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Price up, specs down for low-cost Linux notebook?

Sep 12, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

As its ship date nears, the price is rising and the specs dropping on Asus's ultra-low-cost, flash-based Linux notebook, according to reports. The EEE PC (3ePC), introduced at Computex, Taipei in June, is now expected to start at about $250, rather than the $190 originally targeted.

(Click for larger view of the Asus 3ePC)

The report comes from The Inquirer, a hardware-oriented, tabloid-style tech website based in Great Britain. Writer Liam Proven gathered a raft of photos and videos to support speculations about the device's cost, feature set, and launch date, none of which appear to be actually known as yet.

The device was originally supposed to boot in 15 seconds, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih told Computex keynote attendees. However, Proven found a couple of washed out YouTube tradeshow booth videos showing prototypes taking closer to 30 seconds.

The 3ePC will likely be based on an Intel “Dothan” Celeron M, clocked at either 800 or 900 MHz. It will have a small, 7-inch screen, 256MB of RAM, and 2GB of flash, Proven speculates, rather than the 512MB and 4GB of RAM ahd flash originally projected. A version with a larger 10-inch, 1024 x 600 screen was canceled, Proven suggests. His story can be found here.

The story of rising costs and sinking specs is certainly familiar in the arena of “ultra low-cost” systems. From the OLPC to the original Simputer, every such device seems to go through this. One exception is AMD's PIC, which is now actually selling for under $100, after being purchased by Data Evolution.

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