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Asus Making a $200 Android or Chrome Netbook

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

The netbook going back to its roots?

Asus is a pioneer of the low-cost, small notebook made for internet consumption. That was the original concept behind the Linux-based Eee PC, but soon that grew into something bigger when Windows XP invaded and owned the segment.

Now Google has something that could be a very good alternative to Linux in the form of Chrome OS. We put Google's own Cr-48 through its paces and we came away impressed with computing from the cloud.

Reports from Taiwan now point to Asus as working on a low-cost netbook that could float around the $200 to $250 range that will run a Google OS. Interestingly, the report says that it could be either Android 3.0 or Chrome OS.

The Chrome OS would make more sense for a notebook form factor, but with the growth expected for Android tablets this year, having a netbook with a full hardware keyboard running Honeycomb could be interesting.

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  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , March 18, 2011 8:22 AM
    The Android netbook would need 2 things, a touch screen (Capacitive not resistive) and the Android market.

    I have a Toshiba AC100 (Tegra 2) with Android 2.2 on it and it's only real use is for web browsing, App's are almost out of the question since most games/apps rely on multi-touch (well most of the ones I use anyway) and all the other app stores are horrible.

  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , March 18, 2011 10:01 AM
    I too feel like android netbook are not right at the time too many if and buts. Need a proper os to do day to day basic tasks at least with my netbook. even webOS has more scope than android in netbooks.
  • 0 Hide
    cyberjawn , March 18, 2011 10:43 AM
    really, guess you haven't messed with the Android much? I have 2 Android devices running 2.1 or higher and I love them, I can do anything with them except Play WoW lol.
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , March 18, 2011 11:06 AM
    but that's what they promised us with the Xandros notebook, that it would be $199, it instead came out at $399...
  • 0 Hide
    FrozenGpu , March 18, 2011 11:13 AM
    Marco925but that's what they promised us with the Xandros notebook, that it would be $199, it instead came out at $399...

    Didn't they also come w/ the Xandros linux dsitribution? Amazingly similar to Windows but wasn't? I remember they used to sell Xandros the OS for like $15, I suppose it came w/ some sort of support otherwise one could just download the os I suppose.
  • 1 Hide
    reggieray , March 18, 2011 12:23 PM
    I was dumb enough to buy one of them with XP. Netbooks are basically worthless for a laptop replacement because of their small size, tiny keyboards. Make great 5-10 year old gift. My Eee PC is now my home stereo using Itunes. It works great for that. It is also dual booted with Ubuntu and I use it once in while to diagnose friends HD, the ones who do not know how to keep Windows working right.
  • 0 Hide
    mdsiu , March 18, 2011 1:03 PM
    You can already get these from China in Android 2.1 and 2.2
  • 2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , March 18, 2011 1:32 PM
    ReggieRayI was dumb enough to buy one of them with XP. Netbooks are basically worthless for a laptop replacement because of their small size, tiny keyboards. Make great 5-10 year old gift. My Eee PC is now my home stereo using Itunes. It works great for that. It is also dual booted with Ubuntu and I use it once in while to diagnose friends HD, the ones who do not know how to keep Windows working right.

    Yep... When I worked at Best Buy I gave people my honest opinion and told them that they shouldn't buy one of those pieces of junk. (Best Buy would have been pissed if they found out I was being honest with customers.)

    I told people not to waist thier money on a netbook that has such poor performance when they could spend only $100 more and get a laptop that works so much better and faster. So many people though of it as just a small laptop but did not understand that the power of the laptop was very limited by it's single core CPU and 1GB of ram.

    I told people not to buy the cables and that they could get a better deal on cables online, if they were willing to wait if they didn't want to wait then the higher price is what they have to pay and I never encouraged people to buy "premium" cables.

    I told people that wireless N is a waist of money if you are not transfering files within your own home because most internet connections are limited by the ISP not your wireless band width in your house. I did tell them though that it would provide more range.

    I told people about free antivirus options.

    From all of the above I didn't push my opinions but if someone directly asked me or it seemed like they didn't want to spend that much. I didn't lie. Although I'm sure best buy would have liked it better if I did.
  • 0 Hide
    donhulio , March 18, 2011 2:08 PM
    'Now Google has something that could be a very good alternative to Linux in the form of Chrome OS.' Chrome OS is a Linux operating system as is Android!

    I wouldn't say that XP owned the netbook market - a large proportion of people install Ubuntu or try another Linux distro such as Meego or Joli OS (also based on Ubuntu). Microsoft did move in on the market to make sure that most netbooks sold with a microsoft operating system installed on them.....

    In my opinion XP isn't too bad on a netbook although I tend to use Ubuntu more in my dual boot set up.
  • 0 Hide
    dorkusm , March 18, 2011 2:14 PM
    FINALLY someone at Asus get's it. The reason the iPad is kicking everyone's ass is PRICE and availability. DUH!
  • 0 Hide
    cwbyflyer , March 18, 2011 2:46 PM
    Quote:
    I was dumb enough to buy one of them with XP. Netbooks are basically worthless for a laptop replacement because of their small size, tiny keyboards. Make great 5-10 year old gift. My Eee PC is now my home stereo using Itunes. It works great for that. It is also dual booted with Ubuntu and I use it once in while to diagnose friends HD, the ones who do not know how to keep Windows working right.


    I guess to each his or her own. As a road (err...sky) warrior, I find my Windows 7 MID indispensable. It does everything I ask of it on the road at a third of the weight of a standard laptop and when I'm in the office it docks to my full sized keyboard, mouse and dual 19" monitors. It might now play games well - but as a business tool its wonderful.
  • 0 Hide
    lifelesspoet , March 18, 2011 3:39 PM
    joytech22The Android netbook would need 2 things, a touch screen (Capacitive not resistive) and the Android market.I have a Toshiba AC100 (Tegra 2) with Android 2.2 on it and it's only real use is for web browsing, App's are almost out of the question since most games/apps rely on multi-touch (well most of the ones I use anyway) and all the other app stores are horrible.

    I almost bought that one but was put off by the lack of a full os. I instead bought the genesi Efika mx(Ubuntu). Great device except it has no flash. Genesi mentioned a chrome os port possibility.
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , March 18, 2011 4:07 PM
    if only it is base on AMD Fusion APU and not the crappy Intel Atom junk ...... then will hv some point to get a tiny netbook
  • 0 Hide
    Crazy Hitchhiker , March 18, 2011 11:59 PM
    Chrome os is essentially a linux based os, right?
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , March 19, 2011 2:12 PM
    I have to disagree with several people here. The netbook is a fine product - for what it was designed for.

    It gives me access to the web and email when I am traveling and works as a serviceable ebook reader. And it fits in my carryon bag - very handy as more and more airlines seem to be forbidding 2 carryon bags. And with usually three international trips annually (across 8 to 10 time zones each), it reduces the amount of weight I need to carry.

    And except for the occasional vacation trip to Thailand, I have access to full sized computers at my destination.

    Now, I cannot manipulate large databases (one at work is about 8 GB), rip DVD's, or play Crisis but I do not need to.

    Sometimes "good enough" is good enough.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , March 20, 2011 11:52 AM
    give me an XP compatible netbook for $200 with or without OS, and I'll take it
  • 0 Hide
    iamtheking123 , March 21, 2011 10:43 PM
    What I really really really want..and what would make me get my wallet out...is a cheap and cheerful 9" tablet running a lightweight Windows and have some sort of token keyboard, and a USB port or two.

    I want something quick to throw in my backpack, something I can jot notes down on, and something I can use in labs or whatever to do basic EE stuff (PSPICE, Xilinx, MPLAB).