Print 90 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Oct 18 at 2:23 PM

The Eee PC will be priced at $199 for bulk customers; retail prices start at $299

Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) should be nothing new to readers of this site. Over the past year, DailyTech detailed the Samsung Q1 along with Sony's Vaio UX series -- more recently, we've seen new offerings in the form of the Samsung Q1 Ultra and Fujitsu LifeBook U810.

While the UMPC platform has sparked some interest from consumers, the high price of entry -- around $1,000 for entry-level models -- has stalled significant growth of the sector. Asustek hopes to change that with its new Eee PC.

According to Reuters, the Eee PC will be priced from $199 for its bulk customers. Asustek's Eee PC will be available at brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy and online retailers like Newegg within the next few weeks. The UMPC will later make an appearance in Europe.

"If we can sell a couple million [Eee PCs], we'll be confident," remarked Jonathan Tsang, Asustek's president of sales and marketing.

The Eee PC features a 7" display (800x480), 10/100 NIC, 56k modem, WiFi, 256MB to 1GB of DDR2 memory and solid-state memory for storage (2GB to 8GB). To keep prices low, the device runs a Linux-based operating system although it is compatible with Windows XP.

The range-topping Eee PC 8G features 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage space. It also features a 5200 mAh battery good for 3.5 hours of battery life (lesser models are stuck with a 4400 mAh battery good for 2.8 hours). Device weight is a trim 2 pounds.

A Russian review of the Eee PC revealed that the device is powered by an ULV 900MHz Intel Celeron processor which is backed up by an Intel 910GMLE Express chipset.

Updated 10/16/2007
Asus has released official specifications for its Eee PC and this article has been updated to reflect the additional information. According to Gizmodo, the Eee PC will retail from $299 USD.

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RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Mitch101 on 10/15/2007 10:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
It uses an Intel 910GMLE Express Chipset. It doesnt specify what version of Direct X but the specs are fair. Keep in mind it only has to do resolutions in 800x480. I kind of wish they approached ATI or NVIDIA for an older graphics chip that could have been die shrunk instead of the Intel one but it doesnt look too horrible.

OpenGL for Linux OpenGL on supported 2.6 kernel Linux distributions for advanced 3D graphics acceleration on dual independent displays

OpenGL 1.4 supported on the Mobile Intel 945GME Express Chipset, Intel 945G Express Chipset, Mobile Intel 915GME Express Chipset, Intel 915GV Express Chipset, and Mobile Intel 910GMLE Express Chipset

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Chris Peredun on 10/15/2007 10:20:00 AM , Rating: 1
It uses an Intel 910GMLE Express Chipset ... it doesnt look too horrible.

You've never tried using an Intel GPU for gaming, have you?

Don't count on anything newer than Quake III, and even that's going to need a detail reduction.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By omnicronx on 10/15/2007 10:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
pfft, i doubt it will be able to handle quake 3. You might be able to play the original half-life if you are lucky. You really can't compare the specs of a console to a PC directly, they function in different ways and consoles don't have the extra OS layer hogging all of the resources.(well they do but its very low level).

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Mitch101 on 10/15/2007 10:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
I tto seriously doubt quake 3.

Quake 1 and 2 at 640x480 should be possible though.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Chris Peredun on 10/15/2007 11:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget our history, shall we?

Quake 3 was launched in December of 1999. Back then, the "fastest GPU in the market" was the geForce DDR. The original geForce. (Early adopters, please raise your hands if you bought the SDR one. Exit is on your left.)

While the GMA900 is pathetic by today's standards, it can certainly hold up to those of days gone by. I'm quite confident that it can handle Quake 3 at native resolution with moderate details.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Mitch101 on 10/15/2007 11:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
God is it that old? You might be right then. That would be a treat.

One thing that could be insteresting is that the Half-Life 2 engine is DX7 compatible. Would be interesting to see if the engine scales back that far to be playable. If not oh well I can put the x-box in the mini-van.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By FrankM on 10/15/2007 4:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
No, even the 945GM's GMA950 is not quite enough for HL2/CSS. Especially with the rest of the specs. For example, I can't get CSS to playable levels on GMA950, Yonah-core CelM410 1.46G and 512MB of RAM: the video stress test gives 48FPS, but ingame with even a single bot gets 4-5...

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Mitch101 on 10/15/2007 4:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Could we force the DirectX version spec for the game engine to use since its supposed to be backwards compatible?

Since the engine is DX7 compatible could we force the game to use DX7 extension even thought the chipset I assume is DX9 capable?

Ah. Will just wait till it arrives to see what it can do.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By goku on 10/16/2007 11:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
The HL2 engine supports DX6 as well so forcing it into DX6 mode may very well make it playable on Integrated graphics by intel.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By mindless1 on 10/16/2007 5:06:30 AM , Rating: 1
It's more than a little premature to assume that, as it is not very demanding to run DX7 games at 640x480 with all the eyecandy turned off.

Were you running at 640x480?

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By glitchc on 10/16/2007 9:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds to me like the limiting factor there is your CPU, not the GMA 950.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By mino on 10/16/2007 4:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
The GMA lacks Vertex Shaders so they have to be done by CPU (with horrible efficiency).

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By mikeyD95125 on 10/17/2007 12:01:48 AM , Rating: 2
Totally depends on your res and settings. Is this at 1280x1024?

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By Haltech on 10/15/2007 5:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
my GMA900 can play Age of Empires 3, granted everything turned off.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By AndreasM on 10/16/2007 9:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt Quake 1 and 2.

Pong at 1x1 should be possible though.


RE: My thoughts on uses.
By frobizzle on 10/16/2007 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 2
You might be able to play the original half-life if you are lucky.

Actually, that should run great. The original Half-Life was noteworthy in that it could run acceptably on virtually any hardware. It simply scaled things back visually but playability was fine.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By glitchc on 10/16/2007 9:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
The GMA 900 on my Acer laptop handles Quake 3 just fine. Full detail and everything at ~60 fps with vsync enabled. Intel chips aren't THAT bad. Granted they can't run Bioshock, but then neither could my X850XT, which I think is still a very decent pixel pusher.

Upgraded to an 8800 GTS recently though :D Bioshock runs just fine now.

RE: My thoughts on uses.
By jak3676 on 10/15/2007 10:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. If they could have gotten an old ATI 200m or something similar that would have been great.

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