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Next generation Eee PC to feature WiMAX and 8.9" display

ASUS definitely struck a nerve when it launched its two-pound Eee PC sub-notebook. ASUS isn't resting on its laurels and will show a next generation Eee PC at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

ASUS gave very little information on its website and only offered the following statement:

Join ASUS, Intel and Sprint to learn about the state of WiMAX technology, preview next-generation mobile solutions (including the next generation Eee PC) and immerse yourself in tomorrow’s wireless protocol.

Intel and Sprint are putting a lot of muscle behind WiMAX. Intel's Montevina notebook platform will support WiMAX in Q2 2008 and the Menlow UMPC platform -- presumably the foundation for ASUS' next generation Eee PC -- will also feature 3G and WiMAX integration. For its part, Sprint plans to invest $5 billion USD into WiMAX over the next two years.

Should ASUS choose to adopt the Menlow platform for the next generation Eee PC, huge power saving will be realized for users. The current Eee PC uses a 90nm, 900MHz Celeron M processor running at 630MHz with the current official BIOS. Intel's Menlow platform includes a 45nm Silverthorne processor which promises ten times the power efficiency of first generation UMPCs using Intel Celeron M, Pentium M and A100/A110 processors.

Other big news coming from the Commercial Times is that an 8.9" screen is in store for the next generation Eee PC. The current Eee PC uses a 7" 800x480 widescreen display. Many have complained about the lack of real estate with the 7" screen, but an 8.9" display with a 1024x600 screen resolution could quiet a few critics.

According to the Commercial Times, the current 7" panels used in the Eee PC cost $40 USD. The larger 8.9" panels are estimated to cost between $55 to $60 USD.

The Eee PC is currently available in a variety of models including the 2G Surf, 4G Surf, 4G and 8G. Pricing ranges from $299 USD for the Eee PC 2G Surf on up to $499 USD for the Eee PC 8G.

ASUS expects to ship 3.8 million Eee PCs during the next fiscal year and the planned upgrades to the device should ensure that the company reaches its target.

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Too expansive ?
By armagedon on 12/31/2007 11:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
it's nice that Asus wants to get us a larger screen etc... but the price keeps going up. Already a 8G model, even ultra portable, reaching $500 needs a serious though compared to a full blown, entry-level, 14 inches Acer notebook. Hopefully other manufs, especially the later will jump on the cheap UP bandwagon.

RE: Too expansive ?
By afkrotch on 12/31/2007 11:20:56 AM , Rating: 2
Why does everyone keep comparing the Eee with a cheap 14" or higher laptop. This is not meant for that. Can you show me the prices of a 8" or less laptop and tell me how they compare to the Eee.

A UMPC can be double to quadruple the price of the Eee PC and they are the only ones that are close to the size of the Eee. Course they aren't in the same class of computers.

RE: Too expansive ?
By noirsoft on 12/31/2007 11:59:28 AM , Rating: 2

Fujitsu 5.6" tablet convertible for $999

you get the 1024 x 600 res, touch screen, Vista Home Premium with a GPU that can handle Aero. 1 gig ram, 40 gig (non ssd) hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, fingerprint reader.

pretty decent machine, and seemed responsive when I played with one at Fry's, but the keyboard layout is a bit odd. Tab is Fn + Spacebar, which makes task switching now a three-fingered ordeal. :/

RE: Too expansive ?
By afkrotch on 12/31/2007 12:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
You sure the screen was actually 1024x600? I know there have been some that claim a nice resolution, but when you actually use it, it has a scroll effect to get that resolution.

RE: Too expansive ?
By noirsoft on 12/31/2007 12:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it was natively 1024 x 600. Close to 200 DPI, but you could see the entire task bar and sidebar in Vista. You might be tempted to increase the font size, but then the dialogs start becoming larger than the screen.

RE: Too expansive ?
By afkrotch on 12/31/2007 1:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not bad. It's ugly as sin, but would serve it's purpose. It's main difference would be the touchscreen with higher rez, fingerprint reader, and non-SSD. Guess the price is higher due to the screen.

Wonder how many ppl would look at me funny on flights. Pull out my 12.1" notebook and use it til the battery dies. Then pull out an Eee and use it til the battery dies. Then pull out my PSP and use it, til the end of the flight.

Last flight I took, I had a PS3, PSP, notebook, and 2 portable hard drives in my backpack.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Anosh on 12/31/2007 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 3
um.. I see.. you give the word portable a whole new meaning.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Brockway on 1/1/2008 6:56:47 PM , Rating: 1
I had the exact same gear with me when I flew back to Japan last week! High five!

RE: Too expansive ?
By Lonyo on 12/31/2007 12:02:16 PM , Rating: 3
Cheap 14" laptop = $400 to $500 dollars.
Eee PC = $300 to $500

Hence the comparison. They are both portable machines in the same sort of price range.
You compare them to show that you can pay the same for a bigger screen and less portability.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Brandon Hill on 12/31/2007 12:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that $400 to $500 was the realm for 15.4" notebooks. I haven't seen many 14.1" notebooks in that price range.

