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ASUS confirms 7", 8" and 8.9" Eee PC; desktop variant on the way.

ASUS has accomplished quite a lot in a short amount of time with its Eee PC sub-notebook. ASUS, which isn't exactly a household name outside of the tech community, managed to add a dash of spice to an otherwise slightly boring 2H 2007 with its hot seller.

Consumers have definitely won as they were introduced to a low-cost computer and many were introduced for the first time to a Linux-based operating system. Part of the reason why ASUS can offer the Eee PC at such a low price is the use of relatively outdated components like a 90nm 900MHz Celeron M processor and i910 chipset, meager amounts of NAND flash memory for storage and off-the-shelf DDR2 SODIMM modules.

There's also another major reason for the ASUS Eee PC's low starting price of $299: the use of Linux instead of Windows XP or Windows Vista.

As you can imagine, Microsoft isn't all that happy about letting an estimated 5 million notebooks by year's end leave ASUS's factories with nary a sign of Windows onboard -- the boys in Redmond are having none of that and are now working closely with ASUS to provide a cut-down version of Windows XP at a discounted price.

Microsoft's cooperation with ASUS should yield a trimmer version of Windows XP just in time for the second generation Eee PC. ASUS confirmed to DailyTech that the second generation Eee PC will come in three screen sizes: 7", 8" and 8.9". The latter, as reported previously by DailyTech, will feature a screen resolution of 1024x600.

Why ASUS would launch the Eee PC with three different screen sizes remains a mystery to me. The screen has been one of the most complained about features of the original Eee PC -- the 800x480 screen resolution just doesn't cut it for many. ASUS should just make the 8.9" 1024x600 screen standard across the board and simplify the lineup.

ASUS plans to launch the second generation Eee PC along with Windows XP versions in March of 2008. The company will also launch multiple SKUs of the first generation (and second generation) Eee PC with Sprint-backed WiMAX. Finally, ASUS is planning to release a desktop-based Eee PC, but the company remained tight-lipped about those plans.

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A desktop variant?
By Vanilla Thunder on 1/8/2008 4:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
You've got to be kidding me? So now ASUS plans on introducing a desktop based on this setup? What will that be? A Pentium netburst, 256MB of DDR, and a 4 gig SSD? Gimme a break. You could just go out and buy an eMachine from 2001. I don't see the market for it.


RE: A desktop variant?
By masher2 on 1/8/2008 4:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
> "You could just go out and buy an eMachine from 2001."

Which, of course, ignores the massive difference in size and portability between the two.

> "I don't see the market for it."

Given Asus is selling several hundred thousand of these units already, I think there's no question that market exists.

RE: A desktop variant?
By Vanilla Thunder on 1/8/2008 4:44:56 PM , Rating: 3
Given Asus is selling several hundred thousand of these units already, I think there's no question that market exists.

Read the post again Masher. I'm talking about the desktop variant that ASUS is planning on releasing. Please show me where they have sold "several hundred thousand of these units already."

Which, of course, ignores the massive difference in size and portability between the two.

And you also have photos or a spec sheet for this EEEPC desktop? I thought once it was portable, it was no longer a desktop. Stop trolling and read the post.


RE: A desktop variant?
By Oregonian2 on 1/8/2008 5:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Desktop one might be good. Finally a PC that is small and cheap enough be in the kitchen and not take up much space next to the phone that's there. One that we could have our recipe program running on. Radical. Something that's supposed to be happening for the last twenty years in theory but isn't really practical in real life.

I think we're making different assumptions. I'd assume a desktop version would be the same unit minus the batteries with a cord added.

RE: A desktop variant?
By Vanilla Thunder on 1/8/2008 5:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'd assume a desktop version would be the same unit minus the batteries with a cord added.

And what would be revolutionary about that? How is that any different than buying an inexpensive laptop and leaving it plugged in next to your phone in the kitchen?


RE: A desktop variant?
By masher2 on 1/9/2008 4:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "And what would be revolutionary about that? "

Who said it has to be revolutionary? Most advances are evolutionary in nature, not revolutionary.

> "How is that any different than buying an inexpensive laptop"

I assume Asus intends on compete on price. They're not making anything you can't already buy...if you're willing to pay enough for it.

RE: A desktop variant?
By Vanilla Thunder on 1/14/2008 2:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
Way to find something to nit-pick on since you were completely wrong in your reply to my original post. Yet another example of you trolling. You add nothing to the discussion here, you simply try to stir the pot for no good reason. No one said it's revolutionary, but if you're looking for a computer to throw in the kitchen with some recipes on it, I see no need for this machine. It doesn't need to be portable, and it's going to be plugged in. So why the EEE? There are many machines that would handle this task, plus many more, far more efficiently than the EEE. How are you competing on price when you can spend less on something that does more? Flawed logic.


RE: A desktop variant?
By animedude on 1/9/2008 1:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Asus sells EEEPC desktop version?

