Asus has announced at CeBIT Conference in Hanover that the Taiwanese company would no longer build 7-inch EEE PC netbooks for mature (i.e. richer) markets.
Instead the company would churn out 10-inch versions which incidentally are not only much more expensive but also, as Asus puts it, reflect the changing taste of its customers.
A bigger screen also means a larger keyboard. The firm has denied though that it will send the 8.9-inch EEE PC to the Gulag but in technology, never say never.
Asus CEO Jonney Shih told ZDNet that there was still life in the 8.9-inch netbooks, whose screen provide with the same number of pixels (1024x600) as the 10-inch version.
Shih said that the 8.9-inch model would be popular with a younger audience, telecoms and emerging markets, which is where the 7-inch EEE PC is heading
There could also be a more cynical ploy. Raising the EEE PC specifications also means that Asus can charge more money and increase the average selling price or ASP of each netbook significantly.
The first EEE PC netbooks were set to cost around £100 when first introduced back in November 2007.
But now, most of them can only be found for around £300, making them as expensive as traditional laptops but with a number of trade offs.
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Is it the end of the 7-inchers? For Asus, certainly yes. For other brands, maybe not. 7-inch is a great size to display XGA (1024x768) resolutions, which happens to be the minimum requirement by HD. Expect a number of Android laptops with 7-inch displays to crop up during the year.