Asus officially launched it's Eee PC today and I have to say that I really want one. In fact, I really want one for each of my students and the 20-30% of my teachers who just need basic web/productivity application access. It wouldn't replace my behemoth 17" laptop, but it sure would be a great blogging machine. Taking notes in classes, tracking calendars, email...all of the day-to-day stuff that a little tiny, fully functional laptop would make easier. It even has a webcam and SD card reader built in. What more could I want?
Well, I could want it cheaper. This was originally billed as a $199 PC, but the first model to be available in the US (4GB Flash-based storage, 512MB RAM, and a 900MHz Celeron M processor) is running $299. Still cheap compared to some PDAs, and still enough to whet my appetite for cool tech (and still powerful enough for students to access Web-based applications), but just not quite there.
Don't get me wrong...Kudos to Asus for pushing this market. It's about time and I think we're going to see a lot more inexpensive subnotebooks/UMPCs very soon as component prices continue to drop and our reliance on the typical PC running lots of bloatware goes by the wayside (check out this excellent article by fellow ZDNet blogger David Berlind). Unfortunately, we just need a little bit of Moore's Law here to get prices within reach.
If you think we'll make it by Christmas, tell my my wife...I really need a new gadget, but she's cheaper than I am.