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Asus turns to Celeron to sell more Nettops

Reports from DigiTimes last Tuesday points to Asustek planning to offer a Celeron-based Eee Box on top of the existing Intel Atom systems in order to lower retail price and boost sales.

It’s pretty obvious that Asus did not get good reception with their Eee Box compared to the Eee PC. A system with an Atom processor and 80GB hard drive, keyboard, mouse, and Eee Stick is selling for NT$9,999 (Php14,500).

When Asus debuted the Eee Box in the Philippines, it had a retail price of Php24,900 which includes a 16″ LCD monitor. That leaves the Eee Box to around Php17,500 which is still expensive.

Then, there were stores like Rising Sun Computers which offers the Intel Atom and motherboard (Intel BLKD945GCLF Little Falls) for just Php3,000.

So it looks like the Eee Box is a non-seller primarily because of the price. Asus hopes that by downgrading to a Celeron 220 (1.2GHz), they’d be able to offer the set at NT$7,988 (US$240 or Php11,500) — which I think is still expensive IMO. They’ve upgraded the HDD to 120GB from 80GB though.

What’s bugging me though is that the CPU downgrade from Atom to Celeron on the Eee Box was worth about Php3,000 on the retail price. That’s actually the same price as getting a new set of Atom CPU and mobo. Besides, how much is an Atom CPU really cost coming out of Intel — just $44 a pop.

Now, here’s the trouble with going back to Celeron:

  • What happens to the “very low power consumption” promise of an Eee Box? The Celeron 220 has a TDP of 19 watts while the Atom is only at 2.5 watts.
  • Celeron desktop systems are pretty common these days. How would Asus make the Eee Box edge over the rest and those build-your-own systems?
  • Intel will be coming out with the new dual-core Atom processors (N330) and marketing efforts will be focused on the nettops running those new low-power CPUs.

There must be something really off with the pricing of the Eee Box that contributed in its lackluster sales this year.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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4 Responses

  1. Kali Kalache says:

    one year ago I was arriving in Gummersbach…. I wish I was there again! Miss you! Have a great seminar and please keep in touch!!!

  2. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    noone knows how to use a contact form nowadays

    wonder how come they have to increase the price so much when it gets here.
    anyway dont think asus can win any price wars, only in innovation and reliability.

  3. Irvin Jacob says:

    I have not yet seen this machine at computer stores but your this review is baffled as to why these tiny PCs are appealing. Could I suggest a possible solution, and that’s portability.

    As auxilliary machines they appear to provide an excellent product to bridge that gap between desktop work environment and out on the road.
    Lugging a standard laptop is not always possible, and is getting harder on flights where cabin baggage limits are being tightened.

    As a journalism student the ability to pack something the size of a novel and take it on the road to me seems great. Basic text, audio and video processing, internet browsing and some connectivity, is all that I need.

    Too often the standard laptop packs more than is ever required.

    Maybe the tiny PC makers are finally realizing there’s a demand for computers that fit people’s needs and small, simple and easily portable works for me.

    Downgrading the machine to a Celeron processor is just reasonable. This PC is only a spare tool you want to carry with you instead of your a bit bulky precious high-end notebook.

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