Hard to believe it but the Asus EeePC has only been out in America for 2 months today. Why is this hard to believe? Because of the onslaught of also-ran Linux-based UMPCs, including but not limited to the OLPC, Classmate, Cloudbook, and now the Noahbook. What we are seeing here is the start of something, a new category of PCs, the CLUMPC, or Cheap Linux Ultramobile Personal Computer.
What is a CLUMPC? So far its a sub 10” notebook-form PC, with Linux pre-installed (either HD or SSD) that retails for under $400. Why does this qualify as a new category instead of staying lumped in with UMPCs? Two big reasons. The first being that no CLUMPC that has been released to date contains a touchscreen, something that is a staple of most Windows-based UMPCs. The second being that sub $400 price. Up until 2 months ago it was virtually impossible to find a UMPC under $1000. Now there are multiple options under $400.
Linux is what makes this price point possible, in two ways. The first and most obvious is pre-installing Linux eliminates the ~ $100 Windows tax. That alone makes for a 20% - 25% cost cut. The less obvious way Linux drops the price is the way it also drops the system requirements. Even modest drops in minimum system requirements shave hundreds of dollars off processors, RAM, and most famously storage allowing even small solid state drives to host a Linux-based OS.
CLUMPCs may also represent the tipping point for Desktop Linux. Convincing users to switch their OS on their desktop or notebook is often a hard sell. However many of these customers will not be adverse to Linux on a CLUMPC since it is often a second, or even third computer for them. When users find they do not have to rely on their CLUMPC for all of their computing needs Linux sound fine, especially with programs like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office, programs many users are already comfortable with.
Be on the look out for this new class to really break out at this year’s CES, especially with word already that Asus is preparing to announce the next gen EeePC. 2008 will no doubt be a stellar year for CLUMPC.
The Asus EeePC is available now through Amazon.com5 years ago
The Asus EeePC has been around for less than 60 days and already its about to see some very strong competition by way of the Everex Cloudbook, expected to be released in the States January 15th.
Both machines are nicely loaded at $399, however the Cloudbook features a 30GB HD along with the new gOS that has all the Walmart greeters excited this Holiday. Let’s look at the tale of the tape between these two tiny titans:
Not too shabby at all at first glance. However note that VIA processors aren’t exactly commonplace, so you may see some issues if you decide to run a none gOS operating system.
Also while a 30GB HD is great on a laptop this cheap, it is nowhere near as rugged as the EeePC’s solid state drive. And besides, in this age of “Web 2.0” who needs local storage anyways, right? Not to mention the utterly ridiculous placement of the trackpad near the display hinge, rather than below the keyboard. You know, like where every other laptop manufacturer in the past 15 years has put them.
The Everex Cloudbook is rumored to be available January 15, 2008.
The Asus EeePC is available now through Amazon.com5 years ago
JKKMobile has updated their blog to show off video of a EeePC mod that adds touch screen to the Asus EeePC. Not many details are revealed through the 2 minute YouTube post, but apparently this mod was achieved through the addition of a 7” touch screen overlay originally intended for automobile dashboard use.
According to JKK the replacement touch overlay was found for under $60 on eBay and require the soldering of 4 or 5 wires to make this mod look like it shipped from the factory that way.
The touch capability works with both a traditional stylus as well as a fingertip. While the video showed off the capability in Windows XP there is no word yet on Linux drivers that would add the capability to Xandros and Ubuntu users.
View the YouTube demo video here: EeePC with Touch
Amazon.com has the Asus EeePC in Black shown in this video in stock right now shipping immediately, add 2 day or overnight to have this in your hands by Christmas morning.5 years ago
Finally! In what seems like an eternity an enterprising soul has taken on the task of customizing Ubuntu (or more specifically Xubuntu) for use on the EeePC. While Ubuntu worked reasonably well on the EeePC before, there were plenty of additional steps necessary to get WiFi working as well as reducing the number of writes to the slightly fragile Solid State Drive. Along with these fixes eeeXubuntu also makes it much easier to install Xubuntu from a USB drive rather than an external CD-ROM drive.
Check out the eeeuser Wiki here for more info. Sounds like new revisions are coming out quickly now that the base work is done.
UPDATE: Amazon.com has the Asus EeePC in Black in stock right now shipping immediately. Yesterday it was 4 to 6 weeks.5 years ago
Looking for the perfect Holiday gift for that Asus EeePC owner on your shopping list? The Asus EeePC has quickly become one of the biggest tech gifts to get this Christmas. Priced at about the same as an iPhone, the EeePC is a full-featured laptop capable of running Windows XP and almost any varient of Linux.ASUS EeePC (512MB, 4GB SSD) [White] [$399.99]
This is the EeePC that started it all. And while there’s a 8GB model down the pike, this model is more than sufficient for most looking to replace their laptop with this tiny little monster.
Any consumer electronic worth its weight nowadays must come in White and Black. This isn’t up for debate. The folks at Asus though were nice enough to not charge a premium for the Black. Early adopters missed out on this later model.
UPDATE: Asus EeePC in Black shipping immediately on Amazon.com
What an exciting sounding product! What this device lacks in pizazz it makes up for in the money it could save you from having to buy an external DVD-ROM drive if you have an extra internal laying around (or easily yankable). Use it to restore to the factory default Xandros or use to install Windows XP.
Speaking of Windows XP, make sure to buy the OEM if you need to throw it onto your EeePC (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone). While you sacrifice Microsoft technical support with the OEM version do you really see yourself calling them for help anyway? Save yourself the money.
Samsung SE-S184M OEM LightScribe External DVD Burner [$49.99]
18X DVD±RW, 18x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R Double, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x40 CD-R, 32x40 CD-RW. Try saying that ten times fast. Here’s another OEM deal that will read and write anything you throw at it. Not only is this a great drive to hook up to your optical drive-less EeePC when you really need it, at this price its a great drive to have around as an extra in general.
“Medium external HD case? Why do I need that for my medium external HD-sized EeePC? Ohhhh, I get it. I can put my EeePC in this! What a great idea.” This case is almost perfectly sized to fit the EeePC and its AC adapter. Until some real cases start rolling out this is an inexpensive solution that doesn’t look like a purse.
I still can’t get over how much these have dropped in price. Use one of these to easily double the size of your internal HD (or SSD rather). While 4GB is small when it comes to HDs, its enough space for about 1000 songs, a few hours of movies, or better yet a second OS like Ubuntu.
Most of us already have one of these but they really come in handy with the EeePC when you want to quickly transfer some files or want to try a new OS ( like eeeXubuntu) without hosing your existing one.5 years ago