Asus's answer to Apple's Macbook Air is set to debut in the next few weeks in the UK for around £350 as it becomes available for pre-order from a number of e-tailers.
The EEE PC 1008HA Sea Shell costs only £350 from Laptopsdirect for the white Mac-like version and £380 at Amazon.com in its Midnight blue colour scheme. Both Laptopsdirect and Amazon.com do not say explicitly when the item will be dispatched although Amazon says "within 1 to 2 months". Dabs lists the blue model for £368 with an ETA in mid May 2009.
The 1.1Kg netbook is just 1-inch thin and sculpted in the shape of a seashell. Its 10-inch screen displays only 1024 x 600 pixel though. Like the overwhelming number of Netbooks, comes with an Intel Mobile Atom N280 CPU running at 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM and a 160GB hard disk drive. Asus provides with a 10GB online free storage. There's no optical drive but you do get a 1.3-megapixel webcam and a one year global warranty.
As for most netbooks, the Asus EEE PC 1008HA has Bluetooth compatibility, 802.11n WiFi but no built-in 3G and is powered by Microsoft's Windows XP Home. The slim profile means that there's only two USB 2.0 ports, an analogue audio and a VGA port.
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The 1008HA is one of the most promising netbooks on the market because it tries to compete with one of the most iconic laptops on the market, the Mac Book Air, which costs 3 times the price. We expect this laptop to be one of the biggest sellers.
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