A little more than a year ago, Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asus stunned the industry -- and the buying public -- by announcing a tiny laptop at a very affordable price. The company called its little laptop the Eee PC.

To say it was a huge success would be an understatement. It instantly became a huge best seller all over the world. It also became the linchpin for the computer industry's move toward smaller, lighter, portable computers.

The first Eees had a 7-inch screen, Intel ( INTC) processor, varying amounts of solid-state, flash memory storage and ran on the Linux OS and sold for around $300 (if you could find them in stock). Newer models were loaded with Windows XP. Models after that sported nine-inch screens (Windows and Linux). You get the idea. Eees started becoming very capable computers.

The Greatest of Eees

Now, there's a new, bigger Eee to contend with. Enter the Eee PC 1000. As you might be able to figure out on your own, the 1000 comes with a 10-inch display. There's a lot more to it than that, though.

The Eee 1000 comes in two major configurations: the model 1000 which is loaded with GNU Linux and has 40GB of flash memory and the model 1000H with Windows XP (Service Pack 3) and an 80GB hard drive. The new Eee comes loaded with Microsoft ( MSFT) Works and Star Office 8 and lots more software.

There are two more major improvements on the 1000s -- a full sized QWERTY keyboard (the original keyboards were a lot smaller) and a huge new battery. Asus claims the new six-cell battery pack is said to be good for up to seven hours for Windows version, and a little longer (7.5 hours) for Linux users per charge.

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