Eeexpansion plans: Asus announces more low-cost Linux products

Asus announces a desktop, an all-in-one PC, and an LCD TV in its Eee line.

The Asus Eee PC will soon welcome new family members. CNET Networks

Looking to capitalize on the popularity of its $400 Linux laptop, the Eee PC , Asus announced it will release three products under the Eee banner later this year: a desktop, an all-in-one PC, and an LCD TV. I can't see any of these forthcoming Eee products matching the Eee PC's early success--a compelling form factor and significant cost savings over similarly sized laptops helped it out of the gate--although the all-in-one PC may have a shot. Let us run through the newly announced products.

Confirming earlier rumors , Asus said it will release a desktop version of the Eee PC, which it will call the E-DT. The E-DT will cost between $200 and $300 and it will use an Intel Celeron processors. It is scheduled for an April or a May release. Later versions of the product will be based on Intel's Shelton platform with single-core Diamondville CPUs on the 945GC chipset.

Despite its dull name, the E-Monitor looks like it has the best chance to succeed among the announced products. At $499, this all-in-one PC will be priced much lower than Apple's iMac, Dell's XPS One , or Gateway's One . It's scheduled for a September release, and will use Intel's Shelton platform and include a TV tuner. It'll feature a smallish display in the 19- to 21-inch range. Design plays a huge role in an all-in-one's appeal--much more than a tower you tuck under your desk--so hopefully Asus is given its product designers the resources they need for the E-Monitor.

The E-TV will also be released in September and is somewhat of a departure from the Eee strategy of undercutting competing (Windows-based) products on price. This 42-inch LCD TV will cost $200 more than similarly sized units, but it will include Linux, lending it PC functionality should you want that. I would say let me keep my $200, just give me an LCD TV and I'll put that chunk of change toward an Eee PC. So that I can watch TV on my TV and browse the Internet on my lap. At the same time. I'm a bit of a multitasker that way.

While announcing the new products, Asus did mention one Eee PC-related tidbit: plans are on hold for bringing a touch screen to the laptop.

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