Hard on the heels of the Eee PC 900 comes the 901, now sporting a shiny new Intel Atom processor

At first glance, there’s little to separate the latest 901 version of the Asus mini-laptop from the 900 model that was released less than two months ago. So now the casework is subtly restyled, giving gentler rounded corners, and the finish is glossier, where the previous model was satin. But the important difference lies in Asus’ choice of processor. Out goes the 900MHz Celeron, and in comes 1.6GHz of brand new Intel Atom.

Lifting the lid, we have the same 8.9in screen, a useful step up from the 7in of the original Eee PC 701, allowing the display to fill out the lid space more naturally.

Like the 900 its brightness and contrast are rather limited and there’s still a sparkly patina which further obscures fine resolution.

Looking around the chassis, we have the same array of ports and sockets - ethernet, USB, audio in and out jacks on the left side; VGA monitor out, two USB and multi-format card reader on the right. The only change here is the DC power socket which has moved from the rear position to the right side.

We did find the trackpad a little easier to use now. While the actual trackpad is still lacking in correct pinpoint precision, requiring some care to resize windows, for example, the click buttons are now much softer, improving the general feel here.

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