Asus made a big splash this week at Computex with the introduction of the Padfone, a tablet/smartphone combo expected to launch in the second half of this year. However, the company also revealed another interesting device, this one being an addition to the company’s famed Eee PC line.
Last week, Asus promised us a new model of Eee PC and teased that this one would be thinner than ever. The company also asked a rather telling question via its Facebook page, inquiring as to whether or not users felt Windows was a necessity for netbooks.
This week, the company introduced the Eee PC X101, a 10.1-inch netbook measuring 0.7-inches thick. Though the slim form factor of this device is definitely a selling point (indeed, it’s one of the features Asus is pushing the most), the real point of intrigue about this machine is that Asus is offering a Meego-based option that apparently costs just $200. For those in need of a quick memory job, Meego is the Linux-based OS developed for mobile devices by Intel and Nokia.
So, that about covers the company’s earlier questions about Windows being absolutely necessary, but it’s not the first time Asus has offered an OS other than Windows with its Eee PCs. The very first Eee PC, released in October of 2007, was Linux-based too. However, the strength of the Windows brand prevailed and, as more customers opted for Windows XP-based netbooks, Linux offerings became increasingly scarce. Will things be different this time around? We shall see.
$200 is pretty cheap, no matter what way you slice it, but the OS isn’t the only thing keeping the price down. Liliputing reports that the base model will come with a 3 cell battery and just 8GB of SSD storage. There will be the option to upgrade to a more serious harddrive (think 250GB or 320GB) but that will mean more money and added thickness with the bulkier version measuring in at 0.87 inches.
No word on pricing for the Windows 7 version and the release date for the X101 is still unknown but we’ll keep you posted.