Asus to launch its $200 Eee PC X101 netbook in July?
When I got a chance to check out the Eee PC X101 last week, an Asus rep told me that it was scheduled to hit the streets this summer. Now the folks at DigiTimes think they’ve narrowed the time frame. Industry sources say the netbook will drop in July.
I’d take that news with a grain of salt though, because the report also has some pricing information that seems a bit… off. According to DigiTimes, the $200 model will run MeeGo Linux, while there will be a more expensive model running Windows 7. We already knew that, but DigiTimes suggests the Windows model will cost $310 to $350.
Now here’s the thing: that price wouldn’t just cover the Windows license, it would also cover the switch from an 8GB solid state disk for the MeeGo model to a higher capacity hard drive for the Windows model. But that’s still a lot of money to charge for a netbook with a 1.33 GHz Intel Atom N435 processor when you can find a number of netbooks with dual-core Atom chips for the same price or lower.
There is one way the high price of the Windows model makes sense though: Asus won’t actually be offering the Windows version in the US. My contact at Asus had already implied this to me recently, and the high price tag may be confirmation — because that’s the price I would expect this netbook to cost in Europe, where consumer electronics tend to be more expensive than in the US.