Asustek To Build $249 Classmate PC


It would seem that the shorties in developing countries are a hot new market indeed. Last month, we reported that Asustek, makers of the Asus-branded laptops, would be introducing a flash-based $199 laptop. Well, economics being how they are, the price is now looking like $249 (at the low-end, on up to $400), and the models are confirmed to be based on Intel's Classmate PC design: a 7" LCD at 800x480, an Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) Celeron M 900 with no L2 cache, and 256MB of DDR-II, presumably with a version of Windows embedded in memory.

According to Ars Technica, Asus will first build its own edition in July; Asus will begin the official Intel Classmate PC production in September. There's no mention of the quantity of installed flash-memory, but Ars does say that the Classmate PC may give the OLPC XO a run for its money:

Although the lower cost and specific design features make the XO laptop a good fit for poor nations, the Classmate PC reference design will almost certainly outperform the XO in many scenarios.
I guess the good news is that, if salesmen do descend upon the youth of the Third World to pitch their wares, a price war could inevitably drive the prices even lower, in spite of the cost. (Heck, they may even try selling them to you, not that you'd want one .)

Asustek to launch $249 Classmate PC design in July [Ars Technica]