Dirt cheap sub-notebooks soon to be the norm

Asus' Eee PC will be available for £219. It runs Linux, though is Windows XP compatible

The market is set to be hit with a flood of cheap notebooks. That's according to Taiwanese sources, who report on a plethora of manufacturers itching to jump on the super-cheap notebook bandwagon

Last week Asus announced its Eee PC in the UK. It'll launch on November 12. While it runs Linux, it is Windows XP compatible and has a tremendous price point of £219.

Mobile Internet Devices

DigiTimes reports on ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers) such as Inventec and Compal Electronics prepping devices for which could hit the £250 price point. These will then be resold by other manufacturers into markets such as the UK.

While these are more likely to be MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) to start with, the step up to fully-fledged laptop heaven isn't far. Of course, one of the main reasons vendors will soon be able to hit a £199 price point for cheapo portables is that they won't include a Windows license. Some won't run it, but others, like the Eee PC, include support if desired.

DigiTimes reckons that if MIDs become cheap enough, micro PCs like the Eee PC will suffer. We're not so sure; the Eee PC is an excellent-looking piece of kit - and Asus' build quality is superb.

Mind you, if you want super-cheap, there's always Wal-Mart's $200 Linux-based desktop PC.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.