A Toy, That Might Be a Tool

Asus EEE PCIt can be fun to try and follow vaporware. Engadget and others were hyperventilating yesterday about the Asus EEE PC that’s been announced. Seven inch screen, less than two pounds, up to 16 gigs of flash memory, Linux installed and Windows XP optional. Wired networking, modem, wireless. Digital camera. Starting at $199 in August?

The funny thing to me is that the marketing is all about how this is a great Internet toy. Shoot off your pictures from the beach. Shop at Target at the bus station. Store and play your music. Text message others. Use it for VOIP. It’s cool and hip for the young and cash strapped.

The only thing I haven’t seen so far is if it has a word processor, or spreadsheet capability, or the ability to view PDFs. That would be “work,” however, and not “play.” On the other hand, maybe that’s how they sell a million units and accumulate market share. In schools, I could see wireless networks swamped if these really became popular, and again there would be lots of access but maybe not much focus (other than for personal/fun uses).

So, it might come out or it might not. I can seem similar tools in the wings, however, and some will enter the mix. It’s funny to think that something that looks and feels like a small laptop could be specifically designed for entertainment but not productivity…

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