RE: A desktop variant?
By Segerstein on 1/9/2008 6:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
It would be Asus version of Mac Mini, not a big and upgradable box. There is market for that, since people sometimes need just small & quiet boxes.

Living room, here we come ;)

RE: A desktop variant?
By RamarC on 1/30/2008 3:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
VT. do you realize that an EEEPC could fit quite comfortably in the footprint of regular-sized keyboard. just plug a monitor and mouse into and it's good to go. that's the desktop version which is still "portable".

RE: A desktop variant?
By mmntech on 1/8/2008 9:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not everybody wants or can afford a gaming rig with the latest Core 2 Duo, top end graphics, and 1tb of HDD space. It's pretty much necessary to own a computer these days and Ausu has noted they want to get into untapped markets in the US. I think we might be looking at something along the lines of the MacMini (in terms of size) and likely a 40gb mechanical HDD since they're cheap enough.

RE: A desktop variant?
By Vanilla Thunder on 1/9/2008 10:54:25 AM , Rating: 1
You act like you can't go out and get a desktop for under $300 at a B&M store. I wouldn't consider bargain desktops an "untapped market". They're pretty widespread.


Why not Vista?
By othercents on 1/8/2008 2:36:26 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see why Microsoft is waisting time making a stripped down version of Windows XP for ASUS instead of just making a stripped down version of Vista. Vista is supposed to be the newest and best per Microsoft unless Microsoft doesn't really believe their own press.

BTW... I'm glad they are using XP instead of Vista.


RE: Why not Vista?
By darkpaw on 1/8/2008 2:40:32 PM , Rating: 4
Um.. maybe because Vista (even stripped down) isn't designed to be run on hardware fresh out of 1999?

RE: Why not Vista?
By BrownJohn on 1/8/2008 2:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
you know that all they are really going to do is have some guy use nlite to make the XP install small enough.

RE: Why not Vista?
By johnsonx on 1/9/2008 3:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
ok, I know you're mostly just throwing a zinger out, but it should be pointed out that MS does already have XP Embedded. nlite is great and all, but there's nothing it does that MS is surprised by and couldn't do better if they choose.

What we'll likely see from MS and ASUS is a hybrid between regular XP and XP Embedded.

RE: Why not Vista?
By murphyslabrat on 1/8/2008 7:13:47 PM , Rating: 3
Technically, it's from 2003, but in terms of specs...yep

RE: Why not Vista?
By clovell on 1/8/2008 4:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
They use XP because it gives them the opportunity to continue making money off of it rather than let it simply become obsolete.

RE: Why not Vista?
By TomZ on 1/8/2008 4:38:03 PM , Rating: 3
That doesn't make any sense - they could make money from either XP or Vista just the same. What would be the benefit of selling XP instead of Vista?

I think the real answer is that XP runs better on low-RAM devices compared to Vista, and I would guess this carries over to XP and Vista embedded, which I assume is being used as the basis for these Asus devices. After all, that is the purpose of the "embedded" versions - they are highly modular and can be readily scaled down to the required subset of features based on the available resources of the target system.

RE: Why not Vista?
By stmok on 1/10/2008 6:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think the real answer is that XP runs better on low-RAM devices compared to Vista

Vista? Heavy on hardware resources? No, I don't believe that!
*end sarcasm*

Poor Jugglers!
By i4mt3hwin on 1/8/2008 2:09:59 PM , Rating: 5
Leave the poor jugglers alone!


RE: Poor Jugglers!
By masher2 on 1/8/2008 2:16:48 PM , Rating: 5
Counter that, as two jugglers have been known to spawn a mime.

RE: Poor Jugglers!
By TomZ on 1/8/2008 4:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
I see the title got changed to "Juglar" which is still not correct. The OP got it right - jugular!

I'm Pretty Happy
By Quiescent on 1/8/2008 7:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Without expecting some change in the screen size, I got the 4G Surf for christmas with a 1G memory upgrade. I put an nLited version of XP on it and it works like a charm. In fact, it works so great, that I see no need to put the clocking speed of the processor back to it's normal 900mhz instead of the 630mhz underclocked speed. I can load Word up in less than 2 secs. I have only 20 processes running at startup. It's great and I recommend nLite for ANYONE. I was able to take all that crap, including the irritating popup bubbles whining about everything, and take it out.

As far as the battery life is, I wasn't happy with it, but they're soon to have 6-cell batteries available. The keyboard took 20 mins to get used to. The resolution is definitely painful for XP, but I live with it by just using more keyboard shortcuts than I usually use. I plan to use my MX Revolution with it.

Overall, though they might be getting some better features on all of these, it's only going to cost me $484 for the 4G Surf including wireless router, 1G memory upgrade, and 16G SD Card.

So trust me when I say: The Eee is worth every single penny you put on it. It is way more peppier than you'll ever expect a computer with a celeron processor to be!

