By Wahid Polin
February 3, 2009 05:00 AM
Asustek on Monday introduced an Eee PC netbook that the company claims offers a faster Intel Atom processor with the ability to run 9.5 hours on a single battery charge.
Asustek is taking preorders for the 1000HE through its Facebook site, which requires a membership to the social network to access. People who order through Asustek's group get $25 off the system's manufacturer suggested retail price of $400. The computer maker didn't say when the system would ship.
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According to Asustek's promo site, the 1000HE is powered by an Intel Atom N280, which has slightly better performance than the previous N270 chip. In addition, the chip consumes a maximum of 2.5 watts, which contributes to the longer battery along with an LED backlit LCD screen.
The system has a keyboard that's 92% the size of a standard keyboard and sports a 10-inch display. The machine weighs 3.2 pounds and ships with Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi support. The 1000HE also comes with a 160-GB hard disk drive and 10 GB of online storage at no additional charge.
The new mini-laptop includes Asus' Super Hybrid Engine, which allows people to control the CPU to lower performance to conserve power. To achieve 9.5 hours of battery life, the user would likely have to lower CPU performance, dim the screen, and turn off the system's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and camera, according to the gadget blog Gizmodo.
Asustek launched the netbook category with the release of its first Eee PC in the fall of 2007. Since then, every major computer maker, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo, has begun offering competing products.
Netbooks are the fastest-selling segment of the PC market. Shipments of the lightweight, ultraportables are expected to quadruple to 139 million units in 2013 from 35 million this year, according to ABI Research. The mini-laptops typically have screens of 10 inches or smaller, run either Windows or Linux, and cost less than $500. Many machines cost as little as $300.