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Summary:

Asus will be announcing the EEE PC 1000 next week at CompuTex in Taiwan with the biggest screen yet, 10 inches.  This leads me to wonder how big is too big where these ultra-cheap laptops are concerned?  Why should this matter?  Well it’s not the size […]

480_asus_eeepc1001whiteAsus will be announcing the EEE PC 1000 next week at CompuTex in Taiwan with the biggest screen yet, 10 inches.  This leads me to wonder how big is too big where these ultra-cheap laptops are concerned?  Why should this matter?  Well it’s not the size that’s the concern with me it’s the price.  The bigger the screen the more expensive to produce which translates into a higher street price.  This could be a factor as I believe that what catapulted the original EEE PC into the forefront was not the small size but the small price.  The portability was icing on the cake but what got everyone’s attention was the very low price.  Since that original EEE PC we’ve seen models that grow and grow along with the price tag.

I look at the notebook market today and you can get a pretty decent laptop for around $600 in the US.  Sure it won’t be tiny, but neither will the hardware components.  So if price is the major factor in the ultra-cheap notebook arena, and I believe it is, then these new (and bigger) ultra-cheap notebooks are entering the price range of the much better outfitted laptop.  Why buy a big EEE PC or equivalent for $600+ when you can get a Core 2 Duo 15.4-inch laptop from a major vendor with tons of memory and and an optical drive inside?  If size is not a big factor, and the bigger these little notebooks get the less a factor it will be, then go for the power.  That’s my take on it anyway.

  1. Its obvious to me… Asus is using it’s new found fame to cut itself a bigger slice of the well established notebook market pie. It found a niche (Mini-Notebooks) and has used that to make a name for itself among the masses. I know that they already make regular sized notebooks but i wouldn’t call them a big name in that area at the moment. When i think notebook i think IBM, HP, Toshiba and fujitsu. i have a feeling that Asus is sneakily moving up the line to be among the big names also.

    Thats my take on it anyway.

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  2. Exactly! The classic size/portability versus features/price tradeoffs. I bought a 13inch Dell in January for $900 after realizing that to go smaller ment getting less power and at that time a larger price. I realized also that there was no single answer to the best mobility solution and I bought an Ipod touch for when I need true mobility and small size. The two device solution works for me. The ee machines are going to be hard pressed soon on both sides with the new MIDS and also the new 11-12 inch laptops.

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  3. I think the main issue with the EeePC and its ilk moving up to the $600+ range is Quality of construction. The HP-2133, from what I’ve read has provided that improvement in quality, but my take is that the 9″ EeePC has not made any significant improvement to it’s quality, they are simply charging more for the things they left out in the first place.

    Once you get to the $600 range, the step up to the $1000 price range is not so great, and opens up lots of other options.

    With two a 14″ Dell and a 15″ Asus (Linux) laptop, and a new high end 14″ Dell on the way, I’ve decided to sit out the mini-note until they have touch screen capabilities. I analyzed what I needed from the device, and the main use would be a portable browser to replace my N800, and allow me to browse content of various kinds (Web, eBooks, PDFs, etc) whenever and wherever I went.

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  4. This is just Kendrick taunting me to get that Lenovo U100. For close to TWO FRIKKIN GRAND!!!

    See, price STILL does matter!

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  5. The real shame of this is that they may end up killing the market they created.

    I think they’re losing track of what the original concept was, here. If the Eee Pc is big and expensive, it’s not really an Eee Pc anymore. It’s just another notebook.

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  6. Niels Andersen Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Mobility is important, but in order to be truly useful a device has to have a certain size. I bought the first Eee PC hoping it’d be a great alternative to lugging my macbook with me everywhere. It wasn’t. The keyboard was useless and the screen made even basic web-browsing impossible. I’m buying a new netbook (or whatever the name of the day is for these little devices) again sometime this summer because now they’re usable for me. The keyboards are getting big enough for man-hands (ie. mininote and wind) and the screen resolutions are good enough for basic stuff. There’s still a world of difference between a 1.2 kg MSI Wind and a 3.X kg 15.4 inch machine. At least that’s my take on it.

