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Asus CEO Jerry Shen with S101  (Source: HKEPC)
S101 started life as an Eee but the moniker will be dropped before the September launch

ASUS is the firm mostly responsible for kicking off the netbook trend with its Eee PC computers. The Eee PC at first was a small, lightweight netbook that ran on Linux and was intended mostly for surfing the net, listening to music, and chatting with friends.

Since its introduction the Eee PC has grown and become more of an ultraportable in price and features in some of the high-end models. ASUS has announced a new system called the Eee S101 that would have taken the Eee brand to a much higher price range. iTech News Net reports that ASUS will drop the Eee branding from the computer to reflect its higher price tag of $899.

At $899 the notebook will get a 64GB SSD. Users willing to make due with a 32GB SSD will be able to get the S101 for $699. The other features of the notebook will be the same between the two models. The S101 will use a 10.2-inch LED backlit LCD and will be powered by an Intel Atom processor.

HKEPC reports that the Atom used in the notebook is the N270 running at 1.6GHz with a 533 MHz FSB. The S101 is a very thin profile notebook along the lines of the MacBook Air with a thickness of only 16 to 25mm. The notebook will be officially launched in September.



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Like, OMG!!!
By amanojaku on 8/7/2008 5:05:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
iTech News Net reports that ASUS will drop the Eee branding from the computer to reflect its higher price tag of $899.


Has Asus woken up and realized it's betrayed consumers by not releasing the Eee at or near $199 as promised? I know Asus never promised a price ceiling, but the average Eee PC is $500! I think Asus needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to drive the cost down, possibly by offering an option without an OS.




RE: Like, OMG!!!
By h0kiez on 8/7/2008 5:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, cause that proprietary linux distro is really breaking the bank...


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By mmntech on 8/7/2008 5:28:07 PM , Rating: 1
I'd say what's more outrageous is the fact that the specs are identical to the Eee PC 1000 yet it will cost $200 more! The Eee 1000H even comes with an 80gb HDD, that's 20% more storage.

If I get a UMPC, I think either Acer or Lenovo's is the one to get. The Eee has gone far off track of what it was originally supposed to be. Now you have ones with the same specs and features of the Eee 901 selling for nearly half the price.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By masher2 (blog) on 8/7/2008 5:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "I'd say what's more outrageous is the fact that the specs are identical to the Eee PC 1000 yet it will cost $200 more! "

The S101 has a 64GB SS drive; the 1000 a 40GB drive.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By crystal clear on 8/8/2008 7:55:15 AM , Rating: 2
Asustek Computer is planning to launch two Eee PCs the S101 and S91 under its new Ultimate segment which focuses on high quality and ultra slim designs, according to channel sources.

Additionally, the company is planning to launch four models for its Pro Fashion segment including the 1000HV.

Every segment has its price ranges-each segemnt catering to a specific market or clientile.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By jtesoro on 8/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Like, OMG!!!
By sxr7171 on 8/7/2008 6:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
Are you serious? I would drop $899 for this in a heartbeat. I have a homeserver to hold all my data so 64GB all I need in a laptop. It would replace a $1500 Lenovo X61s and be smaller, thinner and lighter to boot. The Acer and the Lenovo UMPCs are fat pigs in comparison.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By Oregonian2 on 8/7/2008 7:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I get a UMPC, I think either Acer or Lenovo's is the one to get. The Eee has gone far off track of what it was originally supposed to be. Now you have ones with the same specs and features of the Eee 901 selling for nearly half the price.


Lenovo announcement looks good, but I'd like to see a review or two first. Right now the MSI Wind is looking like the best one to me (once they've the 6-cell batteries available).


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By Flunk on 8/7/2008 5:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
ASUS is just expanding their product lines. If these new products are profitable they will make more. How is responding to consumer demand and offering more models a betrayal?

As for lower prices, the profit margin on really low end units 200< would be really small. Can you blame a company for wanting to make a profit? Because if you can I don't think you understand capitalism.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By Some1ne on 8/7/2008 6:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
How did they "betray consumers"? It's their product, and they can do whatever they want with it. As long as they're not forcing anybody who doesn't feel like the Eee PC is worth more than $199 to buy one, then they haven't betrayed anyone.

If you started researching and developing a product, and found "wow, the parts alone are costing us $250 per unit", would you sell it at $199? I think not, even if you had previously stated that that was your target price, as that's not a good way to run a business.


RE: Like, OMG!!!
By psychobriggsy on 8/8/2008 6:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair to ASUS, they didn't know that the dollar was going to lose value in comparison with other currencies by such a large amount. On the other hand they're way off target even at the low end still.

Part of it is our fault for expecting 10" slim laptops costing $300 at most.


One too many
By Suntan on 8/7/2008 4:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
So what does this do that the cheaper EEEs don’t? At what point do you just bump up to a real laptop? The line is really starting to blur on the niche for this version.

-Suntan




RE: One too many
By RU482 on 8/7/2008 4:58:38 PM , Rating: 1
larger screen, thinner and likely lighter.
At that price, with an Atom under the hood, it's kinda like buying a Geo Metro with 20in Chrome wheels.


RE: One too many
By masher2 (blog) on 8/7/2008 5:05:44 PM , Rating: 5
You can get a fairly decent 15" laptop for $899. The target market here isn't people looking to save a buck; it's those wanting ultraportable power.


RE: One too many
By Lonyo on 8/7/2008 5:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Too many people don't seem to understand the point/market for these products.

At $900 you're comparing it to something like a $1400 11.1", 2.2lb laptop with Core Duo 1.06GHz, 1.5GB RAM and a 80GB 4200rpm harddrive, not a 15" mid range laptop.

Portability comes with compromises, and currently one of those is on price.
Things like the Eee might not seem to compete with 14~15" laptops, but they're not trying to.


RE: One too many
By kensiko on 8/7/2008 7:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
True.

Also, this laptop has an SSD, which increases the price a lot ! So you pay for a standard EEE laptop with a faster drive.

All in all, it will be very fast, hard drives being the slowest part of a laptop.

For the same price, you can buy a laptop with a HDD, but that laptop may take more time to boot because of the HDD !


RE: One too many
By vapore0n on 8/7/2008 8:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts, they are fattening up that laptop and eventually will be seen with a 12 inch screen, full keyboard, but not many features. Thats what everyone is complaining about. Asus is loosing its appeal because its starting to get too bulky for an ultra portable, and its costing as much as a real laptop and much more than the alternatives to umpc's.

I myself will wait for the lenovo. Looks great, great features, and hopefully will have the same price already shown here.


RE: One too many
By Emily on 8/8/2008 6:46:24 AM , Rating: 3
I do not see a problem as long as they are supplementing their product line, and not replacing the old for the new (I do not think that will happen given the success of the old). I am sure that even as the line between various products begins to blur, some users will still find their offering 'more ideal' than the alternative for their use. Consumers have little to lose here (other than a growing headache from having more choices), Asus (and their shareholders) are the one who stand to lose something if the product fails in the market.


Oh well
By benx009 on 8/7/2008 10:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
Kind of sad about the name change seeing as how "EEE PC" was so much more of a sexier name.




By psychobriggsy on 8/8/2008 6:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'd pay $600 for a 8.9" 16GB Linux version that was equally slim as this one, but slightly smaller in the other dimensions. 10.2" is creating a system with a footprint that is nearing that of 12" laptops which can be had for quite cheap, and I have a 12" iBook that is more powerful than this anyway right now.

Sadly, that $600 would be about £499 in the UK, instead of £353 (tax included).

Maybe a Nano version of HP's system would suffice...




By crystal clear on 8/8/2008 7:43:48 AM , Rating: 2
During an August 6 investors conference, Asustek president Jerry Shen explained -

As of the second quarter of 2008, Asustek's sales breakdown by applications was notebooks 45%, motherboards 21%, Eee PCs 18%, handhelds 3% and others 13%. Gross margin from notebooks averaged 15-20%, motherboards and graphics cards 25-30%. Overall gross margin pegged at 23.2% in the second quarter, up from 21.5% in the first. The company guided third-quarter sales should up by approximately 30% on quarter.

In related news, Shen projected that supplies of panels, DRAM and batteries will be smooth in the second half of 2008. Shortage of Atom processors will be also eased in September. But tight supply of in-mold roller (IMR) treated cases is expected.

Asustek guided notebook and Eee PC shipments to be 1.5-1.8 million units each in the third quarter, up from 1.2 million and one million units in the second quarter. Despite that shipments growth is anticipated, Shen said it will be hard to achieve the planned annual notebook shipments of 6.6 million units, but he noted that shipments of more than six million units could be possible.

Responding to industry concerns about ongoing Eee PC sales now that they face severe competition from rivals, Shen said he is confident that shipments will surpass five million units in 2008 thanks to joint promotions among distributors and telecom service carriers in Europe and Japan.

In order to further reduce costs, Shen also updated that about 30% of notebooks and Eee PCs will be produced by subcontractors in the second quarter of 2009, but declined to name specific OEM partners. He added that Asustek will partner with ODM/OEM players during the initial stages, but partnerships with EMS players are also possible.



http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20080806PD221.ht...




Glossy
By MamiyaOtaru on 8/9/2008 12:29:06 AM , Rating: 1
Seems I'm close to alone on this, but I am sick of the way every new UMPC is glossy. I hate glossy laptops. Look at all the smudges on that thing.

I just got an eee 900 instead of a 901. I think it looks better. Every change from the 900 to 901 I find negative. Still, I'd have bought a 901 for the battery life and other improvements if it wasn't for the glossiness. That just won't fly with me ever.




Pricey!
By bigbri1111 on 8/9/2008 1:44:12 PM , Rating: 1
I get that the LED backlit display and SSD drive are cool features, but they really drive up the price. For $550 you could get a Dell laptop with Ubuntu, a 15" display, and a 120GB drive! I guess I just value power over portability....




"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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