With the netbook selection heading in both directions of getting more affordable and sleeker, Asus is dropping its most modest offering from its Eee PC lineup.
Asus chairman Jonney Shih reiterated that the company would shift its focus most heavily on the 10-inch offerings. Shih also denied the Digitimes report from February saying that Asus would be ditching the 8.9-inch models. Instead, it’ll be the 7-inchers that’ll get snipped.
"It seems that customers prefer to have a greater screen, which also means a larger keyboard," Shih said, according to a ZDNet UK story. "I still believe we have a good opportunity in 8.9-inch for kids, telecoms [providers] or emerging markets. The seven-inch [netbook] is going to be phased out, although some emerging countries may still have some demand."
This makes far more logical sense to retain netbook with the larger screen, especially since the physical dimensions of the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Eee PC netbooks are nearly the same.
So, Asus is dropping the cheapest member of the family, and will soon be adding what appears to be a premium 10-inch model. The 1008HA will be the the thinnest and lightest Eee PC yet for its screen size.
Other new Eee products showed at CeBit include the innovative PC-in-a-keyboard, the dual-screen concept, and the swiveling tablet. With the Eee brand now stretched further than ever, Shih still isn’t concerned about the dilution what the brand originally meant to PC users -- a low-cost, barebones, but sensible solution. But the Asus chairmen rebuked that image, saying that Asus did not want to "treat [the brand] like a low-cost notebook concept."
Asus is also slightly tweaking what the Eee stands for -- literally -- with the old slogan changing from "Easy to learn, easy to work, easy to play," to "Easy, excellent, exciting." Not only that, but Asus is changing its motto from "Rock Solid. Heart Touching" to "Inspiring Innovation. Persistent Perfection."