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Laptops

Photos: Asus Eee PC 900 vs Eee PC 701

Gather round, chums. We're the first people in the UK -- possibly even the world -- to have unfettered access to a final retail sample of the Asus Eee PC 900

Gather round, chums. We're the first people in the UK -- possibly even the world -- to have unfettered access to a final retail sample of the Asus Eee PC 900. To answer your questions: yes, the new 8.9-inch screen is amazing. Yes, it does support multi-touch, and yes, it is better than the old model. No, of course it won't play Crysis, you dolt.

We've taken a bunch of photos so you can see how the 900 compares with the 701. We think you'll agree that by moving the speakers to the underside of the laptop and fitting a larger display, Asus has vastly improved the looks. After staring at it for a while, we discovered that the machine is also slightly larger than its predecessor -- 170mm versus 164mm deep. It also clocks in at just over 1kg, which is about 100g heavier than before.

Specs-wise, there are a couple of minor changes. It still uses a 900MHz Celeron M CPU, but that's now paired with 1GB of DDR 400 RAM instead of 512MB. It also has a shedload more storage -- 20GB in the Linux version and 12GB in the Windows XP version. You make an 8GB sacrifice due to the cost of the Microsoft Windows user license. Both versions will set you back £329 when it's released on 1 May, but you can pre-order now from a variety of retailers online.

You can learn all the ins and outs by reading our full Asus Eee PC 900 review -- and then discuss it in our forums -- but we recommend you warm yourself up by looking at these saucy pics first. -Rory Reid

The Eee PC 900 is a smidgeon bigger than its predecessor, but this is only noticeable if you've got the two side by side. It's also 100g heavier -- great news for body-building gnats.

The bezel surrounding the display on the Eee PC 701 was also home to a set of stereo speakers. On the 900, these have been removed and placed on the underside of the chassis.

The mouse trackpad on the Eee PC 900 is not only larger, it's also enabled with multi-touch. This means you can scroll vertically or horizontally by using a two-finger stroking gesture, or zoom in and out with iPhone-esque pinching and stretching gestures.

It's worth noting that the Eee PC 900 doesn't topple backwards as easily as the 701. The 900 is more evenly balanced, so when you tilt the screen away from you it won't fall over -- at least not as readily as its tipsy predecessor.