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First Look: The Faster Asus Eee PC

Stocks in this article: INTC MSFT AAPL

The new Eee PC itself is quite wonderful as well. The package includes a 160GB internal hard drive, 10GB of file-encrypted Eee Online Storage, 1GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, an easy-to-see 10-inch screen and an easy-to-use "Chiclets"-style keyboard. It runs on Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows XP operating system

The rechargeable battery back deserves a separate mention. This newly designed battery -- along with the special Eee "Super Hybrid Engine" processor-controlling, power-saving software -- is reportedly capable of providing up to a whopping 9.5 hours of battery between charges. I'm told that those numbers are real, although I've found that in real life situations you usually get 20%-30% less than the stated amount. That still means the battery should last 6.5 to 8 hours or so.

Asus is currently accepting pre-orders for the 1000HE. Whether you want it in Fine Ebony Black or in a nice-looking blue, the new, faster Eee retails for $399. But, for a limited time, an additional $25 instant rebate will bring the price down to $374 for pre-orders.

I'll play with the new Eee a while longer and let you know what I find. But for now, I'm impressed with the new processor's speed and what it promises for future Netbooks. Maybe we'll see one from Apple (AAPL) someday.

Gary Krakow is's senior technology correspondent.
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