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Innovation

Asus expanding line of low-cost PCs

The Asus Eee ultraportable has achieved unexpected success and is shipping in the millions of units. Several school districts have adopted this small, low-power laptop to facilitate 1:1 initiatives, despite a higher cost than initially expected and a "something other than Windows" operating system.
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Written by Christopher Dawson on

The Asus Eee ultraportable has achieved unexpected success and is shipping in the millions of units. Several school districts have adopted this small, low-power laptop to facilitate 1:1 initiatives, despite a higher cost than initially expected and a "something other than Windows" operating system. Their portability, durability, and price all make them attractive for schools; they are the first in a growing niche of cheap UMPCs that should get computers into a lot of kids' hands in the next year (no, I haven't forgotten about the OLPC XO or the Classmate, but these aren't available in a mass market).

Today, according to Digitimes, Asus announced that their Eee line would include an all-in-one desktop model designed to compete with Apple's iMac and Dell's XPS One. While specifications are expected to fairly meager in comparison to these competitors (first Celeron, then Intel Shelton processors when they become available), these Linux-based machines should come in around the $500 mark and would be another perfect PC for school computer labs, classrooms, etc.

According to Electronista, the so-called "E-Monitor"

will aim to do what the original Eee PC notebook did for portables by reducing the cost of entry for the class; the system will have a screen between 19 and 21 inches large but use Intel's low-cost Shelton platform to help drive down prices. A finished system should cost just $500 despite including a TV tuner, ASUS says.

Low cost, minimal power consumption, big screen...Even as full-featured thin clients in a lab, these computers could have a lot of value. As standalone machines, they could fill a lot of classroom spaces very well. As great as the mini-laptops are, cheap full-sized machines like this could certainly find a home at my school.

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