Good bye, Palm and Foleo! The Asus Eee

by Andi

Most of you already know that Asus manufactures just about anything, from computer cases to high-end designer laptops.
the new asus eee
Since Palm has started going downhill, we have all been awaiting a launch, that has ultimately proven itself to be useless and uninspired. So uninspired in fact that we didn’t even cover it.

This time, Asus has announced a device that will render the Foleo obsolete and pose a better (and commercially available) alternative to the OLPC for all of us drooling after it.

The Eee (Easy to learn, work, play; Excellent Internet experience; Excellent mobile computing experience) is a small and light computer built on an Intel platform.

Besides being able to run Linux or Windows like a normal laptop, it can switch to an ‘Easy Mode’ and run a stripped down, custom OS. This way you get a far better battery life but end up with a browsing device instead.

Here are some hard specs:

  1. 7” widescreen display
  2. only 0.89kg in weight
  3. multiple communication choices: WiFi 802.11b/g, 100 Mbps Ethernet, 56K Modem
  4. 4,8 or 16 GB of storage – SSD only
  5. 512 MB of DDR2-RAM, and Intel processor and graphics chip
  6. integrated webcam and speakers
  7. High Definition audio output
  8. Small: 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1~3.5cm
  9. 3hrs of endurance with Linux/Windows, more in the basic mode

Pretty decent specs, right?
Well, add to the fact its going to come at a low price, too, with prices starting from $200. And, unlike it’s competition, it won’t be pushed via government programs, but it will be freely available for purchase. This should really be a lesson to OLPC and the likes.

Hopefully Asus will keep to their tradition and this will be of the same excellent quality they’ve spoiled us with until now. I can’t wait to get my hands on a device that’s so affordable, small and useful.

Official page, via I4U.

10 reviews or comments

Mike Says: June 5, 2007 at 6:11 pm

That sounds like an awesome little computer — my only complaint would be the battery life, but other than that, it’s spectacular.

I can also say that I feel a bit sorry for Palm right now; in less than a week, they’ve already been outdone. :P

Chris Says: June 5, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Sounds good. But will it do ‘instant on’. That is the killer feature of the Palm Foleo which makes it much more useable on the go than a laptop (even a little laptop).

Neagle Says: June 5, 2007 at 10:12 pm

I’m sure there will be some 3rd party power solutions soon. I like to have a “full” end computer when I travel and for $200 this seems a good replacement to bringing the full sized laptop. I have the Palm TX and I don’t feel sorry for them. It is a truly great piece of hardware with a POS OS.

Mike Regan Says: June 6, 2007 at 11:33 am

This does seem like a great replacement to the full size laptop. It is getting to be a royal pain taking a full size through the airport security, and even on a commuter train where space is limited, this is a very nice replacement. While the screen seems a little limiting, having the full sound of high def audio would be nice. I can’t stand the tinny sound of most laptop speakers.

Atheneum Says: June 7, 2007 at 7:38 am

Boy…this is a real blow for Palm. and don’t tell me Asus copy jeff’s idea. It’s just that sooner or later, this idea will come up.
Anyone knows when it will be launched?
I guess we have to subscribe Asus newsletter then :-)

Chris Says: June 7, 2007 at 2:33 pm

…”I’m sure there will be some 3rd party power solutions soon”… Maybe, but ‘instant on’ is best handled in hardware and firmware design, which is pretty fundumental stuff. As I understand it, you either need to keep power applied to your dynamic RAM (like DDR2 spec’d here) so it doesn’t lose it’s memory (but this affects battery life), use static RAM with just a charge applied (better), or use flash RAM (but probably slower response). The reason it works so well on PDAs etc, is that they are designed from the hardware up to do it. So personally I look for this feature built in from the start – which is what sets Palm’s Foleo apart.

SoliDeoGloria Says: June 11, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Regarding the boot times & instant on,
ASUS Press Release – Enter the ‘E’ Era with ASUS Eee PC –
“Courtesy to its 2Gb SSD flash storage, the Eee PC boots up quickly within 15 seconds,”
“the Eee PC units were revealed to come in at an extremely competitive price of around USD $199 for the 7″ units, and about USD $299 for the 10″ version.”

And from the link in the O.P.: “The special solid-state disc design based on built-in flash-memory gives the Eee PC a great shock-proof advantage over traditional notebook PCs allowing extra flexibility and a worry free mobile computing experience.”

This seems VERY intriguing to me. Though I don’t keep up with tech stuff anymore, I very well may have to get one. Thanks to my friend Holger for the tip.

Jim Says: July 13, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Perfect for bedside wifi Radio!

concerned citizen Says: July 23, 2007 at 6:09 am

Battery life is not important. Most of us would carry a mototcycle battery if it meant keeping our computer running!
Courtrooms and coffee shops have extension cords and powerbars that criss-cross the floor like fire hoses.

Standard keyboard and standard software are critical. USB solves the keyboard problem because I can plug in a standard keyboard if it is too small to type on normally.

If “instant-on” isn’t fast enought for the whiners, they can carry a $100 Palm Zire and off-load to this PC!!!

12 Aug 81 IBM PCs hit the stores. It took 26 years (quarter of a century) to get a small laptop!

Sorry, security prevents release of personal information like name and email address.

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