or combined IDE firewire/USB enclosure to hopefully rescue your files.
      *3 USB ports (2.0 so will play items with the older 1.0 and 1.1 USB ability.)
      *1 Ethernet port for home LAN use.
      *1x audio port
      *1x microphone port

      WHAT IT DOESN'T HAVE:
      *Neither a CD/DVD or rewritable drive, there simply isn't the space but that is easily rectified (more later).
      *Bluetooth (some will hate the lack of this, some will love it - I love it)
      *I've heard that some (perhaps the ones specifically sold in the UK) didn't have internal modems but mine did though I changed it so don't remember what make it was.
      *Vista or Windows 7
      *This comes with Microsoft Works software rather than Office so some programs/features available to Windows Office or Media Centre are not available without an upgrade.
      *It's missing some of the keys such as the extra set of numbers available on a full qwerty keyboard as this is a mini version.
      *Doesn't come with an external mouse (just the touchpad).
      *It has one set of left/right click buttons rather than two nor the middle 'dot' button in the centre of the keyboard as some laptops do.

      -----------------------------------
      USAGE AND EXPERIENCES
      -----------------------------------

      MORE DETAIL ON SOME OF THE SPECS:

      Asus offers what is called 'hybrid' storage space which basically means that on top of the harddrive capacity you also get 10GB of online storage which has user friendly drag and drop ability from your desktop/folders straight into the website. All you have to do is register and you can take advantage of the generous offer, you can upload multimedia files as well as share them via social media options.

      The screen resolution is 1024 x 600 - the '1024' being the standard for viewing A4 size pages/documents on most laptops (though my old Dinosaur Dell had a massive resolution that surpassed many contemporary laptops *sniff/crocodile tear*) which is handy on this smaller screen because you don't need to scroll. I find excessive scrolling up or down, left or right to be a pain and distracting.

      Being a netbook it came with Internet Explorer 6, MSN instant messenger and live-mail built-in, many may have preferred Explorer 7 but it's easy to upgrade via the Microsoft website and many users probably use different browsers anyway.

      The lack of a CD/DVD player can leave many in sorrow initially however you can buy USB portable external CD/DVD and rewritable drives quite affordably (I got one for approx £15 on eBay) that come with video software and work just as well. They are small and easily sit alongside the netbook.

      Screen size - whilst everything is perfectly proportional on the screen remember that everything you are looking at will look bigger on a regular laptop so for example if you do a lot of social networking and upload photos you may think you've got a photo just the way you like it but then you see it on someone else's monitor and it looks totally different. I don't mean different in terms of colour/contrast (which always have to be allowed for between different hardware) but the photo will be bigger on a laptop or PC screen and so things you thought may not have been visible will be ;) and strangely enough the image may even appear stretched out in comparison to the compact picture on the netbook screen.

      PROs:
      --------

      1) Its runs pretty fast and smoothly for example blink and you'll miss the initial setup option screen prior to the trademark Windows loading screen, so if you want to adjust the computer/operating system settings before Windows loads you need to be even faster to press F2 or F8 for safe mode! Mine takes approx 45 seconds to get from pressing the physical start/On button to my desktop (30 sec to password screen, 5 sec from that to desktop, 10 sec to load everything on the desktop.)

      2) The wireless connectivity is good, it picks up networks easily though sometimes I need to refresh it as networks will come and go on the availability list. I've never been unable to find or connect to paid or free wi-fi spots. The netbook comes with the LAN Local Area Connection and Wireless Network Connection enabled but you can easily disable them by clicking on the little icon of two computers in the taskbar which opens the Network Connections folder -> clicking on the LAN or WNC -> choosing 'disable' from the task menu.

      3) I'm not a big gamer but I've bought some of the visually detailed PC games from BigFishGames before and this had no problem running them. I can also run multiple programs including the resource heavy GIMP design program and other programs whilst online without losing speed. Of course that doesn't mean that it won't eventually slow down (though it rarely freezes) but all I have to do on those occasions is restart to clear the memory cache.

