Laptops

Asus Introduces Eee PC With 9.5-hour Battery Life

Online stores are taking advance orders for Asus' new Eee PC 1000HE netbook, which offers up to 9.5 hours of battery life and features Intel's latest mobile processor.

The laptop includes a six-cell "Super Hybrid Engine" battery pack. Depending on usage, the battery pack offers a choice of adjustable performance and power consumption modes, according to Amazon.com, which is taking preorders for the netbook.

The laptop uses the Intel Atom N280 processor, which draws about 2.5 watts of power, according to Amazon. Intel hasn't officially announced or talked about the processor yet.

Batteries in netbooks now on the market can run for up to 4 hours depending on display and wireless usage, said Richard Shim, research manager at IDC. The claim of 9.5 hours on the 1000HE Eee PC blows away past claims of netbook battery life, Shim said.

"I'd have to see this thing to believe it," Shim said.

The extended battery life could help stimulate netbook demand, said David Daoud, research manager at IDC.

Weighing 3.2 pounds (1.45 kilograms) with the battery pack, the netbook includes a 10-inch screen, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It also includes 802.11 b/g/n capabilities and Bluetooth wireless networking capabilities.

The laptop uses Windows XP and users get 10GB of free online storage. Retail sites didn't list the availability of the netbook with Linux.

The netbook is priced at $399 on Asus' Web site, but was offered by Amazon.com for $374. Asus officials could not be reached immediately for exact shipping dates.

The low-cost laptop industry took off when Asus introduced the Eee PC in 2007. The netbook is the poster child of an laptop category that now includes offerings from top vendors including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Shipments of netbooks totaled 10 million in 2008 and will likely double this year, IDC said in a study.

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