the Atomic EEE

There are a number of products that seek to compare with the EEE, including the Everex Cloudbook and the new HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. Unfortunately, these all try to improve on the EEE by offering more hard drive space, larger screens, larger keyboards, etc. That is unfortunate, because then in order to compete on price they invariably use the Via processor instead of the baby Celeron that the EEE uses. The Via comes in a higher clock rate than the Celeron (in the EEE, its downclocked to 600 MHz, though you can get it to run at its native 900 using a BIOS upgrade). However, it’s performance just doesn’t keep pace. Plus, these competitor products have to use 4200 rpm hard drives due to the small form factor (they are too small for standard 2.5 inch notebook drives) and so they really suffer performance wise, especially compared to the solid-state disk of the EEE. Ultimately, the only true competitors to the EEE (on price and performance) will appear when Intel officially launches its new Atom processor in June, which is a truly state-of-the-art chip designed for mobility.

I find it surprising therefore that Asus is rolling out its successor to the EEE later this month, without the Atom processor. They moved up the release date purely as a response to all these Via-based units being rolled out. This is a mistake in my opinion. If you are in the market for a new EEE or similar device, my advice is to either buy the original version (which can be had with Windows XP preinstalled now) or wait until June for the upgraded model.