      4) All of the plug'n'play devices I've used have always started and installed without having to resort to the CD/DVD or installing drivers. (Note that plug'n'play can be disabled for those wary of self installing hardware and software.)

      5) Small netbooks = smaller prices for accessories. I didn't want to spend what I consider a lot of money on a supportive insulation accessory and I randomly found a nice thick, foamy 'bag'/carry case for laptops and if folded in half for netbooks in Pounland. It fits this model perfectly and gives it good support when surrounded by numerous other objects in my bag and getting bumped along the way. Poundland do a lot of cool technical accessories so it's always worth a look though of course they have their fair share of duds.

      6) Speaking of bags this doesn't need a purpose made laptop bag/satchel and will fit in many handbags, rucksacks or 'man-purses' without being conspicuous.

      7) The touchpad is what I consider 'old school' in that it's fairly soft and not made of the same material as the outer casing. I dislike the hard plastic or metallic ones as they make my fingertips sensitive so I'm happy with this. The left/right click buttons are metal with soft finish and I prefer that to the hard plastic ones because I find them more durable.

      8) Speaking of durability - goodness knows how many times this has been accidentally dropped and only a small piece of the side casing near the keyboard has broken off. It's a bit like bread and butter when it falls, it never falls on the screen and sometimes even closes itself as it falls so the screen doesn't break off. VERY durable.

      CONs:
      ---------

      1) The Asus website and packaging claim the battery has a 3.5hr lifespan (3.3hr for Linux) before needing a recharge. Oh please. Mine initially had 2 hours and then after a virus had 1 hour though a strange phenomenon has recently occurred where it's now saying 1hr25min and getting a little higher everytime I use it...

      2) Some like it HOT - this netbook gets hot and really quickly particularly in warm weather and from the warmth of my hands. The internal cooling system isn't as great as modern laptops and it doesn't have visually obvious fans at the back either like my dinosaur Dell so I stand it on something to let the air can circulate. I bought a 'fan stand' from Poundland that perfectly fitted underneath with a fan in the centre, Blue LEDs and rubber corner points to stand without slipping. It worked by slotting it into one of the USB ports though in all honesty it looked like something those who 'pimp their rides' would use and didn't really make the netbook any cooler. In Winter it's fine but definitely take care in warm weather or with prolonged use, I use a mini desk fan or just wave a hand fan/paper notebook at it whilst outside which cools it down quickly.

      3) As aforementioned I have the standard Black version but I would have preferred the Shiny Black one because this one leaves fingertips and grease/oil stains (yes I'm naughty and eat whilst using it or use it straight after applying moisturiser). It wipes clean simply enough but I'd prefer not having to as often.

      4) As with most laptops/netbooks I've tried the sound is reasonable on some things and barely there on others and since this is XP there is no variable master volume control where you can adjust the volumes of programs separately rather than altogether hence active speakers are a must for home use. However, depending on the make/model some of them work in the audio port, some in the microphone one.

      5) The Keyboard is very small even for my small hands/fingers and the keys are somewhat old fashioned in that they aren't soft or feel cushioned hence you have to use a little more force which may not be helpful for people with repetitive strain. I've never had any come loose/off so I don't know if they are the type that can click back in place or not or where after a while you just have to replace the keyboard.

      6) The built-in webcam/microphone is low quality so if you instant message/Skype a lot you may want to use an external USB cam/mic instead. For those who don't need either feature, it can be manually disabled either through the system options screen that appears just after turning the netbook on or through the Control Panel.

