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Reviewing the Asus Eee PC 4G - page 6

Giddy for the Eee

  • November 26, 2007
  • By Eric Grevstad

The 4G is available at online outlets including J&R, Newegg.com, and BestBuy.com. Soon, it'll have company as Asus rolls out Eees at other price points.

The 4G Surf ($350) resembles our 4GB flash/512MB memory model but drops the webcam and comes with a smaller battery. The 2G Surf cuts further, with only a 2GB solid-state drive and 256MB of RAM for $300. A flagship Eee 8G with an 8GB drive, 1GB of system memory, and the webcam and larger battery will cost $500. It's not yet clear which configuration will be offered with Windows.

The Eee is inevitably getting compared to the XO notebook created for schoolkids in developing countries by the One Laptop Per Child campaign. Both are ultralight laptops with a beginner-friendly software shell over Linux, and component cost increases have pushed both to double their initially announced prices. (Asus and Intel touted a $199 Eee at Computex in June, while OLPC and MIT Media Lab exec Nicholas Negroponte made the XO famous as "the $100 laptop.")

Realistically, the Eee doesn't compete with the educational software and outdoor-rugged design of the XO. Nor, of course, is it a high-speed, high-definition, game-busting desktop replacement. It's a mainstream, everyday-tasks laptop that happens to be incredibly compact yet remarkably usable, with a combination of hardware, software, and value that hits a sweet spot the industry hadn't noticed.

Omigod.

This article originally appeared on Hardware Central, a JupiterOnlineMedia site.

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