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Acer preparing its own Eee PC killer?

Will the Asus Eee PC have a major rival on its hands in April?

As the sub-notebook industry becomes increasingly crowded, it looks like one of the world's largest computer manufacturers may have its sights set on Asus and its popular Eee PC.

Taiwan's Commercial Times is reporting that Acer is ready to release its own entrant to the micro-notebook market in the coming months and it could have a choice of 8- or 9-inch displays with 800 x 480 resolution. Ironically, those screens are rumoured to be made by AU Optronics - the same company Asus employs to create the Eee PC LCDs.

Pricing is key

Although the exact price is unknown, the Times is reporting that it could cost about as much as future Asus releases, which indicates that Acer will be using the same low-cost components currently used in the Eee PC. According to the report, Acer is likely to choose a low-power Intel processor or a Via C7-M, as well as 4GB to 8GB of flash storage or a 1.8-inch hard drive.

So far, there is no word on availability, but the Times claims Acer will be ready to release the sub-notebook sometime in March or April to pre-empt the expected next version of Asus' Eee PC.