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Nine-inch Asus Eee PC lands in the Lab--barely bigger than its 7-inch cousin

The Eee PC 900 will be available in the U.S. starting May 12.

The 7- and 9-inch models.

The postman brought us a late-afternoon present on this rainy (here in NYC, at least) Friday--the much-anticipated new 9-inch version of the Asus Eee PC netbook-style laptop.

At first glance, it's easy to mistake this for the popular 7-inch version, as the two share a nearly identical footprint. The 9-inch is bigger by maybe a quarter inch, and weighs 2.2 pounds, compared to the original's 2.04 pounds. Opening it up, you can see the display now fills more of the available space, moving the speakers away from the side of the screen.

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Eee PC 900 will be available in the U.S. starting May 12 for $549 in both Linux and Windows XP versions. We got the Windows version, which has 12GB of solid state hard drive space (as opposed to 20GB for the Linux version).

We're currently running the 9-inch Eee PC through its paces and will report back with a full review early next week.