Asus Shows off Atom-based Eee PC

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Asustek Computer on Monday offered a preview of the Eee PC 901, the next version of its popular ultraportable laptop that is based on Intel's upcoming Atom processor.

The Eee PC 901 was on display at the WiMax Expo, which is being held alongside Taipei's annual Computex exhibition. The laptop is expected to be launched on Tuesday, when Intel announces the availability of the Diamondville version of its Atom processor.

Based on a 1.6GHz Atom processor, the Eee PC 901 has an 8-9-inch screen, 1G byte of memory, a memory-card slot, and will be available with either Windows XP or Linux. The Linux version of the laptop comes with a 20G-byte solid-state drive (SSD), while the Windows version will ship with a 12G-byte SSD.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will standard features of the 901, and a WiMax version is planned as well. Black and white versions of the 1.14 kilogram laptop were on display, which has a battery life of four to six hours, Asustek said. Pricing was not disclosed.

Usually, hardware makers keep systems based on unreleased processors under wraps until Intel makes releases the chips, but this year has been different. A flood of pictures have leaked ahead of tomorrow's announcement showing laptops based on the chips, including pictures of the Eee PC 901, which first appeared on a French blog.

Computex starts on Tuesday.

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