Feeds

Asus Eee PC gives Sony the willies

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.