RE: I'm Pretty Happy
By therealnickdanger on 1/9/2008 8:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the short writeup, that certainly makes me want one more. I think I'll wait, however, for the WiMax version with a larger screen... assuming it will be under $500. Probably not, but one can dream...

RE: I'm Pretty Happy
By Aikouka on 1/9/2008 8:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, what kind of things do you use this for that would make it worth it over just having a normal laptop? I'm always interested in nerdy little things like this, but I'm having a hard time thinking of what I'd use it for that I couldn't just use my laptop with.

RE: I'm Pretty Happy
By Quiescent on 1/10/2008 9:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I left my AC adaptor behind, however I plan on using Office, Firefox, mIRC, maybe some games. There is a section on the eeeuser wiki website that shows you the games tested on it and how well it played. To be honest, this is simple usage and it works fine doing all.

By Mudvillager on 1/8/2008 7:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
12 inch (no empty borders around screen!) with Intel C2D ULV and I'm sold.

RE: 12"
By luhar49 on 1/9/2008 2:55:05 AM , Rating: 2
12 inch (no empty borders around screen!) with Intel C2D ULV and I'm sold .

You can already find such offerings from Sony and Fujitsu. Just dont expect them to be sold for 299$

RE: 12"
By Mudvillager on 1/9/2008 4:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly why I'm asking for it. Current 12 inch laptops are ridiculously overpriced.

why not a expandable eee pc?
By pugster on 1/9/2008 10:45:44 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that nobody else has made a expandable ultraportable pc like asus. Some other big company like foxconn can make a laptop with no memory and flash. Expandable with a sodimm and an sd card or 1.8" hard drive as boot drives. That company can easily compete with asus.

RE: why not a expandable eee pc?
By honeg on 1/17/2008 7:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you were going to talk about an expanding keyboard. Now that would be cool. Flip the screen open, pull it apart from the sides, and hey presto, a full size keyboard in a 9" chasis.

Now, if you could just do that with the screen as well...

By Chris Peredun on 1/9/2008 10:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
At least according to JKK ( ) who's normally spot-on with all things portable and geeky.

That's a shame, but it may have been necessary to keep costs down.

3 screen sizes silly
By johnsonx on 1/9/2008 3:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it does seem odd to offer 3 screen sizes. I can understand two, but three? If the 7" 800x480 screen does cost much less, fine, use it the low end models. The 8.9" 1024x600 screen should be the high-end option. An in between size with the same 800x480 resolution (that res. is implied anyway) is pointless.

Free Publicity
By TomZ on 1/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Free Publicity
By Keeir on 1/8/2008 4:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think Brandon Hill's blog is the majority of the coverage, and he does seem to be a convergence/mini-computer fan..

I think the main thing with the update was mentioned only in passing

This new EEE or whatevery will have WiMax and a partnership with Sprint's Xohm. Combine that with the WebCam, and you have a portable device capable of video calling AND a "full" keyboard to answer emails, edit documents, etc. Provided the service is reasonable (like 50-70 dollars month with voice), I would think this to be tremendously popular for private and business use.

As for appeal.... I think its very appealing to think of a device small/light enough to easily carry and cheap. I mean, I can't imagine anyone who would want a 3,000+ dollar extreme gaming notebook that wieghs 10 lbs and has less than 2 hours of battery life but there is enough of a market there is several players

RE: Free Publicity
By Ringold on 1/8/2008 5:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
I have some degree of interest in it, I can think of some uses for it, but would be fine with no more coverage now until something substantive comes up. I'm well enough aware of the product now, as of this blog post.

On a related note.. I've been hoping for more CES coverage. Is it coming after it's over and someone has time to compile it, or not at all?

RE: Free Publicity
By Lonyo on 1/8/2008 6:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well that's half the point. It WILL come with Windows, it WILL have more appeal after the updates, and they ARE selling well.
Asus said that it's their best selling product ever IIRC, and it's carving out its own niche that will almost certainly lead to other similar products from competitors.

UMPC's and very mobile internet are two hot things in the IT industry, and this could make them both affordable and easily available.

RE: Free Publicity
By Quiescent on 1/8/2008 7:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
If you go to websites like eeeuser, you will see that you are wrong. There are people who buy it and are able to use the Linux interface in easy mode. You can most certainly put it into advanced mode which is just like any other linux OS, but if you're like me, I just prefer to put XP on it and be done with it!

RE: Free Publicity
By tallcool1 on 1/9/2008 11:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, its not DT's fault if other people don't cover this tech release. It is definately news worthy.

Second, the PC world doesn't have to revolve around Windows, although for a majority it does.

For small applications like using the Internet, checking email, etc..., you could certainly use a stripped down/minimal PC to accomplish this.

RE: Free Publicity
By jtesoro on 1/11/2008 10:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
I prefer to use Windows and will more likely get an Eee PC when the screen gets bigger and when it ships with XP. Still, you're obviously madly in love with Bill's shop, and your blindness to the thought that PCs without Windows are still very usable is absolutely staggering.

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