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First Look: The Faster Asus Eee PC

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 - Get Report) 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 - Get Report) someday.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.
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