Computer lust? Eee!

For the first time ever, I am lusting for a computer other than a Mac. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to buy one of the new MacBook Pros. It’s just that I saw something come out of left field that really appeals to me.

So what has my fancy? The ultra mobile Asus Eee PC.

Here’s the best article I’ve found so far detailing the Eee PC.

In a nutshell, this puppy weighs less than 2lbs., has a 7” screen and boots Linux in 15 seconds. It does the basics from wifi surfing and Skype video calling to music and OpenOffice. It runs an Intel 900mhz Pentium M chip with 4-16gb of flash storage and 512mb RAM.

For an ultra-mobile PC, the capabilities seem decent and the mobility factor is good, but here is what really hooked me — the price of $199. No fooling.

UMPCs have been running $1000 and up which is why even the new Via Nanobook seemed fantastic at $600. But at $199, the whole market changes and all kinds of possibilities open up. This could be the one laptop for every child for the rest of us.

OK, let me put on my techie librarian’s hat. A few years ago I wrote and received a federal grant for wireless service in our library. We always hoped to offer laptops for in-library use. However, with cheap laptops running $700 to $1,000, we could never afford them. We always worried how we’d recoup our costs if someone dropped one. However, at $199, we might suddenly be able to do something. It might be a pain to write a full paper on this puppy, but I suspect it would be a great library research companion.

There are a boatload of things I could imagine using the Eee for, but I think imagining the possibilities only became possible when I saw the price tag.

Unfortunately, the Eee doesn’t hit the states until August. It’ll be interesting to see if the actual machine can match up with my expectations.

Hey, Asustek! Do you think you’d be willing to offer a library/librarian discount?