RE: Too expansive ?
By afkrotch on 12/31/2007 12:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
A 14" screen around $800. A 14.1" can be had for around $550. Me, I got a sweet little 12.1" Everex notebook from Newegg for $600. Think Newegg was trying to offload the, in anticipation of the 13.1" Everex notebooks. They were normally around $900.

Either way, why compare them to the Eee? It's like comparing a Honda Accord to a Honda Today. They are different markets.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Samus on 12/31/2007 12:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
Gateway has a 14.1" for $500, but it's a complete POS. 4200RPM hard drive and 1GB RAM with Vista Basic. It is quite slow.

RE: Too expansive ?
By shabby on 12/31/2007 5:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
And why does everyone accept that a 10" laptop with a 1-2k price tag is ok?

RE: Too expansive ?
By afkrotch on 1/1/2008 4:49:04 AM , Rating: 1
Because we are use to having ultra portables cost a lot. Course the Eee is a bit different, in the fact that it lacks the power that your ultra portables usually have. My 12.1" laptop is a Intel Core Duo T2050, with a gig of memory, 100 gig hdd, and whatever else I don't really use. Then you have the Eee with is a 900 mhz processor dropped down to 600 mhz, and some really low end specs.

Course when you think about it, for the cost of the hardware, it's probably easily over double the price of the sum of parts, if not more. Some of HPs iPaq pdas have more power and cost 1/2 the price.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Brandon Hill on 1/1/2008 10:10:18 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, but there are no PDAs (that I know of) with more power than even a 630MHz Eee PC.

If I'm not mistaken, most PDAs use meager ARM processors. It's not even a fair fight against an x86 processor.

RE: Too expansive ?
By Segerstein on 1/2/2008 4:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
I have bought 4G eee and added a speedy 8GB SD card. The only thing really bothering me about this laptop is not the screen resolution, but the lack of integrated Bluetooth so I could connect to my phone via GPRS/UMTS/HSDPA.

I put a Bluetooth stick in one of the USB ports, but I'm kind of afraid it will break if move my eee too much when I have it on my lap. I wouldn't mind paying another $150 for larger screen and Bluetooth.

Good to wait
By mmntech on 12/31/2007 10:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like Asus is clearing up most of the issues with the Eee PC in the second generation. It should be more compatible with XP programs thanks to the 600 pixel vertical res. They still need to come out with a model that uses 1.8'' mechanical drives though to solve the storage issues.

RE: Good to wait
By Brandon Hill on 12/31/2007 10:35:55 AM , Rating: 3
1.8" mechanical drives are still too large for an Eee PC. They're also not as power efficient and it would defeat the whole purpose of the device.

That being said, I use a $30 8GB SDHC card with my 4G. It handles all of my storage needs.

RE: Good to wait
By TMV192 on 12/31/2007 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
the way I see it, once they went SSD, there's no turning back. The point of an eeePC is a little different than just turning from a sub-notebook into a cheap regular laptop.

Just some comments about my Eee
By zsouthboy on 12/31/2007 12:38:47 PM , Rating: 3
This upgrade thing is EXACTLY why I bought the cheapest one - I knew in the future that there would be a better screened one, etc - so why spend the money on a bigger SSD built in?

I bought a 2g Surf and a 16g SDHC card from newegg - installing Ubuntu was fun to figure out, though (since it is about 2.3 GB)

I ended up mounting the SD card as /, the internal SSD as /boot and /usr (the internal SSD is much faster than the SD card - keeping /usr on there makes it just "feel" faster)

The res of the screen does bother me, but I cut opera down so it leaves the majority of the screen free for browsing.

1024x600 would be perfect to fix the Dialog Boxes Don't Fit problem in ... well, all OSes at this point.

Compiz Fusion runs great, nice and fast with no lag - I'm impressed about that.

RE: Just some comments about my Eee
By afkrotch on 12/31/2007 12:44:59 PM , Rating: 3
I waited cause I new the larger screen version should pop up. Going to buy one and toss in a 16 gig card. It'll be for video watching on snowboard trips.

Less weight than my 12.1" laptop and also less likely to get damaged, while it sits in my backpack while I snowboard.

By ali123 on 1/2/2008 7:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
Do you guys think that it's price will be similar to the current generation? I'm either going with this or a used powerbook from ebay lol

RE: Price?
By bigpow on 1/2/2008 4:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Got a used Dell 700m/710m for the same price of a new 8G;
12" 1280x800, Pentium-M 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, 40GB HDD, SuperDrive

EEE is cool and hip, I wish it's price/feature ratio is better tho. I hope that with time (and enough early adopters buying), EEE will be better so that I could get one.

love it
By edborden on 12/31/2007 12:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
As Asus continues to make this machine better, it creates a better opportunity for SI's like us. I posted today about our quest to find a way to leverage this system:

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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