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back to article World wants small, cheap PCs, say makers of small, cheap PCs

World+Dog wants small, cheap computers, companies making small, cheap computers have claimed. First Asus, manufacturer of the popular elfin laptop, the Eee PC. According to a DigiTimes report, Asus President Jerry Shen this week forecast that global shipments of small, cheap computers would hit 10m units this year. In 2009, …

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Anonymous Coward

that's becouse

we do want small cheap(by whose definition - I found £800 for something that fits in the small pocket of my rucksack cheap as it had a 1024x600 screen) pcs and laptops.

Sadly Microsoft insist on crippling the entire market with vistaids.

I got a beutiful, sleak, umpc, 800mhz low voltage processor, 1gb of ddr2, 160gb of hard disk, 1024x600 res monitor, good price imho. However it shipped with Vista, suffice to say I thought I'd give it a try. I got tired of waiting for it to start up after ten minutes and pulled the plug out. Stole a copy of XP pro and spent two hours fixing it. Runs like a dream now, few office docs open, firefox, messenger, personalbrain. Nice stuff.

Microsoft have killed the whole pc market for me. I want a cheap (read £600 -> £800) performance machine, but they're all crippled. Why windows? VPN software, MS Office, visio, games and daz3d modeller.

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They ARE pretty impressive.

Since I got my eeePC I've used my rather impressive stereoscopic gaming rig less and less for non-gaming purposes- to the point that it's now the desktop PC that's secondary to the laptop PC. Small, cheap PCs are far more versatile than their hulking great breatheren; you can mod them with only a little worry about breaking it (£300 eeePC vs £1500 desktop- which would you rather solder to the motherboard on?!), you can carry them about with one arm and type with another, you can take them on the bus or train without looking pretentious, AND they can do just about anything a regular PC can do (though not as fast)- some people have even got Oblivion running on the eeePC!

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Anonymous Coward

Small, cheap computers

Perchance are you trying to rank in Google for small, cheap computers, so that whenever someone searches for small, cheap computers, this article on small, cheap computers would pop up at #1 (for small, cheap computers)?

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Viva XP!

I'd be very interested to know what percentage of the total PC market 47m of these machines represents (if the 2011 sales hit their target).

Using these figures, it would mean that by then, there would be in excess of 100m devices. Having just reprieved WinXP because it's the only viable MS option for this class of device, which they know they can't surrender to Linux, how on earth are MS going to justify killing XP in 2010 like they have said?

Four years after being made obsolete, annual XP sales could be 30+ million units... That's got to hurt.

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Linux

world+dog+me too

1. I just bought mini itx components for a home made low powered NAS for £60 (del incl) off ebay - not wanting to spend £200 on the same... So I want a small cheap pc too (would make 4th pc, but who's counting?)

2. Now if the eepc didn't have those bloody speakers and had a bigger display instead it would be a lot more interesting to me

my £0.02 have been spent :(

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Silver badge
Happy

We've never had it so good...

Most of us have computers that are ridiculously overpowered for what we use them for. Okay, prices have slumped to about a quarter of what it was at the start of the century, but folk are starting to realise that they don't need a quad core duo for e-mailing their mum, and machines like the EEE, which do more than enough for most people, will soon be the default.

Until the next iteration of mobile phones - give me a remote monitor off and N95 or iPhone, a bluetooth keyboard, and the desktop is obselete.

And in a decade they will be ludicrously overpowered monsters, and someone will come out with the next advance...

Progress, you have to love it.....

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Linux

Of course we do

Why on earth would we want large, cumbersome computers to do little more than web browsing and word processing?

I don't have a lot of space where I live, and with more people living in shared accomodation, having a full on desktop is not viable. I love my little Freevents PC. It's solid and does everything I need.

Having played with a friends Eee, I think they are marvellous for commuters and for educational environments. Small, cheap, easy to use, and with the bonus of having Linux!

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Happy

Any Excuse.....

to get "that" picture on your pages (I don’t mind though, it's a lovely looking piece of kit)

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Paris Hilton

Err...

Do you have to take the blonde that comes with the machine? I have noticed that my wife tends to get a little miffed when I bring a female home for the night. I don't think she'd like it if I brought one home for keeps.