      ----------------
      EXTRA INFO:
      ----------------

      Just recently my right-click button suddenly stopped working; I knew it wasn't a virus (though I ran all of the checkers just in case) and that it wasn't an incorrect registry key so it had to be the hardware. The casing was easy to dismantle/open - just make sure you either have a multi-head screwdriver kit or one that is most commonly used on mobile phones and laptops. The screws came out easily without having to force them, I had to unscrew six of them on the underside of the netbook and then carefully move the section of casing surrounding the touchpad. The casing on the top i.e. surrounding the keyboard and touchpad is split in two and interconnected so it's easy to take off/lift one half without having to face the sight of exposed wiring/circuits, just remember to do so delicately as being interconnected means that one side slides a little under the other for a firm fit. The left/right click buttons sit above a 'ribbon' which is touched with every left or right click and after a lot of use (especially the right-click) it can move out of place. In this netbook the ribbon is held in place/enclosed by a small sheet of 'foil' and it takes the merest tap/touch on that foil under the right click button to push it back into place. So all I did was touch it and tada(!) the right click worked again. After that the casing was just as easy to put back together as it was to take apart. NOTE - always switch off and unplug your device before attempting to access any internal hardware. Also remember that the warranty can be voided if you tinker with things, mine is out of the warranty period so I'm ok with it.

      Being the US version my netbook has a US style keyboard with the @ and the " in each other's place and a $ instead of £ sign. This was easily rectified by switching it to UK mode. To do this go to Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> 'Language' tab and click 'details', a new box opens. Choose 'English (UK) in the Default input language section and choose 'UK' from the Keyboard layout menu. Under Installed services click 'US' and then 'remove', finally click 'Add' and 'UK'.

      -------------------
      CONCLUSION:
      -------------------

      Known for being at the lower more affordable end of the price scale Asus brought out a load of variations, so many that it's easy to lose track but for what it is and for users with less technical needs this netbook does what it needs to do as long as you have small nimble fingers.

      I haven't looked up what the 'Eee' stands for (if anything) in the 'Eee PC' and I've always been put off doing so because it reminds me of the squeal some people make when exclaiming that something is awesome, or perhaps the kind of sound picked up on sonar from aquatic mammals but I prefer to think of it as economical, efficient and essential.


      Thanks for reading :-)

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        25.08.2012 19:39
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        good for travelling

        I got this laptop in 2008 when netbooks were quite a new kind of computer on the market and their main distinctive attributes were their size and portability. These characteristics were precisely what drew me to buy the Asus Eee PC 900. The price was rather cheap, I would say. It cost only 200 pounds which was a very low price back then for a laptop.

        Mine is pearl white and I really like how it looks. I thought that due to this light colour dirt and regular use would make it change becoming yellowish and dull, but instead it has remained looking the same way for all these years.

        The keyboard feels a bit fragile, however it has lasted perfectly. But the keyboard size is the first downside I would point out, since it is really small and the transition from typing on a normal size computer to this netbook might be a bit of an nightmare.

        The specifications are ok for its size, nevertheless I think that the hard disk drive could have been a bit more spacious. It is only 12 GB which is nothing if you expect to be able to put all your photos and songs on the laptop. Other than that, the 1 GB RAM memory is all right for the tasks you will be performing with it. The screen is also a bit small and it might be annoying sometimes to fit everything you want to watch, however the image quality surprised me when I used to watch films on it from my external hard drive. It is a good laptop for taking notes in lectures or meetings and not having it as your main computer for storing all your work and films.

        All in all it is a good purchase for the cost and what you get. Although it was a bit annoying to see how after buying it, other makes and even Asus itself began releasing way better models with more space and better specifications.

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        18.05.2010 23:29
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        Total Waste of Money!

        I cannot express just how badly I view this product. We purchased the Eec PC 900 for our son through his school last year as they were using them in class & we have had nothing but trouble with it. We are now on our third one!!! The first had a problem with the screen from day 1, the replacement was ok for a coupl of months until the space bar started to lift & then the touchpad click button fell off & we had to glue it back on! After 6 months of light use as my Son actually hated the machine so used the family PC when not in school it started to crash for no reason. The school provided us with a replacement which we have now had for 4 months & it will no longer left click unless you press it really hard.

