Feeds

Asus Eee PC gives Sony the willies

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.