Asustek Computer has said at a news-conference that it would release a netbook at $200 price-point in the first quarter of next year. The firm did not reveal any details about the product, which might be an interesting option also to those countries looking forward inexpensive mobile computers for educational organizations.
A representative for Asustek said in an interview with IDG News Service that the company plans to unveil an Asus Eee PC netbook at $200 price-point in Q1 2009. The firm did not disclose whether the product would be demonstrated at Consumer Electronics Show 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in early January, but stressed that the device would hit the market in the first quarter of next year.
Earlier Asustek Computer wanted to phase-out Eee PC with 7” displays since many consumers found them uncomfortable. However, it is not certain that the $200 model will feature larger panel. The vast majority of Asus Eee PC systems are based on Intel Atom processors, though, there are also Intel Celeron M-powered models.
The Asus Eee PC at $200 price-point will compete with OLPC XO-1 ultra-cheap laptop that is sold for less than $200 to governments and for $199 to those who want to donate the system to a child in a developing country. Even though Eee PCs are not exactly tailored for education markets, the new systems may still become popular both in public as well as private sectors in developing countries thanks to low price and better functionality compared to the XO-1.
Even though originally Asustek planned to sell its Eee PC 700-series netbooks with 7” screens for $199, the actual prices were tangibly higher due to strong demand from end-users in developed world. In fact, an Asus Eee PC for $200 may also become popular in richer countries due to economic slump.