Asus EEE-PC 900 completely misses the point
Last week I was contacted by the PR company who deal with Asus, telling me they had a few review models available if I wanted to have one on loan. I had to politely decline due to time constraints but enquired about purchasing one when they're available. Today someone contacted me offering a 'special press price' for the machine and I was shocked.
What made the Asus EEE-PC 701 a success
Asus sold lots of these tiny, Linux powered machines. They weren't powerful but they were quite stylish, but above all else they were cheap. We're talking £180 when laptops cost £290+. Comparisons with full featured laptops could be blown out of the water on both sizing and cost - after all you wouldn't compare a Ferrari to a Ford would you?
The new model is set to retail at around £330
I wasn't expecting a price tag so high. I don't think anyone was. After all the machine hasn't advanced much; the screen has increased from 7" to 8.9", the SSD drive is now 12gb (with XP) or 20gb (with Linux) and memory has doubled (to 1gb). The CPU is still the same, 900mhz Intel chip. Sure the native resolution has risen from a tiny 840x480 to a more respectable 1024x600, but whatever they've done they've shifted the EEE-PC's price into an awkward range.
£330 is budget laptop territory; they're better than this
Suddenly because the price has been ramped up the EEE-PC only has one song in it's repertoire - it's tiny size (the one thing that caused me the most problems with the 701). It may be tiny enough to fit in your coat pocket but it does cramp up your hands after a while unless you've got your robe of Dexterity(+20) on.
All you need to do is look around the entry level laptop market and you realise that the EEE-PC might be too expensive. I found an HP laptop with a standard 15.4" screen, 1gb of memory, 120gb hard drive and integrated DVDRW drive with a 1.6ghz CPU for only £270. There are several machines on the market of a similar spec for a similar price - all less than the EEE-PC 900.
Suddenly all Asus' little machine has left is it's size. You know, I don't think they're going to fly off shelves like the 701 did; anyone who wants truly mobile computing will save themselves £100 and buy the original EEE-PC, anything else and you might as well buy an entry level laptop. I think Asus have missed the point massively this time...
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