        These minibooks feel cheap, the keys lift & they are painfully slow. I can assure you the problems are nothing to do with abusive use by my Son, more than half the children who were also supplied with the minibooks have had problems in one way or another. Had the machine been purchased from a retail outlet I would have returned it for a refund.

        I would advise anyone to pay the extra money & buy a laptop which would be more hardwearing & value for money.

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        12.06.2009 11:02

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        This light weight, mini notebook it is everything you need for basic use

        The new Eee PC is, at first glance, virtually identical to the original although i found it had a larger screen.The keyboard, with its tiny sized keys which are differcult to use. I got this laptop with a t-mobile internet stick i found it was an affordable mini notebook. I dont think it is good with the internet as it is very slow. The battery tends to die really quickly i found i could only use it if it was plugged into the mains.There is no way to turn off the mousepad, I accidentally touch it and move the cursor while typing. i wouldn't recommend ringing there customer help line it is based in china and cost a fortune. On the other hand i think it has very thing you will need from a basic laptop for home and nice a light weight i found it easy to take it about.

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        26.05.2009 00:39
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        Its good as a bit more powerful PDA, that you can properly look at files on.....eventually

        I bought my ASUS EEE PC900 almost a year ago. In one way I wish I had waited for the 901, but i'd waited long enough for the 1GB of ram version to be out, and for use to get past the 4G model.

        The laptop itself is quite reasonable. I bought it as a play thing to have a play at LINUX. In a way I am glad I did, as am very mcuh put off of how LINUX works as a whole.

        First of all the laptop hardware itself.
        Great little screen, good quality, always displays what I want to see. 1GB of RAM should handle most things, built in Wireless, and a Built in Webcam. Always a useful luxary.
        Naturally a cable port for Networking, 3 USB (which was impressive for any laptop a year ago. Audio out and Mic in. A VGA out which again is impressive incase I want to hook it up to a bigger screen, and an SDHC card port, very good and very useful as all my cameras now use the SDHC cards.

        The spec of the laptop is pretty impressive for under £300 (or certainly was then) especially as its a nice simple light weight computer that can easily be carried around.

        The Software.
        If i was getting this again I would definately go for Windows. For starters the laptop comes with a nhice install of various applciations and a light version of a Debian LINUX syste,m. As I found out Debian is one ofd the many many many versions of LINUX out there, not of which are compatiable with each other.
        SO I get my laptop, set up all the basics and personalise it. I start playing with it. First of all its a bit annoyiong to try and open files over a network. I have 3 TB of NAS storage. Inaturally keep my main files on these as they get backed up automatically and it means any pc in the house anywhere can access these files. SO I can be working in the kitchen, the lounge, bedroom and edit my spreadsheets, etc. Not on this though, if you want to edit your spreadsheet using the old version of Open Office (that comes with it) you have to copy the file to the laptop, edit it, nd then copy it back. It can not handle opening files over a network like that.
        I might be wrong, I could be doing something completely wrong, But I am used to windows, when I ask a program to open a file and tell it where that file is, I expect it to open it, not to tell me it can;t and that i need to copy it over to my laptop to do it.
        Again it might be possible, but if i can;t figure it out, then this laptop clearly aint for an average home user, maybe a linux specialist. Afterall I am only an IT Consultant, who has been creating and using software for over 20 years.

        But still all is fine, most liekly I'll be using it out and about instead of having to carry my main laptop with me, afterall thats what its for. I have main pc's around the house for my work, this thing is for convenience and a light carry load, so i'll have USB with me.

