It was only a matter of time before tablets replaced the underpowered netbooks that were all the rage back in 2007. And after five years of badging every one of its Intel Atom-powered PCs with the Eee moniker, ASUS (2357) is calling it quits on the netbook category that it pioneered. Digitimes reports that ASUS has ceased production of all Eee PC netbooks and will transition to marketing its family of Transformer tablets to fill the 10.1-inch netbook void.
While Acer scrambles to reverse the current negative trend that saw its PC shipments fall last quarter as revenue dove 56%, Taiwan-based competitor Asustek just issued second-quarter guidance that predicts growth in shipments over the first quarter of 2011. While analysts go back and forth over what the emerging tablet market’s impact on netbooks and notebooks might be moving forward, Asustek expects to ship 3.1 million devices this quarter, a 10.7% increase over the first quarter. While the company does plan to focus on tablets in addition to its core laptop business, it only expects about 9.7% of its total shipments — or 300,000 units — to be Eee Pad tablets. Asustek also expects revenue for the second quarter of 2011 to grow 5% to NT$77.6 billion. More →
And the tablets keep on coming. In addition to Dell, HP, and a plethora of smaller manufacturers, ASUS confirmed it too will be jumping on the tablet bandwagon. Not surprisingly, the tablet will be known as the Eee Pad and will be powered by Android. Key features of the Eee Pad include a webcam, Adobe Flash support and USB connectivity. Hoping to sell 350,000 units by the end of 2010, ASUS expects the Eee Pad will cannibalize sales of its popular Eee PC netbook line by approximately 10-20%. Look for the Eee Pad to get official this June at Computex 2010 retail for NT$15,000-16,000 (US$479-510) when it launches in Q3 of 2010. Any tablet freaks turned off by the mass-consumerism of the iPad interested in this Android offering? More →
Netbook fans may be pleasantly surprised today — or perhaps disappointed — as a purported roadmap for ASUS’ US Eee PC offerings is currently making the rounds. Allegedly depicting the Eee PC launch schedule for the remainder of the year, this roadmap doesn’t offer too much in the way of excitement but at least those in need of a new netbook can get an idea of what ASUS will have to offer in the coming months. If it’s real, that is. Hit the jump for the details.
ASUS, we still love you and your snazzy Eee Keyboard but we have to level with you — our patience is wearing thin. We first saw this badass little PC back in January and at that point in time, we wanted it post haste. Don’t get us wrong, we’re still excited to see the Eee Keys hit the market but with each passing day seemingly comes a new and later launch time frame. First it was June, then August, and now DigiTimes is reporting it will drop in October or later with a price point in the $400-$500 range. Price: fair. October or later: lame. The Chinese paper is also reporting that ASUS will launch its Eee Top All-in-one PC in September for around $670 and the Eee Box will land in the same month for $300. Great. We want the Keyboard and we want it now.
It looks like Asus is keen on using Android for more than just its mobile phones. Asus CEO Johnny Shih has begun openly discussing the possibility of selling an Eee PC that features Google’s open-source OS. Since its launch, hackers have been more than willing to put in the time and effort to port Android to a multitude of computers, netbooks and mobile phones. Seeing this, it’s only natural that a company like Asus would want to cash in on the demand for Android. Shih also mentioned Asus aspires to have a product that can be “put in the pocket, play MP3s, offer GPS services, works like a PDA and offers mobile TV.” Sounds good to us Asus – make it happen!
Asus has finally released the first version of its much-awaiting all-in-one offering, the Eee Top. For the time being, one version is available to the public, the ET1602, though a slightly beefier version is expected to become available shortly. Of course it’s only available in Taiwan for the time being but the roll out in other markets shouldn’t take long. As for seeing this puppy here in the US any time soon? That remains to be seen but we’re definitely not holding our breath. A recap of the specs:
- Intel Atom processor (1.6GHz/533MHz FSB/512K Cache)
- 1 GB DDR2 667 RAM
- 160 GB SATA II 5400rpm hard drive
- Graphics Card: Shared Graphics (128MB)
- Windows XP Home (SP3)
- 15.6″ (16:10 Wide Panel) touchscreen
- Graphics: Shared Graphics (128MB)
- Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel
- Mirophone: Digital Array Microphone
- Audio Chips: 2 x 4W Hifi Speaker + SRS
- Communication: 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
- WLAN: WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- IO Side Ports: Memory card slot (SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro) / USB ports x 2
- IO Rear Ports: Audio Ports x 3 (Microphone, Line in & Line Out) / USB ports x 4 / Gigabit LAN port
- Ships with: StarOffice, Adobe Reader 8.0, Norton Internet Security (90 day trial version), Express Gate, Skype, Eee Memo, SoftStyles, Eee Cam and Eee Cinema
Asus’s more timid ET1602 will run about $580, not bad at all. Our favortie thing about the Eee Top by the way, is the fact that it runs XP SP3 and yet the product page begins with a huge banner reading, “ASUS recommends Windows Vista Business for Business Computing / ASUS recommends Windows Vista Home Premium for Personal Computing”. Excellent.
Well hello there Mr. Shen. If anyone was wondering what Asus had up its collective sleeve in the coming months (through 2010 actually), CEO Jerry Shen just sat down with Laptop and seriously broke it down. He wasn’t shy at all in talking about where the company is now and where it’s headed. Here are some highlights from the hour-long interview:
- First and foremost among the interesting morsels taken from the Shen interview, Asus will be skipping Vista entirely and jumping right from XP to Windows 7. Burn!
- Asus has currently sold about 4 million Eee PCs and it’s hoping to hit the 5 million mark before 2009 rolls around. Ambitious.
- The all-in-one Eee Top will start shipping very soon. Ok, well we already knew that.
- The Eee Stick gaming controller will soon be released along with compatible games. It will be offered as part of a bundle and as a stand alone accessory at a price point south of $100.
- Next year, Asus will offer an Eee PC that hits the $250 price mark – in the first half of 2009 in fact. Two new models will be announced at CES this coming January.
- Last but most certainly not least, Shen claims that Asus will release a touchscreen Eee PC rocking Windows 7 sometime in 2H 2009! You hear that Microsoft? Time to get the lead out…
Well if there’s one thing a devastated economy is good for, it’s price drops. Prices on plenty of goods and services are dropping, gas has dipped well under $3.00 per gallon in many areas… And now you can get your Asus netbook on for less than $300. Well, not really considering taxes take you over $300 but you know what we mean. The Asus Eee PC 900A, which is a 900 with an Atom processor, is now available from Best Buy for a more-than-reasonable $299.99. A check brush up in terms of specs:
- 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor
- 8.9″ 1024 x 600 WSVGA widescreen display
- 4GB solid state drive
- 1GB DDR2 SoDIMM RAM
- Linux OS
- Integrated WiFi
- 3 USB 2.0 ports
- Weighs 2.2 lbs and measures 1.3″ thin
For $300 and change after taxes, you really can’t go wrong with this puppy.
Dell’s upcoming Mini Inspiron is a nod to the relevance of the Eee space as Dell has apparently realized that they need be playing in kiddie pool. Its first entry, a sub-$500 UMPC, is presumably Windows-powered and looks to be a solid entry into the space, barring the candy coated shell. Specs are a bit scarce at the moment but we can all recognize Dell knows how to build a computer so this will likely be workable. For the time being, all we can tell you is what’s on the outside. Three USB ports, an ethernet port, VGA out and a card reader. Exact size is unknown as well but Dell press shots show that it’s just a bit wider than a standard pencil. Translation: that’s one tiny keyboard! For the teeny PC market this will surely make a splash however, and it’ll match your lip stick.