I finally got a look at the new Asus EEE laptop at Bangkok’s IT barn, the Pantig Plaza. Finding the local IT barn took a bit of asking around and a bit of walking through traffic but it was worth the effort. I got a chance to play with it and the performance of Windows XP and MS Office, loaded on as part of the service (the Plaza being an IP free zone) was great. Of course, it left only 800 Mb of memory for storage but the size, weight (0.8 kg) and most of all, the cost was very impressive.
The lowest model EEE (all the others have sold out) retails at 10,900 baht (around AUD 380) and I am very tempted to get one even though I can’t really justify it in terms of usage – my travelling computing needs are still completely satisfied by the O2 (which is also much more portable and discrete). I could expand my needs but I am not missing music, video or gaming entertainment at all and I have more than enough e-books to read. My IT needs are much more to do with internet connectivity.
Anyway, the speed at which the EEE is selling in Bangkok at least seems to indicate that this product may have found the right price vs functionality point for many market segments. An indian businessman was buying one for a friend in India and he was enthusiastic over its lightweight portability. A number of younger Thais were also looking with keen interest. If you are a student and need only to word-process and spend time online, the EEE would be perfect. And for the cost of an external hard-drive, its not so difficult to make it into a simple multimedia machine.
Fortunately, SG is thinking of buying one for her uni course so if that happens, i’ll get to test it out more thoroughly and maybe wait for prices to drop some more.