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.) – Wilson Rothman

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