Who said the netbook was dead? Not Asus who on Thursday officially launched the ultra-thin, MeeGo-based Eee PC X101. As promised earlier this year, the device sports a $199 pricetag and will begin shipping in September although several online vendors like PCSuperStore and Directron are already taking pre-orders.
Under the hood (what there is of it), the netbook sports a single-core Intel Atom N435 or N455 processor, 1 GB of DDR3 memory (up to 2 GB max), 8 GB of SSD storage, 2 GB of DropBox cloud storage, 802.11 b/g/n connectivity on the 2.4 GHz band, a 0.3MP webcam and a 10.1-inch LED backlight WSVGA (1024 x 600) screen.
Other features include a 3-cell battery offering up to 4 hours, two USB 2.0 ports, an SD / SDHC / MMC card reader, Bluetooth v3.0, stereo speakers and a headphone jack. The netbook measures just 262 x 180 x 17.6-mm and weighs 2.3 pounds without the battery. It arrives in three textures including white, red and brown.
So what makes this netbook so cheap (other than a lack of an optical drive)? That would be the Linux-based MeeGo open-source OS that was dumped by Nokia but now officially "hosted" by the Linux Foundation.
"The MeeGo software platform is designed to give developers the broadest range of device segments to target for their applications, including netbooks, handheld computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, tablets and more – all using a uniform set of APIs based on Qt," reads the description over on the MeeGo website. "For consumers, MeeGo will offer innovative application experiences that they can take from device to device."
Asus will eventually offer the X101H model which will reportedly sport Windows 7. There's also mention that this model is slated to have more RAM, a higher storage capacity, a VGA port and possibly a 6-cell battery, but the company is still keeping tight-lipped, so stay tuned.