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Summary:

You can’t really have a NETbook without connectivity to the Internet, right? I suppose you can, but it’s not nearly as much fun or broad of an experience. Speaking of broad, Asus is adding integrated wireless broadband to the Eee PC line, starting with the 901 […]

Eeepc901b00You can’t really have a NETbook without connectivity to the Internet, right? I suppose you can, but it’s not nearly as much fun or broad of an experience. Speaking of broad, Asus is adding integrated wireless broadband to the Eee PC line, starting with the 901 model next month. It’s not just 3G, it’s three-and-three-quarters-G with support for HSUPA. That means if the wireless network in your area is up for it, you’ll have speedy downloads of up to 7.2 Mbps and 2 Mbps back up.Although no radio frequencies were mentioned, here in the U.S. I’d expect this device to be usable on the AT&T 3G network. We’ll have to wait for more specifics to hear about network support and pricing as well. This is sure to add to the cost of the device, but it also opens up an emerging trend: subsidized netbooks. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to have a network provider pay some or most of the device cost directly to Asus. In that case, consumers would pay little out of pocket for the Eee PC but have a long-term commitment to a data plan to use the wireless broadband.While integrated wireless connectivity will be welcomed by most, I personally stay away from these types of solutions in favor of USB devices like my USB727 to offer the same feature. Using multiple devices vastly reduces the benefit of a single device with integrated wireless broadband, but I suspect I’m in the minority on this. I’m also wondering: if netbooks moves towards integrated connectivity (other than WiFi, of course), what does this do to the MID market?

  1. What MID market?

  2. Totally agree that embedded 3G devices are not a good thing. Several reasons are explained here: http://www.EVDOinfo.com/embedded

  3. Vlad (Small Business Blog) Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Actually, I believe you will be in majority here. Why would I buy same device over and over if I could purchase one USB/PCMCIA device and re-use it in any laptop I happen to have at the moment. Two years (of contract) is a pretty long term and anything can happen. Although most people retain their laptops for 3 to 5 years, it still makes sense to keep modem and laptop separately.

  4. I personally prefer having an embedded modem in my devices. I have tried and currently use both, but dislike having a USB or PC-Card dongle hanging out of my machine as I walk between meetings and conference rooms.

    I also prefer the clean look of the internal modem. Not that it is my main driver, but it does factor in.

    I installed an internal EVDO modem for my recently purchased 2710p but I didn’t get rid of my USB720 and PC-Card modems. With Verizon’s device activation pages, it takes about 2 minutes to active a different modem if necessary. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.

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