- Page 1:Low-cost Ultra-portables Roundup
- Page 2:The Precursor: The Eee PC
- Page 3:Surcouf Sub-Notebook
- Page 4:Hacao Classmate
- Page 5:MSI Wind
- Page 6:Packard Bell Easy Note XS
- Page 7:HP Mini-Note
- Page 8:Belinea s.book.1
- Page 9:Medion Sub-notebook
- Page 10:ECS G10ILI
- Page 11:Everex CloudBook
- Page 12:Asus Eee PC 900
- Page 13:Acer Sub-notebook
- Page 14:Intel 2go PC
- Page 15:Comparison Chart: What's the best choice?
This year has seen the emergence of a new category of portable PC – the low-cost ultra-portable. In these times of diminishing purchasing power, users seem to feel (rightly or wrongly, but we’re not here to debate that) that today’s PCs are over-sized and overpowered, and manufacturers have gotten the message. After the success of Asus’s Eee PC, nearly all manufacturers are getting into what they see as a profitable market.
Many are called, but how many will be chosen?
The computers we’ll be talking about in this roundup have a lot in common. They’re all in the ultra-portable (also called sub-notebook, or netbook) class – that is, they each feature a 10-inch or smaller display, as opposed to the 13- to 17-inch screens on standard laptops/notebooks, consume relatively little power, and, above all, are priced affordably.
The most expensive model in our selection costs approximately $1,250, but the majority are priced at between $450 and $650. Keeping in mind the fact that ultra-portables have traditionally sold for close to $3,200, you can understand why these machines have been such a hit. But it is unclear whether each of these sub-notebook contenders will meet with the same success as Asus, which enjoys an sizable lead over the competition.
Editor’s Note: The machines we’ve highlighted in this article are interesting examples of the attempts by international manufacturers to compete with Asus, but not all of them are currently destined for the U.S. market. Next to each computer, we’ll indicate any U.S. availability information.