ASUS Astounds with $189 Notebook Computer

Dennis Faas's picture

Get ready for the disposable laptop.

ASUS has recently announced a device that won't break the bank after being dropped, doused in coffee, or thrown from a sixth floor balcony. That's right, a sub-$200 laptop, proclaimed the lowest cost and easiest to use mainstream notebook, ever.

ASUS chairman Johnny Shih stunned his Computex crowd with the device, which weighs just 900 grams. Using Linux technology, the device, dubbed "3ePC", reportedly runs an operating system similar to Windows. Computex attendees say they witnessed Mozilla's Firefox browser being used, meaning it will likely be capable of more than you'd expect from a machine retailing for less than a Nintendo Wii.

Unlike the $100 OLPC laptop being developed for developing nations (and perhaps inner-city American schools), ASUS will market its $189 notebook all over the world. Hard drive space is said to be minimal, 2GB, perhaps, using a flash-based HDD. The 3ePC on show at Computex ran with 512MB of memory, although this doesn't appear to be a standard. It all seems to run at a fairly impressive speed, with onlookers watching as Shih booted up the 3ePC in just 15 seconds. (Source:

Included software will be something similar to Microsoft Office, although it could be a very "dumbed down" rendition of the popular application. (Source:

For those looking for just a bit more (but still a very cheap notebook computer) ASUS will also be offering a $299 version. Details for this edition are still unknown.

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