Computex Taipei: Fear, loathing and the mini-laptop war

Ultraportables battle it out at Computex

Fear: Being woken by an earthquake my first night in Taipei. Loathing: New ASUS Eee PCs face a battle royale for low-cost mini-notebook dominance, as does the new Intel Atom chip that powers them.


I spent some time with the just-launched Eee PC 901, 1000 and 1000H on the show floor and at their launch I kind of want one (I'm already having visions of hooking one up to a solar-charging backpack when I go hiking, but that could just be the lack of sleep). The new Eee PCs all boast a power efficient Atom processor, integrated 1.3Mp Webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi (a WiMax version is also planned) and six-cell batteries providing up to about 7 hours of battery life.


Solid state hard drives (SSDs) are also an option for those seeking quicker boot-times, maximum battery life and improved shock resistance. (That'd be why ASUS bizarrely strapped a GPS-less Eee PC to a bicycle for models to pose with.) A couple of clever extras: an included 20GB online storage service allows for file encryption, 5GB of downloads per day, and works with both the Windows and Linux flavors. ASUS also intends to bundle a Wii-like Eee Stick wireless gaming controller with the Eee PCs and its desktop Eee Box B202 that's set to hit the US in July starting at $US269.


ASUS hasn't committed to a US launch date for the new Eee PCs, but did say the mini-laptops would be available throughout much of Asia by the end of the month. The 901 has already gone sale here in Taiwan for $ NT16,988 (roughly $US560). The Eee PC 1000H will be available here on June 13 for about $US 630, followed shortly after by the 1000 at around $US660.

ASUS expects Eee PC sales to double to 10 million units next year, but boy has it got some stiff competition ahead. Major competitors include HP's 2133 Mini-Note (VIA C7-M chip) in addition to the just launched Acer One and MSI Wind (pictured below); both Atom-based mini-laptops start at $US399. Not to forget Dell's elusive "Mini Inspiron" or the vast range of yet-to-be-announced mini-laptops that will use competing chip platforms from Nvidia, VIA, Qualcomm, Arm and Texas Instruments. A lot of positioning right now, but this Reservoir Dogs-style stand-off is going to break out into an all-out war anytime now.


Hopefully the competition will be a good thing because I'm definitely going to get a mini-laptop. Here's the new Eee PC breakdown, what would you do?


Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Danny Allen

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?