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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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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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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