The latest in Asus’s ever-expanding line of Eee netbooks is a welcome addition to the fold, and much more to our liking than the 901 model we reviewed in December.
Eschewing the previous model’s unremarkable white plastic exterior for a brushed aluminum shell is a smart move on Asus’s part. This changed aesthetic adds legitimacy to the product: The 901’s finish made the device feel disposable, while the 1002HA feels like a real computer.
More importantly, the 1002HA Asus sent us forgoes the pair of low-performance, ultra-low-capacity solid-state drives that bumped up the Eee 901’s price while wreaking havoc with its Photoshop performance (owing to the poor write speeds of cheap MLC SSDs). Instead of SSDs, the 1002HA sports a much more generous 5400rpm 160GB standard hard drive. And it really pays off: The 1002HA breezed through out Photoshop benchmark in just 690 seconds—40 seconds faster than the Acer Aspire One, our prev-ious champion, and less than half the 1,530 seconds the Eee 901 took to accomplish the same task.
Asus’s P6T Deluxe isn’t the most over-the-top Core i7 board we’ve tested, but it certainly has a leg up on Intel’s bare-bones DX58SO. For one thing, it finally brings us graphics reunification by supporting both two-card SLI and CrossFire X configurations.
And instead of the gimpy four-slot DIMM setup of Intel’s DX58SO, the P6T Deluxe features six DDR3 DIMM slots. The board, of course, supports all Core i7 CPUs. Since Intel is the sole chipset provider for X58 and the memory controller is in the CPU itself, most performance differences will be the result of BIOS tweaks each manufacturer implements. We found Asus’s BIOS to be far friendlier than the Intel board’s, which at first glance seems designed for engineers. Truth be told, though, the Asus BIOS can be just as daunting if you tread into the Advanced section.
AMD, still in heavy competition with Nvidia, has been looking for ways to gain ground on the graphics giant for some time. Now, it looks like they’re taking the fight to the mobile front with the announcement of their Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series.
The Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series is based off of the RV770 architecture. It will feature up to 800 stream processors, support for GDDR5 and GDDR3 memory, a 256-bit memory interface and CrossFire support (with the choice of switching back and forth between discrete and integrated GPUs without restarting).
Notebooks from Asus and MSI will reportedly be offering the chipset as soon as March.
Asus is here in full force at CES, showing off their vast selection of netbooks and notebooks. We darted straight to the systems that featured the most updates to existing lineups, including the 1000HE, S121, and 101H tablet. We also got our hands on Asus's newly announced W90Vp gigantic gaming laptop. 18.4 inches comes close to Dell and HP's record of 20.1 inches in their previous lap crushers, and is still too unwieldy, in our opinion. Still, we admire the effort and can't help but be awed by the alleged 15000+ 3DMark 2006 score in this "portable" beast.
News site Engadget has posted a pic it claims was sent to Engadget Chinese talking about the high level of interest Asus is receiving at CES. But what makes the pic particularly mysterious is that it shows an as-yet unnanounced Eee D200 PC in what the news site surmises is a booth not open to the public.
Despite the intrigue surrounding the new box, a spec sheet visible in the pic reveals most of the details. The D200 appears to come configured with Intel's Atom N270 processor, 2GB of DDR2-533 RAM, 512MB Flash ROM, two 3.5-inch SATA II hard drives for up to 2TB of storage space in a RAID 0, 1, or JBOD array, 802.11n, and the typical assortment of ports.
Also shown on the sleek D200 is a 3.5-inch LCD touch panel. Combined with the vast amount of storage options and 802.11n, could this be a media server? We don't know, but you can bet we'll post an update just as soon as we find out.
Whether talking about pint-sized netbooks or full-blown desktop replacements, mobile computing continues to gain steam, spurring innovative concepts like Asus' new G90 prototype. A 4.7-inch LCD touchpad adorns the G90's chassis just below the keyboard, but it runs separately from the main system via Nvidia's Tegra APX.
The Tegra "system-on-a-chip" architecture combines an ARM11 core with support for HD video decoding, 3D acceleration, an image processor for webcams, and a display output. To ensure longevity, the separate PC within a PC taps into the same power sources as the notebook's main internal components. By doing so, Asus says end users can browse through their video library on the touchpad and load up a marathon of flicks to be played on the main display for up to 12 hours, and all without the help of the Atom processor, RAM, or any other main components.
Catch a video of the G90 prototype in action here, and as always, post your reactions below.
Confused by all the Eee PC models there are to choose from? Get ready for yet another iteration of Asus' tiny mobile PC, only these are unlike any previous Eee PCs you've ever seen before.
Adding to its lineup, Asus is busy showing off a pair of Tablet PCs, the Eee PC T91 and the Eee PC T101H. The former comes with a smaller 8.9-inch LED backlit touchscreen display, whereas the latter model jumps to a 10.1-inch screen.
Both models sport a combination of Windows XP Home with SP3 and a customized Asus interface for touchscreen functionality. From a hardware standpoint, Asus isn't saying a whole lot, save for indicating the smaller T91 Tablet will use Intel's Atom Z520 processor and can be configured with both a GPS and TV tuner.
And so it has begun. CES is the time for companies to show off future products, and that's exactly what Asus is doing with its prototype keyboard PC the company is calling the Eee Keyboard.
A fully functional computer sits inside the QWERTY keyboard, and several ports run along the top edge, including two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, and audio in/out ports. The sub 2-pound keyboard also sports an integrated microphone and speakers, and comes equipped with WiFi capability and support for Ultra-wideband wireless HDMI.
The laundry list of features doesn't stop there. On the side of the keyboard, Asus has installed a mini touchscreen. SlashGear spent some hands on time with the prototype and says the main menu grants access to the calendar, photo gallery, media player, and an internet browser, in addition to other usability apps.
Not all prototypes shown at CES ever make it to market, but this is one we wouldn't mind seeing on retail shelves.
Asus’s Eee PC kick-started the netbook craze and remains the brand most associated with the category. Early iterations were praised for their low-cost Linux-based architecture, but lately Asus has ratcheted up its product line to compete with higher-end netbooks, like the HP Mini-Note 2133 (http://tinyurl.com/5lu4un). The 901 runs on Intel’s Atom architecture at 1.6GHz and has 1GB of DDR2 RAM clocked at 533MHz.
At what point does Asus push its S100 series Eee PC out of the netbook nest and into the land of laptops? Probably never, but if the company's Eee PCs grow any larger than the newly spied S121, it might be difficult to consider it a true netbook, even if it does sport an Atom processor inside.
Pictures of the yet-to-be announced S121 have emerged on the web, and according to EeePCNews.de, the new model will check in at 12.1 inches. That's almost two inches larger than the 10.2-inch Eee PC S101. Other details on how the new model will differ from it's predecessor are not yet known, nor is any pricing or availability information. But it's not a total wash; there are plenty of pictures to ogle at, and we'd wager our Voodoo 5 6000 graphics card (if we had one) that it will come with an Intel Atom N270 processor.