back to article Acer punts £199... er... £220... er... Linux laptop

Acer has clarified its pricing plan for the eagerly awaited Aspire One sub-notebook - and it's clarified the price upwards. At launch, the company stated the basic version of the Eee PC rival would run Linux, pack in 8GB of solid-state storage and 512MB of memory, and sport a £199 price tag. Company officials stressed that that …

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Nah.

Screw that then. A small capable laptop (laptot?) for under 200 quid was a bargain, but I'm not going over that. Might as well get a full size one.

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Stop

the pricepoint's all wrong

there's no real advantage anymore in it being this expensive... I reckon it's Microsoft interfering to insist on it being priced higher so as not to compete with low end Vista based laptops

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Unhappy

Hmmm

The only place i can find to pre-order it from has it at £235, and a whopping £317 for the XP one.

Not happy.

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Black Helicopters

The fiends!!!

@e-tailers: Quick, ideal advertising opportunity, sell yours at £199.

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Unhappy

Damn

CCL has it for £224, when you factor in the delivery that's £232. Which is the cheapest I've found so far (better than Expansys or Dabs).

However this mere £20-30 increase has got me thinking twice. It's still good value but it's lost that impulse buy price. At £200 I didn't need to think about it but at £220 I suddenly do.

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W
Black Helicopters

£199 = sold

£201 = not

Call it psycological if you want, but I'm calling it dubious MS spoiling tactics.

Sounds like a job for El Reg's best undercover journalism talents.

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Gates Horns

Microsoft running scared?

The interesting announcement is the increased hard disk size. Initially Microsoft put restrictions on the hardware that Windows XP could be sold with. One was that the hard disk could be no larger than 80GB, but now they appear to have relaxed it to 160GB plus an increase in screen size.

You have to say that Microsoft are getting a little worried about the acceptance of Linux on these products seeing it as the short end of the wedge on there dominance.

Could we have a Ballmer icon please?(with chair)

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Foot-shootery

£220 would be fine if we hadn't already been told to expect £199! I'm not buying one now, on principle.

(Also because I just got an old but good Compaq E500 off Ebay for £60)

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Boffin

How much is the windows tax?

Thanks to AC who mentioned CCL - they have a complete model price list: http://www.cclonline.com/product-listings.asp?category_id=740

Looks like Acer didnt manage to pull the same MS deal as Asus becuase there you can see the exact same hardware with Linux and with Windows.

£50 difference on £250 - so MStax is about 20%

hmmm

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Stop

errr

So some hardware manufacturer pulls a fast one and breaks their pre-launch price promise and now its Microsoft's fault? You MS conspiracy theorists are too funny! If they still had such a hold on all these manufacturers do you really think they'd allow them to bundle linux into their machines? No, MS lost as soon as that happened.

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Coat

Poor marketing

Like others have said here - £199 is just doable as a "I need some tech" self-present, £220 is getting dangerously close to the level of these cheap, Celeron-powered etailer laptop "specials", (last one I saw was £240 inc VAT, and that was an Acer too). Hopefully the £220 price point will continue to put pressure on the price of "proper" laptops - which I perceive have fallen since the arrival of the EEE.

Meanwhile, why no Reg comment on a more glaring failure on Acer's part? Namely their total and abject failure to elect a curvaceous, bikini-clad, outdoor-loving, "spokeswoman". Thanks to EEE-girl (and others) I would refused to consider purchasing an EEE-like device unless it is promoted by such a sales person. :-)

Although as my lovely wife pointed out - if they want to sell to the girls then Acer could pick a muscly hunk, which would be a good choice for a change (her words, not mine). >-(

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Tom
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Illegal competition?

Surely there must be some legal recourse against this type of vapourware announcements. To say you are producing a product at an amazingly low price and then up it is surely disingenous in the least.

Supermarkets are obliged to sell at the advertised price...

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Gates Horns

Capitalism at work

I've seen some impressive sales figures for the first few rounds of Eees, and as far as I remember Asus had problems delivering the volume wanted by the market. Hence manufacturers test the acceptance point of the market - that is not dubious, that is capitalism at work, so stop whining you wankers.

Horned Bill, for obvious reasons.

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It's not that big a deal.

If you think about it the original eee PC was supposed to sell for $200. They increased the price much more than this.

Also, I don't see how MS could pressure them into increasing the price of the Linux version.

I think the current battery and atom processor shortages are more likely culprits for this price hike.

Also it is still very competitive with the Wind and the EEE 900.