Don't think my girlfriend would like it either.

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Unhappy

Is it just me

But is that bird starting to look old and getting a bit of fat around the thighs ?

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Wrong view of need...

How many households in the UK and US don't have a computer of some sort? Out of the ones who don't, how many would have ANY computer?

So we already have most of the people who are up for buying a new PC with a PC already.

But that PC is heavy, powerful and underused most of the time.

So a computer that was more than adequate in 1998 for the tasks we did then (the boom years of computer ownership, IMO) should be nowadays cheap, compact and efficient.

Heck, we have PDA's with more CPU horsepower and memory now... But PDA's aren't a replacement of a computer because it's TOO small. Laptops are either expensive and light or cheap and heavy. And neither are efficient, so they can't be used and you're tethered to a wall wart with them.

It ought to be possible to create a computer that has a P500 capable processor, 128MB memory a decent sized screen and be of low enough power that the battery lasts for a full days work. And because it's nearly a SOC system, it should be darn cheap.

The screen, of course, is the one that makes most of the problems with power use. But the XO has somewhat solved this.

So the laptop is more a desktop replacement because it's tied to a wall if you use it for two hours or more, a PDA isn't a workable replacement and so there's a market for cheap efficient laptop-likes. And marketing sees this as a "need".

Well, if we've already got a powerhouse in the study, why do we need to buy a new computer? But if there was a laptop that would last a day for casual work, I'd buy that...

Need? Or just if it's cheap enough, why not?

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Unhappy

Where's

The Elonex girl?

She won by a mile.

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DUH!!!

The big box makers aren't going to acknowledge this market because there isn't a fat profit margin in it.

Fact is: a growing portion of computer users don't need a dual core for 99% of what they do and they'll tolerate slow for the other 1%. That's why we buy these laptops. They're cheap and do what they're designed to do perfectly.

I don't care if mine isn't made by Smell, IBMuck, HPew, or Toshita; just as long as it works every time I turn it on (which my Asus does).

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Gates Horns

Wintel is over

Intel no longer needs MS. New windows always meant new computer. $$ for intel and MS.

Intel now makes SLOW processors that are good on the energy needs. Vista incompatible.

MS last actual partner (used in the normal sense, not MS version of do what I say) has left them to rot.

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Paris Hilton

@Mark

Psion tried to give the world just what you asked about; a powerful PDA-sized computer 'with everything'...

The S7/netBook used a 133/190MHz StrongARM processor, came with browser/email package, had a fully WYSIWYG wordprocessor and Spreadsheet. And the built-in database is SQL-based...

Did I mention that unlike WinCE, it could actually print?

It could take PCMCIA modems and wireless cards, it had FIR(Fast infrared)...

Programming for it was a breeze with the built-in OPL language.

It even gave you 8.5Hours active usage on a recharge(if you didn't use wireless and dimmed the screen a bit...)

Of course, it cost 'rather a lot', but it was GOOD.

But that was before the M$ FUD, WinCE without printing or dynamic memory allocation screwed everything up...

It's only now, years after M$ decided that keyboards wasn't needed on PDAs that they're beginning to show up again on smartphones...

Paris because even she would love the leather wraparound on the netBook...

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@Trygve Henriksen

Aye, I know.

Mate of mine has the 3a, 3b, 5 and 7 series.

The 3a/b used flippin AA batteries, fercryingoutloud! Still got several hours of full use.

But it wasn't colour, was it.

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@Is it just me

I don't know what's worse, the 1970s-esq 'dolly bird' marketing choice or the retard who comments "But is that bird starting to look old and getting a bit of fat around the thighs ?". You misognist shit - what do you want? Anorexic jailbait?

It's no wonder you don't see many women on these comments pages when you have retards like this demonstrating their single figured emotional ages here.

Grr,

Roger Heathcote

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b
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who's that girl?

does she realise that her picture is being ogled 1000's of times?!

she'd prob be quite happy!

baby laptops:

http://www.eupeople.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2216

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babe and box

The eee box looks good to me. Time to enter the world of Linux.

