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Asus vs. The Big Guys

Posted by Matthew Greensmith at 8:45 AM on May 21, 2008

I’m typing to you today on my Gateway M275 Convertible Tablet. It is four years old and cost my company around $2500 brand new. I came with a screaming fast processor, plenty of hard drive, a combo CDRW/DVD drive, and a 6-way card reader. I love this machine. It has a 14.1″ monitor and weighs about 4 pounds. It’s gone everywhere with me, for more than four years. It has never failed me. It’s been dropped on the floor at least twice, and had to have the cracked bezel around the LED panel replaced once, but that’s pretty much it. It is a workhorse. Of course, now it’s old, and its screaming fast processor can’t handle Vista, and I really need a DVD burner these days, and instead of 6-way card readers, I really need 9-way card readers.

So, I’ve just ordered a new Dell. For just under $1000, I’m getting a screaming fast processor, lots of RAM, plenty of hard drive, and a combo CD/DVD burner, plus a 9-way card reader. It’s amazing to me how prices continue to drop, making even higher end machines affordable.

Which makes me wonder why I would pay $499 or more for an Asus Eee notebook? It’s tiny, yes, which makes it cute. But it’s not anything I’d want to type on every day. My Gateway is my daily machine; it is my desktop replacement as well as being my travel machine. I do everything on this wonderful tablet. I can’t imagine trading down in size and ability when the savings in cost are so minimal. A basic decently-running regular-sized laptop prices out at about $650 or so, which is the same cost as the new Asus Eee 901. Sorry. If I’m going to spend that much money on a laptop, then I want one that I can actually type comfortably on, and get some real work done on.

What is the allure of the tiny laptops, other than their “cute” factor? Can someone tell me?

One Comment

  1. From John at 11:09 am on May 21, 2008

    I think it’s the size and weight. People who travel with a portable laptop, projector and printer want to be able to put all of their equipment in one carry-on bag. Some airlines are only allowing one carry-on bag/personal item now so the impetus to have something small and light-weight is even higher. As someone who supports people who travel a lot, I can tell you that they complain if the laptop is even 1 lb. heavier.

    I also think these laptops appeal to women more than men. They have smaller hands and may also want a lighter device to carry around.