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  7. I think it’s important to remember that as far as I can tell Asus is not discontinuing the original EEEPC. This models aren’t meant to be the focus of the EEE line for now.

    The 9″ is very close to the original in size so that may end up being the main model when component price goes down.

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  8. @ Niels

    I wouldn’t count on the Wind’s keyboard being any better than the Eee. While the machine itself is larger, the keyboard is, roughly, the same size as the Eee Pc’s.

    If you want a best in class keyboard, go with the Mini-Note.

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  9. @Nate

    I have read in other forums that the MSI Wind is close to 90-95% the size of a regular keyboard, considering its a 10inch and the keyboard stretches to both sides. Its close to the Mini Note, but I will wait till I see multiple review of the MSI Wind and the EEE PC 1000 before buying.

    I think there are alot of people like me that do not need the horsepower on the go. We need a computer to type on and go on the internet. A mobile device (iphone) isnt as useful as a small laptop.(Copying and pasting, Typing, screen size, battery life)

    I cant stand carrying around my 14 inch dell, its heavy, clunky, and gets 1.5 hours of battery life now. Having some power is great but I’m only using word and firefox. A 500-600 dollar, 2.5 lbs computer is ideal.

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  10. Chris, JKK reported that the keys are just a mm bigger than the Eee Pc keys. The board stretches to the edges because there are more keys, not larger keys.

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  11. what does it matter how big they go? they are releasing the 10″ models in ADDITION to the 8.9″ model, they are not canceling the 8.9″s.

    seriously, someone should have thought this article through 1st.

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  12. The price point is really an issue – I don’t think you can call these “ultra-cheap” or even particularly inexpensive.

    Nate – the space between the keys matters as much as the key size. It looks like they’ve integrated a cursor pad at the lower right corner, which adds a key across the lower span, but they layout looks wider to my eyes. It looks like the SHIFT keys, etc have gotten wider too. That was a big complaint.

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  13. Having thought about this some more, there’s a ginormous flaw in the price argument. What about that frikkin enormously-overpriced HTC Advantage, Kendrick, eh? Eh? Compared to a $399 EeePC, the HTC should have a retail comparison value of maybe $200 tops! Instead, it’s more than 4x that! It’s more expensive than a 10″ MSI Wind!

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  14. ‘Having thought about this some more, there’s a ginormous flaw in the price argument. What about that frikkin enormously-overpriced HTC Advantage,……!

    No, because the Eee isn’t also a phone with GPS, 3 megapixel Camera with LED flash, pocketable, built in bluetooth etc.

    Also, the price of the dollar is having an impact on imports, so the price points for these devices is rising.

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  15. Hey Mike,

    I’m not disputing that some keys are larger on the Wind’s board. However, people expecting the thing to be 90-95% full sized are going to be very disappointed.

    Based on the pictures provided, to me, a bunch of unimportant keys are larger, and it has an actual directional pad, over the Eee. Other than that, the keys look about the same.

    For me, the problem with the Eee wasn’t that the enter and shift keys were too small and that it lacked dedicated direction keys. It was that all of the keys were too small. Based on everything I’ve seen, the Wind will not solve this problem.

    While I appreciate that you’ve put this together, I trust JKK on this issue.
    http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2008/05/hands-on-with-msi-wind.html

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  16. Nate,

    if the KB on the Wind is like the KB on my Lifebook P7000 (10.6″ screen & almost identical width) then i can tell you from 1st hand experience that it is MUCH larger & much easier to type on than the EEE, there is absolutely no comparison.

    also, my KB is in fact rated at 95% full size.

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  17. I haven’t heard anyone comparing it to that keyboard.

    It has been compared to the Eee Pc keyboard.

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  18. I think memobug might be right. I have read that the space between the keys are larger on the MSI wind compared to the EEE PC 700 or 900.

