TheTechReport Review: Asus' Eee PC 901 netbook

The Tech Report: "If you hang around these parts at all, you're surely familiar by now with Asus' little Eee PC laptops. These miniature, low-priced laptops were initially inspired by the One Laptop Per Child effort aimed at providing laptops to kids in developing nations, but the Eee PC has become something of a minor phenomenon in more traditional PC markets. They're portable, cute, simple to use, will let you access the 'net on the go, and are cheap enough to be an impulse buy. The Eee PC was an instant success for Asus, and the firm has responded by rallying around the concept with a whole line of Eee PC products.

The original Eee PC required some compromises in overall utility in order to meet its price point, but newer models have brought more functionality in exchange for somewhat higher prices. In many ways, the 901 is the quintessential second-generation Eee PC, a direct extension of the concept that does away with many of the original's shortcomings. With an 8.9" screen that's full "web width" resolution, an Intel Atom processor, and a rated battery life of nearly eight hours, the 901 is a much more capable basic computer. In fact, Asus didn't stop there. Thanks to a rich complement of extras like Bluetooth, a multi-touch-capable touchpad, and Windows XP, the 901 forges deep into ultraportable territory traditionally occupied by the likes of the pricey Sony T series. Yet the Eee PC 901 still sells for only $599.

Is there a catch? Sort of, but the tradeoffs aren't as bad as you might think. I've spent a few weeks acquainting myself with this system, and I'm generally impressed. Read on for my take on life with the Eee PC 901."

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