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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
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?

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