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Linux

Damn, that's annoying...

But I think I still want one.

Curious though, that the Aspire doesn't appear on either acer.co.uk or acer.com, and the one site (http://www.acer.com/aspireone/pagina2.html) where they do seem to cover it is absent both price and hard information.

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Bronze badge

Don't like the price change.

Perhaps I'm being pedantic but you seem to imply VAT as being something specific to the UK when of course it's European wide (BTW in Dutch, TVA in Frnech etc). Probably just me........

I also thought it was 20 quid not quids. I thought you could only use quids, as in "quids in" which you won't be now that the price is higher :-)

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10% rise in under a month ...

... means the UK's economy is in trouble!

June - One announced - £199

July - still waiting - £220

July/Aug - One available to buy - £???

Like others here, I'd been looking for a sub-£200 take-it-anywhere machine, to compliment the laptop I already have. At £220 + postage, it's getting pricey. Plus the reviews so far all say the battery life is poor, so I'd need to add on the cost of a beefier battery ...

I'll wait and see if Dell's fabled E (allegedly starting at $299) is any cheaper/better when it arrives.

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Anonymous Coward

Soon available at Comet

I gather Comet will be stocking these in the next few weeks

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dek
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Marketing shooting themselves in the foot

Seems a common marketing tactic to tease everyone with a mouthwatering price only to raise it once whatever becomes available. Me with others: <£200=sold, >£200=bye bye!

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Alert

Tight

Are people really not going to buy this because it's an extra £21?

Tighter than a nuns chuff.

Would you suddenly stop drinking pints because it's gone up an extra 5p? Probably try and blame that on MS too.

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tit-le

I'd love to know why, after all these years do we still not see laptops that come without an OS on it?

I want to choose what I put onto it!

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Stop

Who cares about the price, just look at the spec

The price is of no consequence, the difference between 220 quid and 199 quid is just noise in yer typical geek's budget spreadsheet. But a 120GB hard disk in an Eeee-a-like is ridiculous. You might need that if it's your primary machine, or you're editing your band's music video on it, but neither of those is going to be the case. Even 20GB is being very generous.

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Anonymous Coward

They are being pushed to the edge on pricing

I would just take the vast majority of the promotion budget, and ask for people to market the item, offering a lower price.

You put 199 on it, and I will give you a promotion page for nought.

If an opensource OS is used then I am happy to help out with the promotion of the device, and I am not the only one as well, just as long as you make the drivers open.

People interested in these devices often complement other ventures, so tech companies who are using opensource wise up and opensource your promotion as well, you will need marketing folk to supply the information and help out, but probably won't need to pay Radio, TV or magazine fees to promote.

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Go

Play.com

Play are listing an SSD/Linux verison of the Aspire One at £199.

Might be that they haven't adjusted price yet, but perhaps they will honour this price for those that pre-order now?

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@ Tom

Legal recourse? So you want to sue them for changing the price?

It's a dumb move and they're shooting themselves in the foot, but that's it.

"Supermarkets are obliged to sell at the advertised price"

No they're not- they just often do to avoid the bad publicity.

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Re: Tight

"Would you suddenly stop drinking pints because it's gone up an extra 5p?"

But we're talking about a 10% price rise here... when was the last time you bought a pint for 50p?

Not that it's the same thing of course.

It's more like being drawn into a pub on the basis of a pint for £1, then being told it's actually £1.10, and you can't buy it for another couple of hours, the price might go up more in that time and the product might still turn out to be a pint of water.

Anyway, it might be tempting if I hadn't already blown the treat-yourself budget on an eee!

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Paris Hilton

The problem

The fact that the Acer wasn't exactly the best of the small laptops (according to a few reviews) was perhaps excusable at £199, but pushing the price up starts to move it into MSI Wind/original Asus EEE territory, especially if Medion introduces its rebadged MSI Wind to the UK at a low price.

Paris, as some small consolation for the lack of "beach picture".

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Re: Play.com

Really? They didn't have it listed yesterday when I looked, but I'm glad to see more potential suppliers as it increases the chances of a competitive price.

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Alert

Re: The Problem

Well the Aspire One seems mostly to have fallen foul of reviewers for just one reason, the battery and for a £100 price difference that's reasonable especially since in practice few sub-£500 normal laptops do much better. A six cell battery will apparently be available for ~£50-60 for those that want it and that still makes the SSD models cheaper than the Eee etc (who wants a HDD in a sub-portable??).

