Asustek plans to launch a new version of the Eee PC with a 10-inch screen, a top executive said Monday.
The company's CEO made the statement at the launch of the new Eee PC 900 with an 8.9-inch screen, in Taiwan. The new Eee PC 900 sold out within hours of its launch in Hong Kong.
The original Eee PC 701 carries a 7-inch screen.
"The feedback we've received from users has been great. Many have asked us for bigger screens and better usability. That's what made us start developing the Eee PC 900," said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, during a news conference in Taipei. People are asking for bigger keypads and more software as well, issues the company continues to work on.
An Eee PC with a 10-inch screen could be out later this year, and it will be the biggest screen an Eee PC will ever get, Shen said. The company defines anything with a 12-inch screen or larger a classic notebook PC, not an Eee PC.
Asustek believes that screen size makes a difference in sales.
The new Eee PC 900 with the 8.9-inch screen will likely account for 50 percent of overall Eee PC shipments by June, and 60 percent or more of shipments sometime in the second half of the year, said Shen.
He declined to set a firm date for release of a new Eee PC with a 10-inch screen, and would not talk about possible prices. But a 10-inch screen could make a new Eee PC model much more expensive than the 8.9-inch model. Once screen sizes reach 12-inches, they are nearing mainstream sizes, where mass production reduces the price-per-unit. But a 10-inch screen is still a specialty, and therefore more expensive screen size.
The Eee PC 900 went on sale Monday in Taiwan for NT$15,988 (or $528 US dollars).
Atom is the name of the processor formerly called Diamondville. It was designed for low-cost laptop PCs, ultramobile PCs, Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and other small devices aimed at connecting to the Internet. The processor is tiny, less than 25 square millimetres, will be priced low, and run at a battery-efficient 0.6 watts to 2.5 watts thermal design power, according to Intel.
Shen did not give any further details about the Eee PC to be launched with Atom, only that it would be the second wave of the Eee PC.