    The whole layout look wider and bigger then the EEE PC, I cant defend a computer until I see some live shots and people actually using it.

    I believe, (pretty sure) JKK’s article is based on a review done entriely in spanish which does not translate very well with google. Again, lets wait and see some reviews of the MSI wind and EEE PC 1000 for the final KB verdict.

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  19. Back to what the article was about…

    The sub 600 light weight notebook market will hurt those retailers selling more expensive notebooks. I think more people are looking at weight and price rather than a full fledged computer. Most already have a notebook that can handle everything, its just too big to carry around. They need mobility for internet and typing.

    Bottom line is that the majority of notebook users dont need the power and storage for their needs.

    apple: I know apple will ignore this sub 600 notebook market because of their brand being high-end. Instead I think they will venture into a tablet type device. Just a guess since they stated the iphone was based on their work of a tablet apple.

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  20. @ Nate: jkk did not write that. He was linking to another site!

    And look here:
    http://attach1.mobile01.com/attach/200805/mobile01-519c52ffb756e9101511fa7e09b0d5a7.jpg

    That is way bigger than the EeePC keyboard!

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  21. Damn. Mobile01 killed my direct links to their photos. I’ve had to clone the photos in my earlier post:
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/ton-of-new-msi-wind-photos/

    See that larger keyboard, Nate!

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  22. Dead link.

    It doesn’t look way bigger to me. It looks like some keys are, though.

    JKK was linking to some of the only people who have had their hands on the machine, so I tend to believe people who’ve touched it over people who haven’t.

    Really, we’ll all know soon enough. You and I discussing this, at this point, is as reliable as sitting a couple of three year olds in a room and asking them about it. None of us have laid hands on the damn thing,yet.

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  23. OK. Good pics. However, I’d like to see the size of the woman attached to those hands.

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  24. @Mike

    I’ve killed the hijacking of James’ post, and moved to posting on your site.

    I figured it’s a more appropriate conversation there, considering the original subject matter here.

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  25. I just posted my rant on the eee thing under the Acer (anybody else that can’t keep Asus and Acer straight or is it just me?) article.

    I reiterate, these things are not useful enough to have $600-800 price points. JKOTR is the only blog I have seen to put this out there in blunt language.

    I want to know how many of these things will be collecting dust within a few months because people realize that XP with 512k of RAM and a tiny flash drive is not something they can use for a lot of their tasks. You have low processor power, undersized keyboard, resolution issues, inadequate storage and on and on.

    If you need a surfing device, get a Nokia n8xx or an HTC advantage or a Sony Mylo2 or… there are too many options to name at various price points.

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  26. >>>If you need a surfing device, get a Nokia n8xx or an HTC advantage or a Sony Mylo2 or… there are too many options to name at various price points.

    Well there’s your primary error right there. It’s not a SURFING device to me. It’s a BLOGGING device. I’ve detailed more in that Acer thread.

    And from what I’ve seen in public on my own, there are plenty of people using ginormous heavy notebooks just to surf. Overkill!

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  27. Thank you Mike Cane, Exactly.

    These computers come with a gig of ram, plenty for XP, decent processors for internet and Word, and 80-120 gigs of harddrive. The Keyboards are rated at 90-95%, some lower, and resolution is damn good on some. most are under $600.

    Those that are making the argument to get a bigger/faster computer: What exactly are you doing on them?

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  28. >>>Those that are making the argument to get a bigger/faster computer: What exactly are you doing on them?

    Heh-heh. Sitting in Bryant Park doing PhotoShop on an LCD screen during bright sunlight? I think not!

    I’ve seen a lot of public notebook use (unlike JK, outside of Starbucks!). It’s all stuff that can be handled by the Asus EeePC 7xx: web use, word processing, playing music (well, OK, that last one would need an HD, ideally), playing video. This is not muscular use! In fact, that’s why Macbook sales are so big: no-fuss public web use.

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