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Asustek Set to Launch the Next Budget Laptop: $245-$426

A Taiwan company, by the name of Asustek, is in the process of launching four new budget laptops targeted at children, the elderly, and the underprivileged. Targeting this demographic with a "budget-friendly" laptop is nothing new. Other organizations and companies have already developed low-priced laptops; most of these within the past two years.

OLPC prototype low-cost laptop: This laptop will retail for about $200OLPC prototype low-cost laptop: This laptop will retail for about $200

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) effort is being led by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Their goal was create a $100 laptop for underprivileged children around the world. They struggled with reaching their goal of $100, and they are now saying their budget laptop will cost about double that amount. Their current model runs on an AMD 433 MHz processor, which they used in their laptop because of its low cost and low power consumption.

Intel "Classmate PC" budget laptop: Like the OLPC laptop, the "Classmate PC" will retail for about $200Intel "Classmate PC" budget laptop: Like the OLPC laptop, the "Classmate PC" will retail for about $200

Soon after the OLPC project unveiled its plans for a low-priced laptop, Intel began development of their version of a budget laptop. Intel calls it the "Classmate PC", and it features Intel's 900 MHZ Celeron M processor. By the end of 2007, Intel plans to have their Classmate PC available in over 30 countries. This model will be similarly priced with the OLPC model at around $200.

"Eee PC" compact budget laptop in Taiwan"Eee PC" compact budget laptop in Taiwan

Asustek's answer to the low-priced laptop initiative is their "Eee PC's", which consist of four different models that are all set to release by the end of 2007. Asustek hopes that their new laptop will attract people looking for a second computer, as well as people from the demographic described earlier. Their laptop model is a bit different from the other low-cost alternatives in that it uses flash memory instead of a hard drive. Asustek offers either a Linux or Windows XP operating system in each Eee PC model. The Eee PC's will also feature a 7 inch display, GUI, built-in Wi-Fi, and a lightweight 2 pound design. The most expensive model will offer 1 GB of flash memory, while the other models offer about half that. The least expensive Eee PC will cost about $245, while the most expensive will run about $426.

Joe Eitel
Electronic Innovations