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Summary:

http://www.youtube.com/v/iNh8P6-02ZU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1 I mentioned earlier this week that I’m interested in looking at the new ASUS Eee PC 1101HA when it launches locally. For now, I can get this first look that Johannes offers — he unboxes the new netbook over in Germany. Due to the slightly […]

http://www.youtube.com/v/iNh8P6-02ZU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

I mentioned earlier this week that I’m interested in looking at the new ASUS Eee PC 1101HA when it launches locally. For now, I can get this first look that Johannes offers — he unboxes the new netbook over in Germany. Due to the slightly larger size when compared to a 10-inch device, the keyboard is less cramped. The netbook also gains some resolution, up to 1366×768, thanks to the 11.6-inch display.

With devices like this, the netbook is coming full circle back to notebooks. We started out with 7-inch netbooks, moved to 8.9 inches and then 10 inches. All that’s left between netbooks and traditional laptops starting at 13- inches is this 11-12-inch middle ground. Oh, wait a second. Isn’t that where the “ultra-thin” notebooks running Intel CULV chips are going to be? Sounds like a car crash that you know is coming — you hear the brakes squeal, turn your head, but still hear the collision.

The next 6-9 months in this space are worth watching. Will consumers stick with price as a primary constraint and opt for netbooks? Do $500-$800 ultra-thin notebooks with more capability start eating into netbook sales? And what happens to the traditional notebook market as the result? Intel seems to win in any of these cases. Its Atom powers netbooks, the CULV platform is in the next size up and the chipmaker powers most of the full-sized notebooks in the market, too.

One of our mantras here bears repeating — mobile technology is all about compromise. I look at it as a triangle, in which each point is a mobile device attribute: performance, price and power efficiency. As you move closer to one point, you move further away from one or two other points. Put another way: You can’t buy a portable device today for a few hundred dollars that offers desktop-replacement performance and all-day computing.

I believe there’s a market for all of these segments: netbooks, new ultra-thin notebooks and traditional notebooks. Each person has different requirements, and more importantly, each person chooses their own area(s) to compromise on. Although I love my MSI Wind netbook, I’ll admit that I’m intrigued by devices in the 11-inch range. My first Tablet PC, a Toshiba M205, was a 12.1-inch unit and I long felt that it was an excellent screen size for me. Now the question is: Do I want to buy a less expensive 11-inch netbook or a more powerful 11- or 12-inch ultra-thin notebook that costs more?

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  1. These days, I’ll go with the cheaper one. If I want to edit/encode video or play games, I’ll use the desktop.

    I bought my first 12″ optical drive-free subnotebook around 1999 and it cost me almost $2000. If I had the choice to get a cheaper one, I would.

  2. I am just about to purchased a powerful new desktop. That will be my getting things done at home machine, and my central repository for backups etc.

    I am going to supplement that machine with cheaper netbook style devices. I want the cheaper devices because they evolve so quickly I think it is likely that I will only hold on to one for 8 months or so (I am ready to replace my EEE 901). The old devices go up on Ebay as soon as I get rid of relatives who would just kill for my old one.

    I think the 500 price point that many of the new ASUS machines are coming in at is a good point. I like the Seashell design quite a bit. I still have my eye on that T91, but I think it more likely that I will get either the 1005ha or perhaps this one.

  3. There’s a world of difference between the 11.6 screen and 10.2 inch screens. Unfortunately the CPU power (Z520) is not quite sufficient yet to take complete advantage of the better screen.

    For myself though, $500 is on the high end for a netbook. Keeping netbook prices around $300-$400 makes them more of an impluse/convenience buy. But $500 to many people is a spending barrier that puts the buying decision into the “will need to think about it” range.

  4. I had been thinking the same thing in the past few months. I had saved up the money to buy either a Viliv S5 or X70 but decided that a keyboard was important to me. I also own a Asus Eee 1000 HE netbook, which has been a faithful companion, but a tad small, little cramped keyboard and with the atom processor a little underpowered for my usage. But it was the device that got me used to 5+ hours of battery life. Looking to get something a bit larger, yet still portable with decent performance I started researching. I ended up buying an Acer Timeline 3810T with a Centrino2 SU9400 (1.4GHZ) 4gb ram upgradeable to 8gb, 500GB hard drive, 13.3″ LED screen. For $899 at MicroCenter. It is quite a step above the atom processor, but not a Core 2 Duo. But with 7+ hours of battery life and 3.5 pounds its my new go anywhere rig. So I have gone the CULV route and away from the Atom processor. I wanted to like the Asus T91, but its not quite there yet. And at $499 its a bit above what I would pay for another Atom processor, especially with small amount of drive space.

  5. I used to love my 12inch white iBook. Size was perfect, just too heavy and I haven’t used a DVD/CD-drive for a very long time except installing software. I currently use an Acer Aspire One with Ubuntu 9.04 and am looking for a slightly larger screen – the Lenovo S12 with the ION chip looks perfect to me.

  6. Jonathan Cohen Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Resolution is starting to look more important to me than screen size. I’ve got the 1000HE, which is wonderful aside from the heat and clacky keyboard, but not to have a minimum of 1024×768 makes a lot of content browsing painful.

    I came from an Thinkpad X41 tablet, so I’m used to 4:3 screens. 600 vertical pixels doesn’t give a lot of vertical room, especially with browser chrome, the taskbar and so on (I know you can turn them off, but I prefer them).

    The other main drawback for the 10.2″ screen of the 1000HE is the smaller keyboard and lack of dedicated PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End keys. I never realized how much I depend on them for navigation. My hope is that 11″ or 12″ screens will mean a slightly larger netbook case and the ability to reintroduce them to the keyboard.

  7. i love the Asus Eee PC, it is very light, cheap and portable. I also bought another unit for my girlfriend and she really likes it.

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