Any wave of laughter heard at Computex today can likely be attributed to the announcement of Asus’s ridiculously named Eee PC 701, which sounds more like a siren or a scream than the Intel-based handtop boasting a 7-inch screen, up to 16GB of flash memory, and 802.11b/g and ethernet connectivity that it actually is.
Slated to be part of Intel’s new "World Ahead" program, an initiative created to make owning a computer a reality for just about anyone in the world, the 1.9-pound Eee PC is so-named because of its ability to "provide users with the most comprehensive Internet application based on the three Es: Easy to learn, work, play; Excellent Internet experience; and Excellent mobile computing experience."
Pricing details are absent from the press release, but both PCMag and The Inquirer report a $199 price tag. The former mentions a $299 model as well, while I4U notes a likely cap of $500 for the highest-spec’d unit. Capable of running either Linux or Windows XP, the Eee PC measures 8.9" x 6.5" x 0.8" (1.4" at its thickest point) and is also equipped with 512MB of memory, stereo speakers, 0.3-megapixel webcam, and a microphone for VoIP calls. The 4-cell 5200mAh battery is estimated at powering the unit for about 3 hours.
Jonney Shih, Asus chairman and CEO, calls the upcoming handtop "the world’s lowest cost and easiest PC" and is hoping that it can "really expand the market" by as much as a billion dollars.
The Eee PC is scheduled to be sold as is (not subsidized) later this year.[I4U | PCMag | Only UMPC]