When the first generation Asus Eee PC was initially announced and eventually shipped, hordes of people were dying to get their hands on one. Why? Because it filled a gap in the niche that no other computer manufacturer ever tried before.
Now Asus is announcing that a newer line of the Eee PC will be released this year (2008). It will come with an 8GB of flash-based drive and 10 inches of real estate (so you don’t have to squint at the 800×600 pixels anymore). The rig might also include 1GB of RAM. Of course, they will come at a much higer price than the original $400 price tag.
This time, I believe Asus is pushing it too far. Let’s review why the 7″ Eee PC was hot item:
- It’s small and lightweight. It’s the ultimate in portability for a full-featured personal dcomputer.
- It’s flash-based. 4GB might be small but at least there are no mechanically moving parts inside. We all know the hard drive is the first thing we think of whenever our laptop suffers an accidental rock and roll. Say goodbye to a crashed HDD.
- It’s unbelievably cheap. Why couldn’t Fujitsu, known for their ultra-small laptops, offer something like this? We all thought anything below 12″ will cost us an arm and a leg. The Asus Eee PC busted that myth.
So, an 10″ Asus Eee PC which might cost buyers 50 to 100% more than the old $400 might not cut it anymore. I reckon the deciding factor will rest on the SRP. Asus will need to find the sweet spot for this one to really sell it as fast as the first one. I say $499 will do.