        I look at the software installed, ok basic this and that, but i have had great reviews of Scribus, ok.... how do I get it?>????? I eventually find out that I have to type in command line code and press ALT+T etc to load up the 'Repository' Apparenttly this is where all installations comes from, in essence an Add & Remove Software for Windows users. Ok, except you can only ADD software if it is listed in here. Well surely big known software like Scribus, Audacity, a few games, all of these things should be found in ASUS's repository, afterall this laptop is popular and has been out for a year.
        Nope, so i continue reading on google, apparently I have to add some, "known to work on ASUS EEE" debian repositories, untick the update of kernal boxes otherwise it will completely trash my laptop install as this is a light Debian linux OS, not a full Debian Linux OS,but as it is Debian, most of the installs will work.
        Finally a good list of software comes up that I can install. Ok I get Scribus, Audacity, a few other apps and a couple of agmes, that should keep me going a while.

        Now if i was doing this on windows, rather than googling how to install applications, find out the repository, make sure I untick kernal boxes to stop my OS being trashed. I would just have gone to Audacities website or Scribuses website and downloaded the zip file or EXE file and double clicked it, jobs a goodun'.

        Which is easier? WINDOWS by far!!!
        Which is safer? WINDOWS by far!!!

        There are all these people preaching about how safe and secure and easy to use Linux is, yet to install a basic Open Source application as needed and useful as Audacity I have to find others who have done it, read their instructions how to get to the installation console and then RISK my OS by installing from not an official ASUS Linux repository but another one that should hopefully work??? sorry but thats not easy, and knowing what users are like in general as someon who fixes their problems, this is likely to forget to tick a little box to say "don;t update kernal from here" afterall thats what marketting companies have been doing to people for years "tick to not be contacted with special offers or if you don;t want us to pass your details on"!!!!!

        Anyway I get the software installed and I use the laptop for nice basic things, especially web apps as I am doing lots with google at the moemnt, although I can't use google offline as theres not the app install for debian was there is for Mac or Windows, and if there is i might have to self compile it and hope it works, So pretty much I am reliant upon ASUS keeping an uptodate repository after they have sold this laptop, and thats of cause even further relying on the fact their custome built debian updates over the 1000 series etc can be applied to this laptop.

        Well anyway getting abck to the use, I look at images they take time to laod up, not what I would expect from a SSD, but still must be the processor, I admit it is a bit on the low end being celeron 900Mhz, but these are 2MB images.

        I go on camp think I know i'll look at a few vids I took on the camera today, these low qualit 320x240 avi files done on a basic digital compact camera, and wow they are stuttery like mad.

        This PC is good as a netbook, which I guess it was deisgned for, it is good for basic notes using basic software, anything else it will not handle it. However I would be insterested to see what it is like with Windows XP, afterall XP running on a 1ghz PC with 512MB of Ram I personally felt was quicker than this linux. The only thing with Linux is literally as soon as you turn it on, its loaded, however the first app you use will take an additional few seconds to load.

        I think it was my misfortune to not be patient here and end up with a N270 1.6Ghz processor, as I have seen these in action runing windows XP and they are nice and quick, but still doesn't get over the confusion of Linux, and the hassel of basic work.

        My advice ensure you get an N270 as minimum (and be aware new dual core models are coming out soon) and make sure it has Windows on it, unless you really want Linux for a reason of, learnign how to use it, or you know how to use it. Home baic users, get Windows, do not fall into the trap of thinking Linux, its free, its not Microsoft, it must be better. It seriously is not on this cut down laptop. Maybe Ubuntu is, maybe RedHat is, but not this version.

        Ooooh and as a side note battery life is only just voer 2 hours, definately get the N270 as a minimum they have decent life spans

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          11.02.2009 18:14
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          Small but perfectly formed, highly recommended

          Review of Asus Eee PC 900 Laptop computer.

          As some of my internet acquaintances are aware I am currently travelling in the UK with my partner. We are both writers, a long term hobby, which has now become our income as freelancers. A laptop computer has been our trusty companion for some time, however as there are occasions when we both need to be using the machine, we decided to purchase a second laptop to make life a little easier. There is nothing more irritating than needing the computer only to find the other one is hogging the thing!
          We researched various machines and decided that as our main laptop is fine for Internet access by means of a usb 3g modem 'dongle', the second machine did not have to be anything too fancy as it would primarily be used for word processing. We tend to use an external hard drive to store our work so the new laptop did not need a massive hard drive.

