AsusTek takes on $100 laptop

AsusTek Computer has introduced the Eee PC, a new ultra-portable laptop PC priced just under $300. The low price puts the Eee squarely in competition with the XO-1 ' the '$100 laptop' developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and marketed by the One Laptop Per Child project.

The prices of the two products are closer that it might first seem because the XO-1 is actually selling for about $200.

The extra $100 for the Eee reportedly buys higher performance. For starters, it runs on an a 900MHz Intel Pentium CPU rather than the older AMD Geode LX-700 used by the XO-1. The Eee also offers more memory: The base unit delivers 512M of DDR2, twice as much as the XO-1.

Apart from these differences, the units are quite similar. Both weigh in at a little more than 2 pounds and offer displays that measure approximately 7 inches diagonally. Both units offer integrated 802.11g wireless and built-in video cams. And both units also forgo disk drives, relying instead on flash memory.

The Eee comes in 4G and 8G models, but the X-O 1 is limited to 1G of flash memory. External memory and drives can, of course, be added to either system via USB ports.

At the same time AsusTek is launching the Eee PC, the One Laptop Per Child project is offering a two-week, two-for-one special on the XO-1 starting Nov. 12. During those two weeks, customers in the United States can purchase two XO-1's for $399. One of the units will be delivered to the customer and the other to a child in a developing country.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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