Asus first showed off the Asus Eee PC 1004DN at CES in January. This is the company’s first mini-laptop with a 10 inch display and an optical disc drive. While Asus still hasn’t confirmed a release date, rumor has it that the netbook should hit the streets in April. And Asus does seem to be preparing to release the laptop soon. Last month it showed up on the FCC web site, and now you can find info on the netbook at Asus.com.
Here’s a rundown of the specs:
- CPU: 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280
- Chipset: GN40 with Integrated GMA 4500M graphics
- Display: 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels
- Optical disc: Super-Multi disc drive
- RAM: 1GB (supports up to 2GB)
- Storage: 120GB 1.8″ PATA 4200 RPM hard drive
- Wireless: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, bluetooth 2.1
- Webcam: 1.3MP
- Battery: 6 cell, 5200mAh, 57.72WHr
- Keyboard: Chiclet style
- Dimensions: 10.9″ x 7.6″ x 1.3″
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
Now, I know some folks will say that a laptop with a disc drive isn’t truly a netbook. But for what it’s worth, Asus is branding the 1004DN as part of its Eee PC series, which means that the company is grouping it with other low cost netbooks and not with higher end mini-laptops like the Asus N10 series. Hopefully that means the 1004DN will cost $600 or less at launch.
So now basically an expensive way of getting an underpowered notebook. I wasn’t expecting this to happen quite so soon, though it was inevitable given the insane way things have been going over the last few months.
I just noticed the slow 1.8″ PATA hard drive, to make room for the DVD drive no doubt. Surely somebody will find a way to upgrade it.
Not only that, but look at the size of it. That screen bezel makes it look like a 12-in ultraportable with a 10″ screen. The keyboard clearly shows how much bigger it is than the average netbook.
Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t even notice the 10.9″ width. That makes it almost a half-inch wider than some 12″ notebooks.
I’m not too worried about the fact that it may not be a “true” or “pure” netbook as we have defined it. 1) If I don’t want the extra features, I can probably trust myself not to buy it. 2) I guess feature creep is a legitimate worry, since we’ve seen it take over the desktop and notebook market to the extent that there may not be nearly enough emphasis on building and marketing good minimal PCs.
But I think the netbook segment is so firmly established that the demand itself will insure that a huge variety of “pure” netbooks will remain on the market for the foreseeable future. And 3) Nomenclature and market dilution (pollution?) worries aside, this is a pretty desirable little gadget, and maybe it’ll help Asus stay afloat during these hard times and keep pumping out “true” netbooks.
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