back to article Skinny, curvy Asus Eee inspired by MacBook Air

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  1. Thomas Davie
    Thumb Down


    Inspired by the MacBook Air... Which is why it's an inch thick – thicker than the MacBook!

    It looks like the most flimsily built thing I've ever seen too, the little plastic cord covering the ports is going to break in seconds.

  2. Paul Boocock
    Thumb Up

    Want one...

    I'm loving the trackpad, should make a big difference to the usability.

    I've been holding out buying a netbook for a long time but I may finally take the plunge.

    £400 is a little steep though...hmmmmm....

  3. Chris Haynes

    I don't get it

    When laptops first came out they had small screens, and were bulky because the tech at that time wasn't particularly small. Then laptops improved and we increased the screen size. As the tech got smaller we made the laptops thinner, lighter, etc.

    Now, we have netbooks which are basically small laptops - small screens and small tech. We had netbooks with 7-inch, 8-inch, 9-inch and now 10-inch screens.

    Who will be the first to proudly show off their 11-incher at the trade fairs? (ahem)

    Of course, this will be available for 'under £500', and a 12-incher will emerge for 'under £600', etc. You can get a good 15-inch laptop right now that'll do a lot more than a netbook will, and it'll do it for under £300 right now.

    The netbook industry seems intent on supplanting the existing laptop industry. In five years, netbooks will be the laptops of today, except we'll be paying more because small means big money.

  4. Richard Lloyd

    Asus have priced themselves out of the market

    It's a pity about Asus really - they pioneer the Netbook phenomenon and then basically abandon it by making every subsequent model bigger, heavier and more expensive! A 10" netbook for 400 pounds? That's at *least* 100 pounds too much, Asus - you're continuing to make the same mistake over and over again.

    To top it off, the original 7" Asus has been pensioned off and you're now hard pushed to find any really cheap Asus netbook models. Asus have ceded the market to Acer and Dell and it's sad to see the trailblazer now look like an also-ran.

  5. Outcast
    Thumb Down

    Yeah right

    £400 + and extra for VAT for half a laptop ?

    Lost the plot springs to mind

  6. jai

    she sells seashsells.....

    can't but help thing they missed a marketing trick by not having the lass in a bikini by the sea shore :-)

    i like the inviisble trackpad - just wonder why they couldn't also vanish the buttons, that would be even cooler

    (although, i wonder if the invisible trackpad will be more hinderance as you'll forget it is there)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder... long it'll take for the average user to misplace the flimsy plastic cover over the USB port? The new seamless trackpad might make the netbook look more sleek, but I disagree with the poster who says it's going to improve usability. I can imagine it would be frustrating having the mouse pointer stop every time you run your finger past the now invisible boundary between touchpad and case.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a netbook

    I have a first gen eeepc and its ace for checking my email and talking on skype. My eeepc is what got me using linux so I can't see why people still insist on buying 'netbooks' that are actually just laptops with windows.

  9. Simon Williams

    Picture request

    I notice this Asus model is called the Seashell. You don't have a picture of a typical Asus user, looking something like a mermaid, who would be the ideal candidate for such an inspirationally-named netbook, do you? Perhaps in your archive?

  10. Frank

    @Chris Haynes re. I don't get it

    I and many would totally agree with you. My Eee 901 is the biggest and bulkiest thing I'd consider taking 'on the road' with me, yet I understand that it will be discontinued in favour of the 10" version.

    However, the netbook market is a wonderful opportunity, so it's direction has been taken over by.....Marketing !!

  11. Richard Drinkwater
    Thumb Down

    Inspired by the Air how?

    I don't see how it's inspired by the Air in any way. It's thicker and probably heavier. I'm guessing the battery is not user replaceable because I couldn't see any way of removing it. I'm also not keen on the trackpad idea. I like to be able to see where the pad is without running off the edge of it. I much prefer the Apple idea of combining it with the button thereby creating a larger area. As a final note, it's white whereas all the Apple range is now metal which is a lot better IMHO.

