Everyone is getting in the low-cost laptop game these days, Asus was first and then came others; ECS and Everex to name a couple and now Dell is joining the game as well. Tiny laptops running "light" versions of Linux have been a hit and Asus hit the ground running with its EeePC. A 9-inch version of the EeePC is forthcoming as is one with Intel’s Atom processors.
HP recentley released its 2133 mini-Note UMPC which features either SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 or Windows Vista Basic, VIA C7M processors 1.0GHz to 1.6GHz, 512MB to 1GB of memory, choices of a 4GB SSD or 120GB to 160GB hard drives, WiFi connectivity and VGA webcam. Prices for it start at $499.
It appears that Dell is targeting HP, not Asus with this latest move. According to CNN, Compal says it is going to supply Dell with 200,000 to 300,000 laptops per month but declined to get into specifics. This was all but confirmed by Michael Dell who said, "we will introduce a similar laptop," in reference to the 2133 mini-Note.
But in a broader spectrum, everyone is targeting everyone else in order to get a slice of the preverbial mini-laptop pie. Asus already has a large piece but what isn’t already taken is left for others to mop up by making more powerful laptops at a similar cost. HP’s offering is a good start but the VIA processor is always an achiellie’s heel, let’s hope Dell offers an Intel processor.
Beyond the 8.9-inch display on the Compal/Dell laptop, not much else is known but it should be available within the next two quarters.