          The world of computers fascinates me, but I am the first to admit that I am no expert and with this in mind, researched the Internet and magazines like no tomorrow! I have read literally dozens of test reports, some useful, some mind boggling.
          The laptop we purchased the ASUS Eee PC 900 had the 'What Laptop' magazine gold award, having rated 8 out of a possible 10 in the May 2008 issue test reports section. It was purchased from PC World in Newcastle upon Tyne for £199.99.

          **The laptop**
          The Asus Eee PC 900 is classed as a entry level ultra mobile laptop and around the same size of a hard back novel, it most certainly is ultra mobile! It weighs a minuscule 940g and the overall dimensions are approximately 225mm lengthwise x141mm wide x 36mm thick. It looks like a standard laptop that got shrunk in the wash!
          The screen is a 7" TFT, which uses LED technology making it brighter and more energy efficient than the usual laptop screen. The screen is set inside a large bezel flanked by speakers, this means there is room for a fair sized 'qwerty' keyboard, much larger than on similar 7" models.
          The laptop comes in white or black, colour was no real issue for me so I was not too bothered that the shop only had white in stock. The main manufacturing material is as you might expect for such a light weight machine, plastic, it is sturdy and robust.
          The Asus Eee PC 900 is available from PC World shops and online and from the online retailer, Laptops direct, www.laptopsdirect.co.uk , plus various other suppliers. Prices seem to be around £190.00- £225.00.

          ** Hard drive, Processor, Memory, Controls and Components **
          Hard Drive
          The hard drive is a 2 GB Solid State Drive (SSD), there are no moving parts which of course helps the robust nature of the laptop. The SSD does limit the amount of files that can be stored, but as I have said, this isn't an issue for our usage of the computer.

          Processor.
          Intel 900MHz Celeron M 353
          Memory
          512mb DDR2 SDRAM

          Controls,components etc
          From the front.

          SSD indicator which blinks when data is being written or read from the disk drive.
          Power indicator
          Battery charge indicator to show status of the battery.
          Wireless indicator. Lights when the wireless LAN is enabled .
          Touch pad and buttons which are the mouse for this type of computer.
          Qwerty keyboard with palm supports
          Power switch, this only works when the display panel is opened.
          From the right side.

          Memory card slot, reads SD/MMC cards from digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs and mobile phones
          2x USB ports for attaching various devices, such as keyboards, cameras, storage devices.
          15 pin monitor port, enables you to attach a full sized monitor if required.
          'Kensington' Lock port, allows the laptop to be secured by means of 'Kensington' compatible security products.
          From the left side.

          Lan port, for a standard Ethernet cable to connect to a local network.
          Modem port, for a standard telephone cable
          USB port
          Microphone jack, for connecting to Skype applications, voice recordings or simple audio recording.
          Headphone output jack (1/8"), this connects the Eee PC audio outlet to your headphones, automatically disabling the built n speakers.
          From the rear

          Battery pack, this is automatically charged when connected to mains power.
          Mains power input.
          Graphics adapter - Intel GMA 900

          Battery life is quoted as 192 minutes, but of course, as with all laptops this will vary dependent on what you use the machine for.

          **Operating system**
          The Asus Eee PC 900 operated on a Linux variant, Asus Xandros. It fires up very quickly into an icon driven interface. The interface consists of six tabs arranged across the screen, these break down into the main functions of the laptop, work, play, Internet, settings, favourites and learn. It is easy to navigate, each tab opens into a further selection of icons relevant to the subject.
          The laptop can be switched to Windows should users wish and a Windows Installation guide is included in the box, although NOT the Windows service pack discs, these have to be obtained separately from Microsoft. I found the operating system slightly strange at first, but it is actually simplicity itself to use once you are used to it.