  12. Tony


    I think the problem is not that Netbooks are getting more expensive, but that they are getting bigger.

    I bought a Samsung NC10 and am relatively happy with its size but any bigger and I'd start to question why I'd bought a netbook in the first place.

    The manufacturers are obviously following sales trends, but I'd rather see smaller netnooks like the original Eee but with higher resolution screens and better storage/connectivity - not larger less able laptop-like netbooks.

  13. Richard Cartledge

    It's super fugly

    I prefer the look of their other products. The Macbook Air can only get away with the curves because it's thin. This Asus is fat and cheap looking and looks like 1990s tech design when curves were forced onto products which they didn't practically suit.

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge

    @Chris Haynes

    Yeah, that's why I went out and bought one of the old-school Asus 4Gs last week, after seeing all the crap new netbook designs. The 4G fits in the small tankbag on my bike, and displays GPS & map info. Oh, and it only cost US$300. Job done.

    Two stores down was the Sony shop with Vaio Ps on display. For $1500. For that much, it better come with Paris herself to carry it for me. But as a Japanese friend said, they probably spent a year and 5 million dollars making another couple mm thinner.

    But seriously, what is a netbook except a really small laptop, maybe running Linux rather than Windows? What I would REALLY like is a Nokia N810 with an x86 processor instead of ARM, so I can get rid of their crap OS and run Debian on it.

  15. Tom


    doesnt look like its removable = fail.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flush trackpad?

    At first I thought that was neat, but then I realised that you're going to just slide straight off of it. Could be quite annoying.

    I also agree with Mr Haynes above, seems that a lot of companies are forgetting about the first C in SCC.

  17. Charlie Barnes

    Re: I don't get it

    It's called good business.

  18. slack
    Paris Hilton

    this is great

    I'll be able to sell my aging 13.3" MacBook as a trendy new netbook soon if they keep on growing at this rate, along with my 1.6 Ghz Thinkpad which currently runs Slackware quite happily. I'll call that the Mega-Netbook :)

    Dang, as I think about it I have decided to make a business out of repackaging bulbous old notebooks as cheapo netbooks with larger screens, I'm gonna be rich you losers - see you in Monte Carlo!

    Oooh, did I say that out loud?

    /Paris, because she'll be hanging off my arm really soon

    //and I'd give my left nut to do the wild monkey dance with her

  19. William Clark

    Screen border still too big

    I agreed with many of the comment about netbooks getting too big - a bit like hatchbacks - the original VW Golf is the size of today's Polo..

    What I think the manufacturers are missing is making the bezel around the screen narrower and giving us a larger screens but in a more compact unit overall. I don't care about the camera above the screen.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Why Netbooks?

    Stop and think: Netbooks are marketed as being used mainly for email and Web browsing and being very portable. Don't cell phones allow email and Web browsing? Some even allow limited applications like spreadsheets, appointment calendars, and document editing.

    Personally, netbooks seem silly. They have all (or more) of the cost and less functionality of larger notebooks and very little gain in portability.

  21. Richard Baxter

    "Small", "cheap" computer?

    Gah! I thought the main attraction of netbooks, when they first came out, was that they were cheap as chips (under £200 for the basic models) and almost small and light enough to stick in your pocket.

    If I'm going to spend four hundred notes (has anyone told Asus there's a recession on?) on some hulking great 10 inch thing I might as well go the whole hog and buy a laptop.

    And more fool me for thinking that Eee PCs would stay the same size, but actually come DOWN in price. Duh.

  22. Stuart Halliday

    Wait for the ARM versions I think..

    Why don't we wait to see the ARM versions? These are suppose to be half the weight with double the battery life.

    I like my10" Advent One netBook but it needs to be lighter with more battery life (2-3 hours isn't enough), I agree with W. Clark above, it also needs a smaller bezel around the screen and keyboard. Mistyping is a pain. We're not all built like our smaller Far East friends.

