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What the new Eee II will have

[Update: Eee II PC with Windows launches in Japan]

For the uninitiated, Asus(or Asustek, to be exact) will unveil its second generation of ultraportable, flash memory-based laptop at the Consumer Electronics Show, next week in Las Vegas. Dubbed the Asus Eee PC ('easy to learn, easy to work, easy to play'), the present versions come as cheap as $299, and understandably Microsoft, Dell, Palm and Apple already hate the Taiwanese company.

The new Eee PC II will almost certainly boast next-gen technology, including Wimax integration with Sprint, and come with Windows preinstalled and a larger display. Here's my bet for the minimum specs: OS: Windows XP Professional (the current versions run Linux, specifically Xandros running KDE); RAM: 1GB DDR2 ; hard drive: 4GB (flash); connectivity: Wimax with Sprint, LAN, WLAN, 3 USB 2.0 ports, MMC/SD card reader; processor: 1 GHz; display: 8.9-inch (diagonal) TFT LCD with LED backlight and 800x600 pixels (it's currently 7 inches); built-in 0.3 megapixel video camera.

Although some people have managed to run Windows Vista on Eee, I believe Eee II won't have Vista preinstalled in its minimum offerings. Reasons: the Eee debuted in last October, and there simply wasn't enough time to deal with Microsoft within this period. And, perhaps more importantly, the Eee still suffers from significant software issues, apart from having been criticized for a small display and battery not lasting longer. Hence, we might see Vista on an Eee II, one that has 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of (flash) disk space. For future versions, I hope Asus improves the external looks of the Eee. If something is that good, it deserves to be more stylish.

Most of the reviews for the Eee have been positive have been positive so far, and everyone in the industry is convinced that CES 2008 will push more people towards favoring Asus. For the time being you can check out the Eees NCIX has to offer in Canada. [image: eBay]

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