          We have used the laptop to access the 'net, although this wasn't our main purpose in buying it. It accepted our mobile broadband USB device with no problem and we were online in seconds. Of course with such a small screen you probably wouldn't want to do any great amount of surfing, but for checking emails and light Internet use, it is fine.
          The system is pre-loaded with a huge range of tools from a full Open Office word suite, tools for getting online, power utilities and media tools. The browser pre loaded is Mozilla Firefox, my personal favourite browser. A wireless connection or mobile USB connection is require for accessing the Internet, the necessary ports are inbuilt to accept your Ethernet cable. The laptop can be used as a movie and music player and the sound quality is excellent. As it does not have a CD/DVD drive, the music or movies would need to be run from a USB memory stick or a separate CD/DVD drive added via USB.

          **In the Box**
          The laptop (obviously)
          Power cable.
          Battery pack.
          Full User guide.
          Quick Use guide.
          Warranty card, (24 months guarantee for laptop, six months guarantee for battery.)
          Windows Installation guide.
          Battery information leaflet
          1 x recovery CD
          1 x support CD


          Advantages
          The laptop is very portable and easy to use. It does everything I need for a second laptop. It is very sleek looking and was set up and running in minutes. For everyday use the Asus Eee PC 900 can be attached to a full sized monitor and keyboard should you wish. The price is very competitive and the test reports I read on this model rated it extremely highly. It is small but perfectly put together and for a basic ultra compact machine, it is in my opinion very hard to beat.

          Disadvantages
          I feel rather disloyal to my lovely little laptop by listing it's failings but, in the interests of readers, here goes!

          No CD/DVD drive, bluetooth connection, no modem so an existing wireless network is required.
          The laptop does not come with a carry case, bundled software, firewall or infrared. Limited memory, small processor, no dual core here I'm afraid! Smaller than standard keyboard maybe irritating to anyone with large fingers. Recovery and support cds supplied not much good without a separate cd/dvd drive.

          **Conclusion**

          I love this laptop! It is perfect for my needs and in such a small package. Living the way my partner and I do in the confined areas of boats and caravans, this laptop suits us very well. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a budget ultra portable laptop.

          ***************************
          Update ©brittle1906 August 2011.

          I thought it was time to update this review in order to give a fuller picture of how this little laptop has lasted.

          Considering the amount of travelling the laptop has done, on both land and water, it has lasted very well indeed. The white outer casing is looking a little shabby now, however I think white plastic is one of those materials that generally doesn't always age well. The laptop is still functioning very well, it has not slowed down the way my main laptop has over time and the Asus has never given any cause for concern at all. Even the batterylife has not diminished unduly, a major issue on other laptops I have owned.

          I have used this laptop fairly regularly throughout its life and I am just as happy with it now as I was when it was purchased over three years ago! I still wouldn't want to use it for prolonged surfing given the small screen size, but that is a personal preference and no criticism of the laptop.

          In short, I would still recommend this laptop!
          ***************************

          Thank you for reading.
          Brittle1906
          Also published on Ciao and Peazyshop under same name

          Comments

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          • More +
            15.01.2009 13:02

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Would definenetly recomend!

            Right here we go what a completely fantastic product! My other half bought me one for Christmas as I was having trouble with my other laptop and he has one and I thought it was very cool!
            Right well I ve got this running on Linux and I find it so much better than windows (I ve found anyway!) It took me a bit of exploring to get used to it but it's easy once you know how! You can also get it on windows.
            I love the fact that it is so compact as I can take it anywhere. Although the keyboard is very compact so it may take a bit of getting used to!! The built in webcam is also very handy.
            It starts very quickly and runs well.
            The screen is a good size again takes a bit of getting used to.
            Overall I would say a great product for not huge amount of money worth the £199 my OH paid for it. A great little laptop for surfing the web and looking at pictures and arranging documents, although not great playing videos as it slows the system down. However don't let that put you off it's a great little laptop for the money!

