Asus Eee PC 2G at $299: good value over the 4G?

3422024404It will be a little tougher (but not impossible) to get XP installed on an Asus Eee PC with 2G of flash storage and the less expensive models are now available. Earlier this week, a number of retailers showed inventory of this portable sub-notebook with a starting price of $299. A quick Google for “Asus eee 2g” shows some online stores such as J&R shipping in-stock models now. The full gamut of Easter Egg pastel colors are yours for the choosing too.For $100 in savings, what are you losing from the $399 Asus 4G? The 2G model has half the RAM at 512 MB, no integrated web-cam and a slightly lower capacity battery. Expect around 2.5 to 2.8 hours of battery life as a result. Still, a great little laptop for the kids that can still be used for getting things done in a pinch too. Personally, I think the loss of the web-cam isn’t that big a deal. At only .3-megapixels and an observed low frame-rate (in Linux and XP), you’re not missing much based on my experience. You can easily find a 1 GB memory module for less than $100, so the real limiting factor on the 2G is the 2 GB of SSD memory. If you can work around that with the SD slot or USB drives, this is a nice value for a notebook the size of a trade paperback.Update: OK, I need to consider turning in my official “Asus Eee PC Fan Club Card” after several astute readers mentioned a few more differences between the 2G and 4G. I forgot that I added the 1 GB RAM module to my 4G, so both 2G and 4G come with the same 512 MB of RAM. As far as the missing RAM access panel: I’ve heard mention that the reason for the missing RAM access panel is because there isn’t a RAM slot; instead, the memory is on-board. If the memory isn’t upgradable, it’s not a deal-buster, but makes the unit much less attractive. Thanks for keeping me honest in the comments; serves me right for busting out a quick post before spending the day rushing around for last minute gifts! ;)

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