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Asus makes Eee PC S101 official, expects warm reception

Asus officially unveils the Eee PC S101, its slimmest, sleekest Netbook yet.

Little, brown, different: the Eee PC S101.

Asus has big plans for its Eee PC S101. Details on the premium ($699 and up) Netbook were leaked on Monday, and Wednesday Asus officially unveiled its slimmest, sleekest Netbook yet at an odd event in Taiwan (see "wedding" photos here).

According to DigiTimes, Asus expects the S101 to account for 10 percent of Eee PCs it ships by the end of the year. That would seem to be an impressive number, given that the S101 costs double that of the original Eee PC and that Asus seems to introduce a new Eee PC model every other week. In fact, Asus will reportedly introduce two new Eee PC models, which will fall between the Eee PC 1000 series and the S101.

One last tidbit: DigiTimes reports that Asus expects to overtake Lenovo in global shipments next year, while leaping over Dell in China in 2009. At last count, Asus was eighth in laptop market share, three spots behind Lenovo.

I'm awaiting response from Asus on pricing and U.S. availability for the Eee PC S101. I will update this post with that information as soon as I get it. Until then, I will say that it's been widely reported that the S101 will be priced as follows:

Windows XP, 16GB SSD: $699
Linux, 32GB SSD: $699
Linux, 64GB SSD: $799

Update: Asus confirmed the above pricing, but it will not sell the two Linux-based models in the U.S. The Windows-based S101 will hit the U.S. on November 1 and will feature a 16GB solid-state drive and a 16GB SD card, plus 20GB of online storage.