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          • More +
            27.10.2008 13:29
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            4 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Good for travelling

            Asus Eee PC 900
            *************
            Asus Eee PC series notebooks are generally for mobile purpose. These are something like palmtop but the screen size and configurations are generally higher than palmtops. Eee PCs are extremely portable and have a very light weight with good design and look. I am taking Eee PC 900 here for discussion about its some good features and its advantages, and disadvantages also.
            *****
            Design and Display
            The main feature of this notebook is its design and display. Notebook is completely dedicated to portability and it has beautiful small display with 8.9" TFT, 1024 x 600 ( WSVGA ) display screen. And the quality of display is its Wide screen support. So have this and enjoy your life.
            *****
            Processing speed
            Eee PC are mobile notebooks for internet use while travelling so that its processing speed is reasonable at that level but not so good with compare to general purpose notebooks. Processor is used in this model as Mobile Intel® Celeron® Processors 353 with adequate clock speed of 900 MHz. front size data bus speed is also not so good but it is reasonable as 400 MHz L2 cache size is also old dated with 512 KB and cache speed is 900 MHz. over all it is not so good but even not so bad. Now if we have a look on other ultra portable notebooks than we can remember that they are using Intel Atom processor which is completely meant for ultra portability mobile notebooks and this model can also be improved with that kind of good speed processor. Celeron processors are outdated now a days and they have poor speed performance also. There will be very slow performance if you use Celeron with Windows Vista. This notebook comes with pre installed windows XP so that speed with XP is reasonable for travelling purpose.
            *****
            Internal Memory
            Internal memory is another important feature in notebooks, and here is a good installed memory with 1GB DDR2 SDRAM. RAM size is excellent with compare to its processor but there are no match with its processor and RAM. It can get better improvement after having speed latest processor. Another internal memory in terms of installed storage capacity 20 GB Solid State Drive and I think this is the best feature this notebook has. Solid State Drive, one of the trustable hard disk drive at present, and we can trust on it with its quality and performance. Solid State Drive does not have any internal movable part so that there is a very less probability of disk crash. Storage capacity is not so good but considering this notebook it is acceptable. We can have external storage media like USB disk drive to keep higher data while travelling.
            *****
            This notebook have more portable features so that there is very less configuration we can have but I wants to discuss some important features also, like it has interesting 1.3 Mega pixel Webcam for chatting while travelling....keep contact with your friends while travelling also. It also support wireless networking and LAN card so need not to worry for connectivity features because the purpose of this notebook is for internet use. Notebook also supports high definition audio so that u can enjoy your music while travelling and it can provide excellent high quality sound.
            *****
            Over all it is a good ultra portable notebook for your travelling purpose. Have this and enjoy your life with full colors.

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            • More +
              29.08.2008 14:41
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              A good laptop if you require the smallest of small

              One of the smallest laptops avaliable although these days the price is not so small!

              Battery.
              I managed to get on average around 8 hours out of my battery although the laptop wasnt working very hard! Im sure you could get more out of it.

              Keyboard.
              The keys are very responsive but feel very clicky if you get what i mean meaning its hard to type long documents with it! The keyboard is nowhere near full size so that also makes typinga nightmare!

              Screen
              The screen is a tiny 8.9 inches meaning it wont be any good for viewing movies or even videos. Infact you will struggl eto type a good length document on it!
              Overall.
              If your looking for a laptop for basic tasks this Asus should fit the bill. If you istall windows on this laptop it still runs pretty fast so I would do that if you were to purchase one!

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          • Product Details

            The Eee PC 900 offers you more options for your mobile computing needs. Incorporating a shockproof design and weighing less than 1kg, you will find it "easy to learn, work and play" - making it your best outdoor companion anywhere, anytime. What's more, it features a 8.9 inch widescreen, a 1.3M pixels webcam.