I must admit I got rather excited when Asus announced it was making a super-portable, low cost notebook, the Eee PC (stupid name, but there you go). As a reporter, it seems just the ticket for running around expos and such without shoulder cramp.
And now I can reveal some more details about it, such as price and UK availability! The full specs etc will come out early next week (don't worry, we're on it), but it seems certain that you'll be able to buy one from the middle of October, at the price of £199 for a 10GB-solid-state-drive-sporting model.
Just to recap, the LED-backlit screen measures 7", it has Wi-Fi and a webcam, it runs Linux (a special version worked out between Asus and Intel, no less), it comes with OpenOffice, FireFox and other open-saucy goodness preinstalled, and it also lets the user choose between skins that oddly enough resemble Windows XP, OSX and so on. Startup time is about 5 seconds and - get this - the battery life is a whopping 10 hours.
Asus' rep has told me the Eee has no direct target market as such, but is sort of the "consumer version" of Intel's fabled $100 laptop-for-developing-countries project thingy. The way I look at it, we're talking a piece of kit that can be marketed to the iPod crowd, and after its initial white-only launch we may very well be looking at multicoloured flavours. There are also whispers of a future version with built-in 3G!