Feeds

Asus Eee PC gives Sony the willies

If Elfin laptop pulls in punters, it'll pull down prices

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

It's official: Sony fears the Asus Eee PC. It worries the elfin notebook's low price, low spec approach could cut the bottom out of the laptop business.

"If [Asus' Eee PC] starts to do well, we are all in trouble," Mike Abary, a senior VP with Sony US' IT products operation, told Cnet.

"That's just a race to the bottom... if mainstream buyers buy it then whoa..."

Abary's fear is clear: let punters know they can do what that want to do computationally on a small, very cheap machine, they won't want to pay out for expensive upgrades sporting the latest processor, graphics and screen technology.

Asus Eee PC 701

Asus Eee PC and friend: putting the willies up Sony

The PC industry as a whole - let alone Sony - has long depended on punters' desire for more performance from their computers as a driver for regular sales. Ever more bloated apps and operating systems have helped, as they've exposed the limitations of older systems.

Market watchers have long wondered when the point will come when punters decide their current machine is powerful enough for the tasks they want to perform, and the regular upgrade cycle comes to an end. As sales of computers to consumers have grown and grown, this point has become more important.

Still, why blame Asus? It's largely responding to demand, and consumer laptop prices have been tumbling anyway. In the US, Sony offers notebooks priced under $800 - over here you can now get half-decent ones for the sterling equivalent, £400.

The Eee comes in at around £220, so there's still some space for low-end laptops to fall into before they start matching Asus' pricing. If the Eee encourages better prices for consumers, then that's no bad thing. Companies like Sony will just have to work harder to win their favour.

Related Reviews
Asus Eee PC
Toshiba Portégé R500 slimline laptop
OLPC XO laptop
Maxdata Belinea s.book 1 sub-notebook

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.