RM readies Linux sub-laptop... for £169
Asus eePC reborn as MiniBook
Updated UK PC company RM - formerly Research Machines, 1980s school-computer buffs - is to bring Asus' tiny Eee PC, launched last June, to these shores - for a mere 169 quid.
RM's MiniBook: cheap enough for the kids to break with impunity...
The laptop will be branded the RM Asus MiniBook. The 890g, 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1-3.5cm unit is based around a 7in display, has 256MB or 512MB of memory, a choice of 2GB or 4GB of solid-state storage, and a 900MHz Intel Celeron M processor.
The unit has an integrated 0.3-megapixel (VGA) webcam and 802.11g Wi-Fi, along with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and an on-board dial-up modem. RM also said it plans to offer an optional 3G datacard for the device. There are earphone and microphone ports, an SD card reader and three USB 2.0 ports too.
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The MiniBook will run Linux, open source operating system fans will be keen to hear, and RM touted the laptop's 15s boot time. We're more impressed with the price: £169 ($344/€245) for for the 256MB, 2GB model, rising to just £199 ($405/€288) if you want a MiniBook with 512MB of RAM and a 4GB Flash drive.
The machine's pitched at schools, but we can see plenty of folk considering the MiniBook as a simple, inexpensive web surfing device.
Both models are due to go on sale over here on 1 November.
Update RM confirmed today that the pricing excludes UK VAT sales tax, currently charged at 17.5 per cent. That ups the two machines' prices to £199 and £234, respectively.
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