I'd also be willing to bet that extra battery life can be squeezed out of the Aspire One with the right distro and configuration.

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Happy

play.com

Well, I've just pre-ordered a nice blue one from play, which I think means they have to honour their price n'est pas?

Now I just need to find somewhere that will sell me an extended battery.

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Happy

Writers Tech

I've pre-ordered one, too. Writers Tech (www.writerstech.co.uk) have them a bit higher in price, but they're guaranteeing to refund the difference if the RRP is lower...

Now it's just a waiting game...

Play are saying end of July, but I've not seen any dates anywhere else...

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Linux

They should make a £100 laptop

The OLPC is £100 today. Why doesn't Acer or someone else take the open-source OLPC design, based on 1GB flash memory, an AMD Geode processor with DCON, autonomous WiFi Mesh, environmentally friendly battery and components, anti-theft bios and a Pixel Qi dual-mode screen.

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@Play.com

You will pay more than £199 even if Play have it because you will get whacked with import duty ... to quote their terms and conditions:

"37. If your delivery address is outside of Jersey, you may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once a shipment reaches your country. Any such additional charges for customs clearance must be borne by you. You should note that customs policies vary widely from country to country; Play.com advises each customer to contact their local customs office for further information."

And so you WILL pay more as you will pay duty and VAT and Royal Mail will also charge a handling fee of around £8. Its only worth buying something up to £18 from any company on Jersey and even that might get fixed by GB wanting to lower this level thanks to lobbying by UK retailers.

I posted a comment back when the ASUS was first announced saying that I bet it was £199 + VAT ... looks like I was right 8-)

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Anonymous Coward

re: MS Tax

Can't you just click the "don't agree" button on the MS licensing agreement, install Linux and get a refund? Should just about make up the difference.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6144782.stm

It worked with Dell.

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Unhappy

Play.com terms and conditions

#4. While we try and ensure that all prices on our website are accurate, errors may occur. If we discover an error in the price of goods you have ordered we will inform you as soon as possible and give you the option of reconfirming your order at the correct price or cancelling it. If we are unable to contact you we will treat the order as cancelled. If you cancel and you have already paid for the goods, you will receive a full refund.

#5. No contract for the sale of any product will subsist between you and Play.com until Play.com dispatches the product(s) ordered. We will confirm that the product(s) have been dispatched by a confirmation email. This confirmation e-mail amounts to an acceptance by Play.com of your offer to buy goods from Play.com or a third party supplier that is engaged on your behalf by Play.com (whether or not you receive that e-mail).

Translation: There's every chance that we'll charge as much as the rest of 'em. But we'll keep it at £199 for the mo in order to get a foot in the door with regard to your custom. When it's eventually made available at the same inflated price price as everyone else you'll hopefully just shrug and go through with the order anyway because you've come this far.

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Tom
Paris Hilton

when I worked at Sainburys

we were always taught that any mis-prices had to be legally honoured. The law exists to stop dubious shops having one price on the shelves and another when you get to till.

There are also strict laws on "sale" displays; to prevent dodgy shops marking everything as "90% OFF!", the item had to be on sale at the original price for minimum 6 weeks before it could be discounted. Hence why you see Xmas and Easter stuff so early in supermarkets; those lines are going to be sale items.

Paris, cos she knows how shopping works.

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mis-prices

It's a common misconception that misprices have to be honoured.

A price on an item in a shop (or website) is only an "invitation to purchase". No contract is made until both parties have agreed a price and money and goods have exchanged hands.

Shops can legally refuse to sell an item at any given price.

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They're not misproced

The advertised price is a "invitation to treat". Until you make an "offer" to buy at that price and they accept your offer there is no contract. Play are quite specific about this, they have not accepted your offer until they dispatch the item.

Nor does this come under "bait and switch" which is where a product is adverised at a very low price but once a customer enquires they are told it is not available and are offered a more expensive alternative. The idea is that some customers will go for this as they've already spent time and money coming in and it's easier than going elsewhere.

@Tom, that's just Sainsbury's (and a lot of large company) policy. Theory being that in the scheme of things it's not worth the aggro to annoy a couple of customers. No retailer is obliged to sell anything to anyone at any price. If I don't like your face I can refuse to sell you anything. Until I take your money it's mine and I can do what I like with it. My shop is also private property and I can ask you to leave for no reason.

What I'm trying to say (in a roundabout way) is: If you don't like the price on offer you are at liberty to buy elsewhere.

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