Asus Eee PC 901 review: Asus Eee PC 901

The SD card slot offers a good opportunity to boost the hard-drive space, letting you pop in your own flash memory, adding to the built-in 12GB (4GB is on the motherboard, and there's an 8GB SSD chip under a user accessible panel on the bottom of the system. That's still not a lot of space for files and applications (and less than the 20GB that the otherwise identical Linux version supplies--your bounty for skipping the cost of an XP license).

The Eee PC 901 is the first laptop we've gotten our hands on with Intel's new Atom processor, specifically designed for small, low-power Netbook-style devices such as this (we've since reviewed the MSI Wind U100 and updated the performance charts here). The single-core Intel Atom processor performed about as expected, coming in well behind a Core 2 Duo system in the form of the Dell Inspiron 1525 and ahead of the single-core Celeron Eee PC 701 and HP's VIA-powered 2133 Mini-Note. We also saw much improved battery scores, and low power consumption is one of the main selling points for Atom-powered products. Intel is already purportedly working on a new generation of dual-core Atom chips that may improve performance while multitasking.

The Asus Eee PC 901 ran for 5 hours and 15 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, which is one of the best battery life scores we've seen for a laptop in any category. That's thanks in large part to the Eee's energy-efficient design, using the new Intel Atom CPU and a solid-state hard drive. The system will also automatically underclock the CPU while running on battery power (although you can force it to run in high-performance mode through a system tray application).

Asus covers its laptops with a standard, one-year parts-and-labor warranty, and it offers online Web-based help and a toll-free phone number. The company's support Web site includes the expected driver downloads and a brief FAQ, but lacks useful features such as user forums or the chance to chat in real time with a technician.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Eee PC 901
MSI Wind U100

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Eee PC 901

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

Asus Eee PC 901
Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; 12GB Phison Solid-State Drive.

Asus Eee PC 900
Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 900MHz Intel Celeron Ultra Low Voltage M353; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel 915GMS Express; 12GB Phison Solid-State Drive.

Asus Eee PC 701
Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 900MHz Intel Celeron Ultra Low Voltage M353; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 915GMS Express; 4GB SiliconMotion SM223A Solid-State Drive.

HP 2133 Mini-Note
Windows Vista Business Edition; 1.6GHz VIA C7-M Ultra Low Voltage; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; --MB VIA/SG3 UniChrome Pro II IGP; 120GB Seagate 7,200rpm.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Asus Eee PC 901 (black)

Part Number: 90OA0BA71111111U201Q Released: Jul 11, 2008

MSRP: $279.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jul 11, 2008
  • Resolution 1024 x 600 ( WSVGA )
  • Installed Size 1 GB
  • Color fine ebony
  • Weight 2.4 lbs
  • CPU Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz