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ASUS Eee PC 4G  (Source: DailyTech, Chris Peredun)
ASUS to bring more to the table with the Eee PC 8G

ASUS' new Eee PC 4G is undoubtedly a hit with consumers and reviewers. The device is small, lightweight and performs quite well despite its aging processor and chipset.

The Eee PC 4G, however, hasn't been without its criticisms. Many consumers have pointed to the device's limited 4GB solid-state disk (SSD). That problem can be mostly alleviated, however, with the addition of a high-capacity SD or SDHC card to be used as secondary storage.

The other, more prominent criticism has been the Eee PC's 7" display. While 7" screen is nothing to scoff at, the screen resolution is a mere 800x480. Worst yet, the screen is rather awkwardly flanked by two speakers and a sea of black plastic.

ASUS is on course to right both of those wrongs with a new Eee PC variant due out next year [German translation]. The 8G, which is still in development, will feature 8GB of internal storage as its name suggests. Likewise, the screen will be bumped up to a full 10" in place of the 7" unit currently in use. There is no word on what the screen resolution will be, but 1024x600 is likely a good guess.

According to ASUS spokesman Holger Schmidt, the overall footprint of the 8G model will be the same as the 4G -- this means that the speakers and built-in webcam will likely have to be repositioned.

It's still too early to determine pricing for 10", 8G, but one could reasonably imagine a $499 USD price tag which would keep it in line with the rest of the Eee PC family.



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Price will be key
By jak3676 on 11/14/2007 11:43:48 AM , Rating: 5
I'll be curious to see how it ends up being priced. $499 is pretty logical, but that's starting to bump into the current set of low end laptops. I'm curious who will end up being the primary market segemnt.

Granted all the current $500 laptops are probably 15.4" models, but its still something that parents will have to concider if they're just planning on buying something cheap for junior to play with.

For the professionals that are using this as a cheap UMPC, then an extra $100 for double the storage and a bigger screen will be a clear winner.




RE: Price will be key
By clovell on 11/14/2007 11:54:07 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. The parts to make these things are only getting cheaper; it'd be nice to see these come down to a price point where they could compete with low-end laptops. That's just my two cents.


RE: Price will be key
By fleshconsumed on 11/14/2007 12:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree on price being the key. I'd get it in a heartbeat if the new model was fanless, allowed running WinXP, and cost $299. However, that's very unlikely to happen. $499 seems logical considering current pricing scheme, however, at this price you can easily get full dell laptop on one of their sales. It will be bigger and heavier, but it will also have real hard drive, expandable memory and bigger/better screen. At $499 I see zero reason buying one of these for myself. I'd rather wait in Black Friday line and get $400 sony laptop instead.


RE: Price will be key
By spluurfg on 11/14/2007 12:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
Price is of course a huge driver, but I'd really love to see a version with bluetooth. If it has average or above average battery, then this could be the ideal work device for road warriors when synched to a blackberry/smartphone.


RE: Price will be key
By PrinceGaz on 11/14/2007 6:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
Since you can install XP on the current 4GB model in place of the version of Linux it comes with, I see no reason why should not be able to do the same with the 8GB model.


RE: Price will be key
By Oscarine on 11/14/2007 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is really an ultraportable and doesn't compete with the 15.4" segment. How can it? It has less than half the processor, memory, a tenth or less of the HDD space, cramped keyboard etc the list goes on compared to 15.4" value segment laptops.

On the other hand as an ultraportable even at $499 for a 10" model its an outstanding value compared to the rest of the field.


RE: Price will be key
By mcnabney on 11/14/2007 3:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
But an ultraportable can usually do anything a desktop can do except games and isn't built with an optical media drive. This device is horribly crippled. Yeah, you can carry it around easily to do things like surf the web and check email. So can a PDA! There is just no market for this thing. No one is going to trade away many of the functions of the PC for increased portability alone. And the big black bezzle screams "tiny screen made to look big". When I see this thing the first thing I think is " they put a keyboard on a $70 portable DVD player made by Akai".


RE: Price will be key
By jak3676 on 11/14/2007 7:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are wrong in suggesting that there isn't a market for it. Just look at all the sales of the 4GB version. There are plenty of people out there that already have a "main" computer, and are looking for something small, cheap and portable. This is not a "end all, be all" computer like some of the UMPC's are trying to be, but none of them have really succeeded either.

For $300, there is nothing that competes with the Eee for any sort of general computing. What else can you get for anything near this price point - in any size factor. The only option I see, is some used laptop on Ebay, or maybe try some sort of PDA.

But I do think that the $500 Eee does end up competing with all of the other dirt cheap laptops. A cheap $500 laptop doesn't compare or compete on features. But there are alternatives for people that want general computing performance at that price. Some people won't care about the size, only the performance and price.


RE: Price will be key
By mcnabney on 11/14/2007 7:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
For the $300 price I agree. It gives stripped-down computer functionality at stripped-down computer price. The form-factor is just a bonus. A price increase of 66% that only adds minor improvements moves it out of the niche it was occupying.


RE: Price will be key
By WileCoyote on 11/14/2007 7:43:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
There is just no market for this thing.


Wrong. I'm an IT consultant for small businesses and these laptops are a GODSEND for my HVAC customers. They'll have one in each of their work vans. SSD laptops at a fraction of the competition's price. Each company is going to save $10K - $20K on equipment which is a moot point because they would never have done it at the higher price. This is going to transform their entire business model.

Just because you don't have a need for it doesn't mean there isn't a market for it. Nuff said.


RE: Price will be key
By darkpaw on 11/14/2007 4:12:27 PM , Rating: 1
It's not much of a value when compared to used though. Can get a 3 year old ulta portable in the $500 range that would run circle around one of these.

I think they'll really need to drop the 4G to near $199 and introduce the 8G at $399 to be competitive.


RE: Price will be key
By Oscarine on 11/14/2007 8:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
You can maybe, alot of the buying public, and the vast majority of businesses will not buy used equipment.

Apples and oranges comparison. Try the comparison again and only use new equipment. You aren't going to find anything in that form factor with x86 computing capability.


RE: Price will be key
By darkpaw on 11/14/2007 11:08:39 PM , Rating: 1
Most businesses are not going to buy these either. Businesses will almost always buy something they know will be reliable like a Thinkpad. The hardware cost is nothing compared to support and feature sets.

Many of the same people that would buy this would be served just as well with used hardware.


RE: Price will be key
By bpurkapi on 11/14/2007 4:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yep price is always the key. This thing is brilliant, but I was a bit disappointed that the price jumped and supplies have been low. I usually wait till generation 2 to buy any tech product, so hopefully this next version is better. The real kicker in the next gen would be if the proc got an upgrade. There were some rumors that it would be a merom based chip. Also wondering if any hacker types have tried to add in a larger drive?


Don't know if it's worth it...
By mmntech on 11/14/2007 11:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't know if the 8gb Eee PC is really worth $499. You can buy a decent used Mac or PC laptop for around that price with better features. I know that's about how much my 2005 12'' iBook G4 is worth. It has a 40gb drive, a faster processor, a built in DVD/CDRW combo, and a bigger screen with a higher resolution. Battery life is also nearly double.




RE: Don't know if it's worth it...
By Suomynona on 11/14/2007 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
I still think it will have a niche at that price point, even if it's pushing the boundaries. At only one pound, the Eee is really attractive for just throwing in a bag, even if it's a little underpowered.


RE: Don't know if it's worth it...
By plewis00 on 11/14/2007 12:21:27 PM , Rating: 5
Why are there so many of you comparing it to a full-size PC or Mac laptop? By your thinking I could also purchase a Core 2 Duo desktop with a 19" LCD screen, 200Gb hard disk and DVD burner brand new for the same money and that would be much much faster and give me more for my money...

Ever consider that there is pretty much nothing at this kind of size at this kind of price. The closest things to this size-wise are the Sony T, TR, TX or TZ series (and other specialist machines like Toshiba Librettos) which these EEE PCs seem to be modelled on and those cost upwards of £1000, this is under a quarter of that - you couldn't even buy a used Sony T-series for that price. You seem to be completely missing the point; you're comparing a significantly larger machine with therefore more space for bigger, higher-performance components with a relatively tiny, lightweight laptop.


Linked story in English
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/14/2007 11:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, in bad English, but thank you nonetheless Google translator!

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&...

The article also mentions a 2G version will be released with a scant 2GB of memory.

That seems wayyy to low. But I suppose if you stick with just linux and possible make your build a little lower, itd be alright.

I thought one of the main issues was processor underclocking, however. The article makes no mention of the new 2G and 8G models doing anything to rectify this failing.

Still they are neat devices, for such a low price. I have to admit though-- I'd still rather have a Wii and 50 bucks (if you could find one) than and EeePC, but that's just me (or a XBox 360 arcade for Microsoft fans).




RE: Linked story in English
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/14/2007 12:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
PS and pics of the new EeePC 10" since they were not included:
http://www.tweeeks.com/files/asus_eeepc1001-white....
http://www.generationmp3.com/images/00_2007/juin/0...

Its official designation is EeePC 1001 (the 7" is 701). The speakers are moved to the bottom and the webcam is still firmly in place.


RE: Linked story in English
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/14/2007 5:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
That looks A LOT larger than the Eee PC...

The keys are larger and spaced further apart as well.


RE: Linked story in English
By Azndude51 on 11/15/2007 12:19:26 AM , Rating: 2
If the 10" is supposed to have the same footprint as the 7" version, the laptop in the pics are definitely not the 10" version. The unit on the left in the first picture is an Eee PC and you can see it is MUCH smaller than the laptop in the middle.


ASUS is certianly flip-flopping on this.
By Chris Peredun on 11/14/2007 11:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
The announcement back in August was that the Eee PC 1001 (this 10" model) was canned. Now it's back again?

Hopefully they'll be able to unlock the BIOS and bring it up to the full 900MHz - the Eee runs much better there.




By Chil on 11/15/2007 7:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
It seems this is all incorrect after all. ASUS has no plans on a 10" model.

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/11/15/asus_on_10...


Worth the wait
By ZipSpeed on 11/14/2007 11:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
Like all first gen offerings, usually best to skip it. 8 GB and a 10" screen in the same form factor is perfect. It would be nice if they could also bump up the CPU and GPU performance while retaining similar battery life. I was tossing around the idea of getting the Asus but I think I will wait for the next iteration.




RE: Worth the wait
By DeepBlue1975 on 11/14/2007 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem is that I doubt it'll release at the 499 they're saying.

If the price ends up being 600 or less, then this will still be a very good buy among its competitors.
If it goes past 700, the difference in price between this and the new fujitsu lifebook starts to be less important than the difference in feature set.

The lifebook has only 5" screen but better CPU and much better storage.
Besides, the smaller footprint makes it even pocketable, something the EEE PC is not.

So, as many posters said, price will be the key. The actual price for the 7" is a no brainer if you don't need extra power. But go double the actual price and you will certainly start comparing it to much better powered (even if they're more expensive) devices.

If the 8gb version indeed ends up at more than 600, it'd better turn into a 16gb version and have a faster CPU, as 8gb does not make much difference from 4gb, as you can install a full XP in both 4gb and 8gb, and the resort to storage cards. 8gb won't save you from using cards if you want to be travelling with lots of music and videos.

On the other hand, more expensive UMPCs usually have around 40gb of storage (slower storage, of course, but much more of it anyway) so the 8gb version better not go out for much more than those 499 if it wants to be as much of a success as the 7" version will keep on being.

If I were ASUS, instead of a 10" version I'd shrink the whole device to make it tightly fit the 7" one. It means tinier keyboard and things like that, but even much better portability than this one has.


1024 x [b]600[/b]??
By andylawcc on 11/14/2007 1:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
is that a common resolution? or you meant 1024x768?




RE: 1024 x [b]600[/b]??
By johnsonx on 11/14/2007 1:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
1024x600 is a standard widescreen resolution. Yes, it's not that common, since most screens are bigger. But it is standard.


Depends on the price ...
By psychobriggsy on 11/15/2007 11:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Anything under £300 ($600 inc. VAT) and you can count me in for a 10" EeePC.

Although I don't know if I'd rather have a more compact 7" EeePC - if I'm going to be faffing about on the train then maybe a pocketable 7" device (I have big pockets) would be idea. As it stands the 7" screen EeePC isn't significantly smaller than a 12" iBook (although significantly lighter) due to the huge bezel around the screen (I'm sure it's like 1/3rd the volume when you work it out heh, just on a per-dimension basis there's not a lot of difference).

It might have to be built around a fast ARM + Imagination Tech GPU design though to get that level of compactness - Intel's really compact CPUs and Chipsets aren't out for a while yet.




RE: Depends on the price ...
By psychobriggsy on 11/15/2007 12:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think I basically described the N810 but with a bigger screen there thinking about it ... although I want something more like a Psion 5 in form factor (if I write this in enough places online, someone might think it's a really popular desire and make it).


$499 unlikely?
By deeznuts on 11/14/2007 1:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone see a $499 price unlikely? Awesome if it was, I'm buying one. But with 4GB and 7" screen already being $399 on the street for now, not sure how they'll get the 10" and 8GB for a $100, unless we are expecting significantly lower costs.

And you guys comparing this to a regular laptop are sort of crazy. How can you compare this ultra ultra port to a 15.4" or even a 14.1" lappie? Go look at 13" laptop prices, then go 12", then go 11" laptops, tell me what you find.




Thinkpad x30
By mutantbeast on 11/14/2007 2:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
Asus laptops are typically pretty poor on battery life. As had been stated many times before, the price point on the Eee PC makes it unattractive to me.

I'd rather have an old Thinkpad X30, which should have similar power but much better battery life (with a new battery though) and great build quality.




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