What Ever Happened to the Cheap Subnotebook Computer?

What Ever Happened to the Cheap Subnotebook Computer?


Kevin Tofel from jkOnTheRun has an interesting piece that describes the upward trend in pricing for the subnotebook laptop market and it’s something that is certainly worth discussing. When laptops like the OLPC XO laptop and Asus Eee PC were first revealed to the world, they came with proposed price points of $100 and $200, respectively. These price tags did not hold up by the time the notebooks were ready for market.

The OLPC, for example, ended up selling for $200 a piece, representing a 100% increase in price over the original estimate. For the Asus Eee PC 701, we were told that we would get in on the mini laptop action for $200, but the initial offerings rang up at $400. They later introduced the cheaper Surf models, but they still have not reached the original target of $200. Similar trends can be found with the HP Mini-Note, the MSI Wind, and the Eee PC 901.

Aside from their more compact form factor, I thought that a major selling point for these subnotebooks was the more affordable price. Seeing how the MSI Wind has a pre-order price of $610, that’s enough money for a budget full-sized laptop. Where are the $100 and $200 sub-notebooks?