    Oh and drop the camera. It's a right pain having to switch it off every time I turn on my netBook (even from Hibernation mode)

  23. Mike Flugennock
    Paris Hilton

    not that I'm in the market for one, now, but...'s interesting to hear more people popping up lately talking about how, with a minor upgrade or two, their old clamshell G3 iBooks or such would basically perform just as well as a new n3tb66k. A friend of mine's wife still has her aqua/white G3 clamshell; wait 'til she hears _this_. Maybe my pal can stop her from pissing away cash on a new Eee before it's too late.

    @William Clark: I owned an '88 Golf -- or "Rabbit", as they were called in the States for some odd reason -- and I liked it OK, but I became insanely jealous of a friend's '85 Rabbit GT (the "old style") after driving it once or twice. Quicker off a green light, handled way tighter. Man, those were sweet. The '88 was like driving a tank after that.

    Paris, because she's... uh, well, quicker off the green, and handles tighter. Or so I've heard

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Poor man's Air?

  25. Andus McCoatover

    @Not a netbook

    <<I have a first gen eeepc and its ace for checking my email and talking on skype.>>

    Totally agree. Don't understand either why Asus and ilk dropped the eee701-type concept. Now we seem to have laptots that are half the size, fiddlier to use (that's an accepted given) but the same sodding price???

    S'pose it's negative status. If I wander around someplace important (in my case, the Dole office) and whip a 701 laptot out of my coat pocket, to show them I've REALLY been looking for a job (Back me up, barman...) they're more likely to give me benefit than if I stroll in with an apparently expensive all-singing etc. state-of-the-fart Mac. (I'm also less likely to get it nicked in the winter, given coat sizes, unless I'm a Brazilian Electrician. Pop it into a tesco budget carrier bag, no-one'll nick *that*!)

    Having said that, I set my mate's Acer 1 up (He couldn't use wlan. Pointed him to a switch on the front. <BartSimpsonMode "D'OHHHHHHHH"</BartSimpsonMode> ) Better than my 701, but at €300? My last 701 was €150. It kills the SCC concept. I'd be better with one of those Afro rabbit-ear thingies (XO?) that you get in a packet of breakfast cereal. Except, most african kids have never seen a packet of breakfast cereal.

  26. Andus McCoatover

    //and I'd give my left nut to do the wild monkey dance with her

    Left Nut Extraction service cheaply available on El Reg.

    Just call the BOFH. Job done in no time, and recovery over the weekend in a darkened elevator. Or tape safe - whichever you prefer! "Choice" is our middle name!

    Booking not necessary.

    More choices than the NHS! No corridors!! No waiting time!!! Offer limited to as long as you're concious!!!!

    Cost? Decent curry for BOFH and ashishtant and a few (well, unlimited) pints of lager.

    That deal sounds as "Sweet as a Nut"

    (Paris suck-sess not guaranteed. But dancing with the rare "Chair-Throwing Wild Monkey" will be arranged. Trip to Redmond at your own expense. Anonymity guaranteed - we don't know who you are. Neither do we fuc*king care.)

  27. Glenn Gilbert

    Inspired by the Air, not designed by Apple

    Interesting similarities with the Air. A wedge design, but not as thin or 'sharp' at the edges.

    Plastic, plastic everywhere, not any metal to see.

    "Hidden ports", a plastic flap that's held on with a little plastic bendy thing that will fall off in five minutes flat.

    Holes everywhere. Could use the bottom of the machine as a cheese grater.

    Average keyboard. Unusable itty-bitty trackpad with no edges to let you know when you've got to stop.

    WTF is that stupid software thingie "connect to the Asus shop and download the latest films and music"

    Actually, there's bugger all in common with the Air. Air=georgous, Asus=fugly.

    TBH Apple should come down on you for even suggesting such heresy.

  28. Paul Banacks

    All appstores?

    Is everyone making an "app store" type application nowadays?

  29. Derek Clarke

    Lithium Polymer battery

    No user replaceable battery? Are they mad?

    I also agree about the port flap.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm interested in buying a netbook, not a laptop. 400 pounds? Nah.

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