Asus Eee PC: £199 Linux laptop

Asus has been overdosing on innovation cookies again -- it's unveiled a £199 mini laptop known as the Eee PC 701, which has a solid-state drive and runs on Linux

Asus has been eating the innovation cookies again. Not content with releasing punchable, scratch-proof monitors, the Taiwan-based company has unveiled a £199 laptop known as the Eee PC 701.

The 'Eee' signifies "easy to learn, easy to play, easy to work". It's a half-UMPC, half-laptop hybrid which measures 225x35x165mm and weighs a paltry 690g. Its 7-inch display looks similar to the one on the Asus R2H Ultra-Mobile PC, but there's also a 10-inch version planned -- good news for the short-sighted.

The Eee PC is based on Intel's Classmate PC prototype -- the parallel effort to the One Laptop Per Child PC. It uses an 'old' Pentium M clocked at 900MHz, accompanied by 512MB of RAM. Other interesting specs include 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, a 4GB, 8GB or 16GB solid-state hard drive, 56K modem, 10/100MB Ethernet, a 0.3-megapixel video camera and four USB ports -- that's more than many full-size laptops.

The Eee PC uses a Linux-variant operating system that is said to require only 15 seconds to boot. Windows XP has been omitted in order to cut costs, but Microsoft die-hards should note that the Eee PC can run Windows XP. It'll ship with Open Office, Firefox and Skype, plus you can install any number of other open-source applications.

We love this thing -- £199 for all that functionality? It puts £700 UMPCs in the shade, doesn't it? Asus hopes to sell around 700,000 units this year, and our name is on at least one of those. -Rory Reid

Update: A review of the Asus Eee PC 701 is now on the site

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

CNET's giving away a 3D printer

Enter for a chance to win* the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.