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Asus EEE acquires iPod-esque status as MSI plans rival

The new EEE PC 900 launched in the early hours of this morning in Hong Kong and according to sources there, the successor to the EEE PC 701 has already sold out.

People were queuing up before the first store opened and more than 1000 laptops were sold within a few hours according to Jose Liao, a product manager at Asustek during a news conference in Taipei (opens in new tab) and reported by PC World.

A similar stampede occurred online when the PC 900 went on sale at several e-tailers; which means that Asus will probably sell far more than the one million EEE laptops it flogged till now.

Unsurprisingly, a few EEE 900 laptops have appeared on Ebay where they are sold for a hefty premium.

The EEE PC 900 is an improved version of the original Asus EEE laptop (whose review you can read here); the laptop comes with a larger 9.9-inch screen, a 1.3-megapixel camera, 1GB memory and either a 12GB SSD with Windows XP Home or a 20GB SSD with Linux OS, for the same price.

Asus also released the first EEE add on card, a HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) which will allows the laptop to connect to 3G networks around the world.
In related news, Asus has announced that it will launch a new version of the EEE PC in June with the Intel Atom microprocessor inside; this will mean that a lower power dissipation as well as (hopefully) improved battery life.

There are also rumours that this version will come with a 10-inch screen (although this could increase the actual price of the laptop substantially).

The Atom processor is currently said to be powering 25 different laptops and if AMD and VIA still continue to remain discrete, Intel could soon find itself owning the fastest growing microprocessor segment in the market.

MSI is the latest entrant in the cheap sub-laptop field with the Wind which is a 2-pound laptop with a 8.9-inch monitor capable of displaying 1024x600 pixels.

The Wind will also come with a 80GB traditional spinning hard drive and will costs as little as £240.

Expect many, many other entrants to launch products just before and during Taiwan's Computex.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.