Asus Eee PC 1225C: 11.6 inch notebook with Ubuntu Linux

Asus has quietly introduced a new Eee PC notebook with an Intel Atom Cedar Trail processor and Ubuntu Linux operating system.

The Asus Eee PC 1225C features an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, a choice of an Atom N2600 or N2800 CPU, 2GB of memory, and up to 500GB of hard disk space.

It’s also the first Asus Eee PC notebook to ship with a full-featured Linux operating system since Asus stopped selling netbooks with Xandros Linux several years ago we’ve seen in a while.

Update: I forgot about a few models Asus offered in Europe with Ubuntu 10.10 last summer. There’s also last  year’s Asus Eee PC X101 netbook with MeeGo Linux.

Asus Eee PC 1225C

As Eee PC.it notes, the Eee PC 1225C is already available in Italy for €299, or about $370 US. It’s not clear if or when the laptop will be available in the US.

Update: It looks like you can already pick up the Eee PC 1225C in the US. But it’s kind of pricey, coming in at $422 for a model without any operating system at all.

The notebook has 3 USB ports (with some models featuring USB 3.0 ports), Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, and audio jacks, a SDHC card reader, 802.11n WiFi, Blueooth 3.0, and a 0.3MP camera. 3 and 6 cell battery options are available, with up to 9 hours of battery life.

If customers are interested in picking up Eee PCs with Linux, it could help keep the product line alive. While the first netbooks shipped with Linux in 2007 and 2008 as a low cost alternative to Windows, Microsoft has offered discounted Windows XP and Windows 7 licenses to PC makers for the past few years.

Almost every netbook with an Intel Atom processor that’s shipped since 2009 has run Microsoft Windows. But there’s no indication that Microsoft has any plans to offer a low-cost version of Windows 8 for netbooks — which could drive up the price of 10 and 11.6 inch Intel Atom-based computers and potentially kill the product category (if there’s no much difference in price between a netbook and a fuller-featured laptop, not many people will choose the netbook unless they really value portability).

But if customers show they’re willing to buy laptops without Windows, one of two things will happen. Either Asus and other companies will ship more low cost notebooks with Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems, or Microsoft will try to corner the market again by offering cheap Windows licenses. Either outcome would be a win for consumers… but there are still a lot of ifs involved.

  • http://www.fanlesstech.com/ FanlessTech

    That is absolutely lovely news! Great move from Asus.

    A new Eeebox with Ubuntu would be nice too (with an SSD and no fan preferably ^^).

    People are more dependant on social networks and online apps than 6 or 7 years ago when legacy (Windows) software ruled the world. Linux makes more sense than ever.

    • CyberGusa

      I’d be wary of this because there’s been no report of improved Linux drivers for Cedar Trail and the 1225C is running off the N2600.

      Remember the GMA’s for Cedar Trail are based off Imagination’s Power VR SGX545 GPU. Intel has only managed to release 32bit Windows 7 drivers and even those aren’t 100% as things like full DX support is still lacking.

      So while this may come with Ubuntu, it’s likely to also come with crippled GMA drivers.

      Unless Asus managed to create a proprietary solutions with the Meego drivers but users would be stuck with the pre-installed version of Linux then.

      • http://www.fanlesstech.com/ FanlessTech

        You’re right, we need better Linux support for Cedar Trail Atoms ASAP! Silvermont is still awfully far away.

  • http://www.altfuels.org altfuels

    I wonder if Linux netbooks will, in the near future, be competing on price with devices running not a putative “Windows 8 Starter” for Intel but rather Windows RT for ARM. Wasn’t there a push a couple of years ago for “smartbooks,” small and inexpensive laptops running Android or another smartphone-derived OS on ARM processors? The iPad pretty much shifted the idea of “devices to run a smartphone-ish OS on something bigger than a smartphone” from laptops to tablets; but there’s nothing preventing Microsoft from going the other direction and licensing its tablet-focused OS to run on laptops, is there? (Did they plan to anyway? I haven’t been paying close attention.) As a long-time Linux user, I know how to do a lot more under that OS than I could under, say, Android or iOS; but will that matter to most potential buyers?

    Well, I just replaced some failed parts in a Dell Mini 9 that was given to me and installed Ubuntu, so I won’t be in the market again anyway until something breaks that I can’t swap out, and I’ll just be watching this one play out instead of voting with my dollars.

  • toronado455

    I think customers would be willing, or even prefer, to buy a computer without a Windows license fee included. Unfortunately, I think those customers are people like me who read this blog, and not the majority of consumers.

    • http://www.fewt.com/ Fewt

      The license fee is normally offset by advertisements provided by all the trial(crap)ware installed on those computers.

      • CyberGusa

        Yup, also Linux tends to be coupled with low quantity models and lower quantity means higher unit costs.

        Like some of the companies that more regularly release Linux pre-installed systems tend to fall under the custom configuration options companies, which of course would be priced higher than systems with off the self common parts.

        Even lower end ARM based 10″ Smart Books, like from Genesi, can go over $200 because they’re usually low quantity productions.

        Add some companies also have to add costs because they have to provide their own tech support. While MS offers mostly free support as long as the version of Windows is still supported… Or they use someone like Red Hat for subscription based service.

        The only thing strange is Asus usually offers Linux as a alternative to a model that’s also selling with Windows but I don’t see Windows mentioned on the product page… So either means they’re trying something new or they’re just trying to get rid of these models.

        I suspect the later because support for the drivers were less than some expected, though considering the history with Imagination PowerVR linux support being little to none it wasn’t surprising to most.

