News on the ultra low-cost PC front

Those under-sized, ultra low-cost laptops continue to generate over-sized news. No, the Dell 500 isn't an ultra low-cost laptop.

Those under-sized, ultra low-cost laptops continue to generate over-sized news.

When Dell announced a $600 laptop for the India market, many sites assumed this was the rumored 8.9-inch challenger to the Asus Eee PC and HP Mini-note. Instead, the Dell 500 appears to be a run-of-the-mill, budget 15.4-inch model with a Celeron processor, 512MB to 1GB of memory, an 80- or 120GB hard drive, Intel integrated graphics, and Windows XP or Ubuntu. Then again, it does cost less than many configurations of the HP 2133 Mini-note.

One Laptop Per Child's Nicholas Negroponte told the Associated Press that its XO laptop's open-source software left it at a competitive disadvantage, and could eventually be replaced with Windows XP. His comments came after an executive in charge of the developing the Sugar open-source software resigned.

Asus confirmed that it will introduce a version of the Eee PC with an Intel Atom processor at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan in early June. The company also agreed to give the first buyers of the new Eee PC 900 in Hong Kong a free battery upgrade after they discovered they had received a smaller battery (4-cell, 4400mAh) than the one provided to local reviewers (4-cell, 5800mAh), according to DigiTimes. By the way, the Eee PC 900 will be available in the U.S. for $549 starting on May 12th.

Finally, all this attention seems to be drawing more players into the ultra low-cost arena. The latest include the Medion Akoya Mini and the MSI Wind.

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