The time lag between reviews like this and the product being available is, it seems, increasing. I've been looking out for an acceptable cheap notebook for months and everytime I think I've found one there's an announcement that makes me hold off. I decided the original EEE pc 701 keyboard was too small. As of today it's just not not possible to buy an EEE pc with a decent keyboard NOW, TODAY. It's delay, delay, delay.I'll probably end up buying something else. But rubbishing the 904 is wrong. If it was available TODAY I would buy it. But it's not available, so I'll wait. While I'm waiting something better will be announced and I'll wait a bit longer. I'll get tired of it in the end, and as soon as I buy something a serious vendor will announce a better product with immediate availability.sigh
Asus Eee PC 904
Well, this is it – the last Eee PC-branded ultra-portable that Asus will be launching. Well, for the time being, at least. As with the Eee PC 1000, the Eee PC 904 isn’t really anything new – it’s just a repackaging of existing components intended to fill what Asus perceives as a gap in its line-up.
We’re less convinced of the need for what is essentially an Eee PC 900 in an Eee PC 1000 shell (which is itself just a scaled-up Eee PC 901), but that’s only because better netbooks than this are available from other manufacturers – and Asus is hardly likely to worry about that.
The Eee PC 904 uses the same case as the Eee PC 1000, but the similarities are only skin-deep (you can watch our video comparison here). Inside, the 904 uses the same Intel Celeron-M chip as the Eee PC 900 rather than an Atom N270 processor, but this makes little difference to performance. In fact the 904 is rather faster than the 901 and a little quicker than the 1000, but we suspect these figures are due to the 904’s 80Gb hard disk being rather quicker at delivering data than the SSDs in the other two netbooks.
Unfortunately, that processor and hard drive do have an adverse effect on battery life and even with its 6600mAh cell, the Eee PC 904 can only manage four hours of light use. Now this isn’t bad per se, but it really doesn’t justify the extra weight that the battery adds – after all, the smaller, lighter Eee PC 900 only ran for 45 minutes less in the same test (and with a lower capacity battery, too); the marginally more expensive Eee PC 901 lasted for eight hours.
Still, the main reason for buying the Eee PC 904 is to get a bigger keyboard than that on the 900 and 904, and in this respect it doesn’t disappoint. The keyboard is the same as that on the Eee PC 1000, but we reviewed a pre-production version of that netbook and so couldn’t pass final judgement. Happily, the production keyboard on the 904 more than passes muster. There’s a little bit of flex at either end, but it’s certainly comparable to the keyboards on the MSI Wind U100 and Advent 4211 and is very comfortable to use. Oh and it has a full-size Enter key too, though the right-hand Shift key is still half the size it should be.
Despite having the same chassis and keyboard as the Eee PC 1000, the 904 doesn’t have the same screen – instead, it uses the same 8.9in display as the Eee PC 900 and 901. Part of this is to keep the cost down, but we suspect its presence is more to do with Asus wanting to clearly distinguish the 904 from the 1000. The screen is just as crisp and clear as that on those other models, but the wide bezel that surrounds it makes it look like a poor fit – a bit like the 7in screen on the original Eee PC 701, in fact.
With a suggested retail price of £269 with Windows XP installed, the Eee PC 904 is the one of the cheapest netbooks in Asus’ current line-up and only the novel 701 costs less. If you’re sold on an Eee PC of some description, then the low price and big keyboard are certainly an attraction, but the middling battery life does little to justify the extra bulk. If you don’t mind paying an extra £80 then the Eee PC 1000 makes far more sense and if you do – and don’t mind a small battery – then the Advent 4211 is still a better deal
© Dennis Publishing
The 1000 isn't available either.So all this sneak preview stuff here is a complete waste of time. This site would be a lot more useful if it simply refused to review products that were not available. Please consider it. PC Magazine at one point had a policy of not reviewing products that were not generally available.
How the heck is there such a performance difference between the 900 and the 904 if they are both using the Celeron? Is it clocked higher in the 904? What I really don't get is how the 904's multi-app performance is better than single app, when the 900 absolutely dies in multi app, when they are both supposedly using the same single core celeron. Something's fishy with this review.
Editor - Julian Prokaza
As mentioned in the review, the difference in performance is due to a) the use of a hard disk in the 904 (SSD in the 900) and b) the fact (which we didn't mention) that the Windows XP 900 has no swap file by default.
Editor - Julian Prokaza
Reviewing products *after* they go on sale wouldn't really make for news, now would it? In any case, the Eee PC 1000 is [url=http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146027]available now[/url], the 904 will be on sale in a few weeks.
Asus have their own website with literally over 10 designs to choose from. asus eee pc skins comes with a front and back vinyl and is only $13. You can have your name put on it for $6 more. Sorry Amazon…but this time there is a better alternative.
I was only in a hunt of a laptop having a really long battery backup and ASUS EEE PC 1000 had given me all that for what i m looking for.
Asus eee pc has many advanced feature with high battery backup.it is of low price and having big keyboard.
#FAIL SSD is faster that sata drives & IDE so i dont understand