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Every single person in the world knows that I'm a big fan of the Asus Eee PC. Well, at least the 4G 701 model that I bought late last year. But as I alluded to in the Acer Aspire One blog post, further down the page, it's becoming increasingly hard to understand Asus's product strategy. Life was great when we had the 70x and 900/1 models -- the former was cheap, the latter a tad more expensive but with the larger screen that some demanded. Now we have the 904, the 1000, the 1000H, and the 1000HD. This excellent snippet from an Engadget news story sums it up perfectly:

So now not only are there an endless variety of Eee models, the model numbers themselves don't indicate anything logical: the Eee 901 is faster than the 904, which uses the basic case of the 1000 but shares a processor with the 900 and 1000HD -- but not the 1000 or 1000H, which are Atom-based like the 901.

What you say? My confusionometer just exploded. I'd love to hear from readers who've been tempted by the Eee, but have also been put off by the ever-growing range of almost-the-same-but-not-quite models. Do you think this actually makes sense for Asus in the long run, or is it just flooding the market? Are you holding out for the Dell E?

(Note: click here for the Engadget article, and be aware of the usual profanity and flame wars in the comment section!)

UPDATE: In another Engadget story, we see a leaked Eee PC roadmap with 23 models listed. I can't even count that far.

Your comments

It seems that they have only

It seems that they have only learnt from Apple that notebooks could be white or black. It's a pity that they missed the day when they explained that it's better to focus in only one great product.

Homework: Write an essay comparing iPhone vs the unlimited number of Nokia phones and smartphones.

There were pink and green

There were pink and green versions of the very earliest Eees, but now there doesn't seem to be much choice.
Like you say, they'd do better to look at Apple's strategy: two models, two distinct markets.


what puts me off is not the

what puts me off is not the confusion for the diffrent models, it's the price. I recently sold my 701 and was planning originally to buy a 901. But dell-e will be sold at the same price of the 701, with the best features of 901, *and* with ubuntu preinstalled.

Am I going to buy dell-e? you bet :-)

>> Like you say,

>> Like you say, they’d do better to look at Apple’s strategy: two models, two distinct markets.

Two models of what exactly ? They have three distinct ranges of laptops each with a number of models. The MacBook Air might only have two models, but then each of those has a number of configurable options.

I think the problem with the EeePC is the fact that the model numbers/names aren't sufficient distinct and clear. The number of models if far from bewildering. Look how many different A300 hundreds Toshiba list on their website and that is just one part of one range. Having said that, the models without the Atom are a little pointless, I don't think I would ever consider one - but then you can understand them not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket. Change the specs. on release doesn't help though, I found out recently the Windows versions of the Atom based 901 and 1000 will be shipping with XP Pro rather than Home.

The prices seem to have improved a lot in the past few months. I have seen a 1000 with XP Pro and an 80GB hard drive for £330, the same price as the 900 a few months ago. This is very tempting as it has enough hard drive space to dual boot and XP Pro so I can us it at work, with most of the size/weight advantage of other EeePCs

True, I didn't consider the

True, I didn't consider the MacBook Air. But what I meant is, there's a consumer model, and a 'professional' model, and that's clear to buyers. It's a lot harder to distinguish with the wide spread of Eee models IMO.


I purchased the EeePC 701

I purchased the EeePC 701 before they even came out with the 901 and I still love it (I have 2 now - one I travel with and one I set up as a bittorrent server). I agree that Asus's strategy is perplexing. It appears they are trying to cash in on the brand rather than focusing on the product. By doing this they leave consumers (customers) confused and likely to look elsewhere now that their are other choices (Wind, Dell, HP) that are just as good or better. I sure would like to sit in on their strategy meetings and try to figure out what they are doing. They need to stop trying to be all things to all people and focus on what made the EeePC so attractive to begin with (small footprint - low cost). Maybe they won't sell as many but like Apple they will develop a customer base of very loyal followers that will embrace the product and sustain the business over a longer product cycle. Their lead in this category is very tenuous now- the customer service is bad, the product confuses people and competitors are likely to improve on the technology faster than Asus because they have spread themselves to thin over the product line. So far they have also enjoyed generally good press coverage in the technical media but all that is also starting to change as demonstrated by the articles appearing like the one you reference. If they don't change they are running the risk of becoming a textbook case of a good product ruined at the hands of marketers. I am in the process of converting my home network over to almost all EeePC's because I like the low power consumption and smaller space requirement. But, I will certainly be checking out Dell's new product (as much as I have had bad luck with Dell I appreciate their commitment to Linux and feel they earned my support) and the other new entries such as the MSI Wind.

I was talking today with

I was talking today with someone who does not know that Mike is "a big fan of the Asus Eee PC", they have now been informed. :)

I personaly couldn't give a

I personaly couldn't give a monkeys whether Mikes a big fan of the Asus Eee PC or not, BUT IF HE TEXTS ME ABOUT HIS DAMN IPHONE AGAIN I'M GONNA SICK IT UP HIS NOSE!!!

Sick it up my nose? So

Sick it up my nose? So you're going to eat it first?


Were you tired of waiting

Were you tired of waiting for Android then, Mike?

No, I'm just a gadgetaholic.

No, I'm just a gadgetaholic. I'll probably get an Android phone too... :-)


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