        However, it’s also close to the time to Windows 8 release and that will likely require either a focus to Asus tablet products like the Transformer series, as the 600 and 810 model seem to indicate, and/or updated models with better hardware specs to support the minimal requirements for Windows 8 like the 1366×768 minimum being needed to support the snap feature for side by side app viewing on Metro.

        Never mind the next Atoms, along with newer AMD and ARM offerings, coming out next year.

      • toronado455

        Oh! I didn’t know that. So much for my being a tech-savvy liliputing reader! :-)

  • lint

    How’s hardware support? Would still need to fiddle around to get things to work properly? For example, are 802.11n connections stable, does power setting need tweaking to get the same battery as in Windows, how’s the graphics drivers, etc.? I’ll assume all the function keys work.

    Are they planning on coming out with one with a smaller screen?

    • Lukerazor

      Given that it comes pre-installed I’d assume that it will all work perfectly :)

      • mike

        A little bit of Googling seems to show that the graphics drivers are currently in a fairly bad state. There’s some experimental support if you install the newer non-default kernels.

        For now, I’m going to stay away from any chipsets that have PowerVR graphics in it. The GMA 500 is still not supported very well in Linux.

    • CyberGusa

      The original Italian article also mentions the 10″ 1015CX… Note the other comment posts on Linux support though as the graphic drivers are still a issue.

      While also Asus is making it harder to upgrade or mod Eee PC models. Like there’s either no easy access to the RAM or the RAM is soldered and non-upgradeable.

      This is more annoying for the 12″ model because it has enough space for two RAM slots that could offer up to 4GB total installed RAM, but if they offer at least 2GB then you should be good otherwise.

      Note that Asus is generally indicating all the newer models are essentially soldered but this isn’t true for all of them but you can’t tell without taking the system apart, at least with the 10″ models.

  • Lukerazor

    Ah this takes me back. My eeepc 901 with xandros converted me to a Linux guy all those years ago. I now have 4 linux machines in my house and no Windows :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/MrBumpy4096 S. Christian Collins

      You have a house with no windows? That must get real depressing during the long winter months.

    • kateiacy

      You are telling my exact story! Bought an EEEPC 901 in 2008. Didn’t quite like the Xandros GUI, so I bought a book about getting into the command line Linux interface behind it and loved that. Then I bought a System 76 laptop with Ubuntu, then a couple of barebones computers that I installed Ubuntu on. No more Windows for me!

  • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

    technically these aren’t the first EeePC’s to ship with Linux – Canonical and ASUS teamed up last year to bring Ubuntu preinstalled on three separate EeePC models.

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/06/3-new-ubuntu-based-eeepcs-with-flash-codecs-pre-installed

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Right, I forgot about those. Thanks for the reminder!

  • hstl

    Is Asus putting in the same effort as Dell with their Sputnik program or is Asus just slapping on the default Ubuntu release with minor tweaks? I really doubt Asus put in much development in improving the PowerVR drivers.

    With these preconfigured Linux based notebooks, how are updates (new releases and minor updates) handled? Do you get them from Asus?

    • andy

      I’d stay away from notebooks that come with a special version of any Linux distro. It seems you’re more likely to run into issues when trying to update.

      I’d definitely go with a cheaper notebook without any OS or as mentioned by Fewt, a possibly cheaper/same costing Windows based notebook due to bloatware subsidies and making sure all hardware (graphics, WiFi, Bluetooth, special keys, multitouch trackpad, suspend/resume, battery optimization, etc.) work beforehand.

      No matter what option you choose, it’ll be a pain to get Linux on any notebook.

  • http://www.fewt.com/ Fewt

    I’d rather take a thumb drive to Office Depot or Staples and buy a machine on-sale that is compatible with my distribution. I have little to no interest in supporting Ubuntu based hardware, especially when it is often more expensive than hardware shipping with Windows (in part thanks to the crap-ware subsidy).

  • John

    I owned a 10.1″ netbook for 3 years. Loved it before I moved on to a larger and more powerful laptop. I think 11.6″ is a good size but I wouldn’t go back unless I could convert a netbook into a tablet (flipping the screen for portrait-mode). The netbook category is in need of some hardware advances and the ability to flip into portrait mode (with touch-screen enabled) is what’s missing.

    This would re-ignite the market again.

    • CyberGusa

      There’s a lot of changes coming over the next few years and I believe that re-ignition is coming to the market for netbooks. Just not all at once and it’s going to involve more than one or two changes.

      Options like Hybrids and Convertibles are definitely coming to the market and will play a much bigger role than they ever have before.

      However, a lot more changes are also coming and not the least of which will be a whole new three way race between ARM, Intel, and AMD for the low end systems market that’ll include what we have traditionally thought of as netbooks and tablets. While also ARM and Intel at least will start to compete in the more strictly mobile space as well.

      Along with the introduction of new technology like Smart Glass, which will start to evolve the way we use computers and the roles we place on all our devices.

      More immediately, expect the changes to start with the release of Windows 8/RT that will in turn promote the release of systems on Clover Trail and some other minor hardware updates for this year. Till next year when the much bigger 22nm Silvermont update will come out, along with competing products from both ARM and AMD that altogether should finally re-invigorate the netbooks and similar device markets.

  • Hamsaudeen

    What is the price and spec in Pak? is it possible to install Windows 8 or Windows 7 full operating System instead of the Ubuntu or the Windows starter. This particular website mention that they have tried it.. http://netnlap.com/100587-asus-eee-pc-1225c-netbook-with-2gb-ram-and-intel-dual-core-now-in-india.html

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