As for the model: she spent an hour at most on the photoshoot and she does not think about it ever again, or the audience for it. She gets no buzz out of the thought that she's seen millions of times. The one professional model I know is glad that people think that women sell technical goods, because she makes a decent living.

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Gates Horns

Yes and No

Yes, the world wants small, cheap computers! No, the world will not buy any small, cheap computers likely to be on offer any time soon.

Why the contradiction? Because the world wants, and is willing to buy, computers for which software is widely available. This means computers running Microsoft Windows.

If the current operating system from Microsoft were Windows 98, then small cheap computers with Windows 98 loaded would sell like hotcakes. Small cheap computers with Windows Vista loaded are not practical at this time, small cheap computers with a suitable Linux distro loaded would work, but have limited appeal, and a stripped-down XP isn't really an alternative either.

Windows Mobile is even less of an option; back when it was called Windows CE, IBM actually made, and tried to sell, a laptop based on it. One wants to buy computer software for one's computer, not handheld organizer software for it.

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Paris Hilton

@ Roger Heathcote

Roger why don't you just go and write a stiff letter to the Guardian?

But anyway, I noticed it too - she has got some nasty cellulite on her thigh area. Is it just me or has somebody at El Reg been paintshopping the photo to "age" her a bit more every time it appears?

Paris, because I bet she doesn't have cellulitey thighs.

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J
Linux

Yeah, but...

"but folk are starting to realise that they don't need a quad core duo for e-mailing their mum"

They do, if they are running Vista... Kidding aside, but that's basically true! I mean, it's in the hardware manufacturers' best interest that bloated software that does not do significantly more than the previous generation is released. As someone said above: new Windows, new computer. What the fabled "average user" does now that they didn't do ten years ago?

I myself am happy to do all I need (email, office, internerd, blah blah image editing, video editing, music composition, recording, etc.) on a 6 years old 1.2 GHz desktop running the latest Kubuntu. It gets slow sometimes, granted. But nothing that makes me want to get a new computer. When it dies, then I will. Not when software makers force me to.

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@Small, cheap computers

my thoughts entirely. Reg currently no. 4 on search for small cheap computers.(bbc.co.uk no. 1 !! -google huh)

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Linux

What article?

All I saw was a lovely bird is all...

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Heart

eeepc - does what it says on the tin

Recently bought one of these gadgets before going on holiday; and I can't sing its praises high enough. The fact it runs Linux is rather irrelevant - everything "just worked" which is nice for a change! All the apps work just fine, and the support and maintenance is no harder than it would be through Windows Update. As a geek I'm pleased to see that does run on something other than Windows, but that was not a factor in my decision to buy it. It is essentially a tool that does what it says it'll do - I haven't felt the usual compunction to install reams of extra stuff on it like I have done on every other PC I've had :)

There is clearly a large market for this sort of thing; ASUS's sales show this, as does the fact that as soon as stock comes in, it sells through pretty quickly. 1Kg in weight is great, physically robust, self-contained (the PSU being an in-plug affair, not the monsters you need to run a traditional laptop) - not really any different to taking a large book with you. And at £220 you really can't go wrong! Think of it as a second PC, perhaps - one you can really use anywhere (garden, living room, kitchen), easily to hand for internet searches etc.

Personally I find the 7inch screen fine, for what the device is supposed to do. There's a 9-inch version coming along in a month or so for those who feel they need it - but it'll be interesting to see if the pricing affects the market dynamics, as its price will be nearer the price of a normal basic laptop.

As a side note - pricing I've seen so far indicates the Linux and XP versions of the 900 will be the same, so MS are presumably keen to get their OS onto the device; they won't want these things becoming ubiquitous without Windows...

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Silver badge

But never as an only computer

Very few people are throwing out their full-size laptops and desktops and replacing them with Eee PCs. Instead they fill that slow for another small laptop for the student to carry to lectures, for the kids to play with etc etc.

The price needs to drop significantly before it can fill the slot of "first computer for the cash strapped masses".

Here in NZ I can get a "real" Ubuntu laptop (Acer 4315) for less than an Eee PC. The only thing that the Eee PC has that the laptop lacks is the ultra portability.

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