updated 12:10 pm EST, Mon December 31, 2007
ASUS Eee PC with WiMAX Tip
ASUS will give its Eee PC ultra-compact notebook wide-area 4G wireless when a new version is revealed next week, the company says on a special preview website. Though leaving few clues, the company makes clear that it will use Intel's WiMAX in the system to supply fast broadband Internet access at cellular-like distances. The system is certain to arrive in the US through Sprint's involvement with the project, which will make sure the new Eee can take advantage of the cellular provider's upcoming Xohm WiMAX service. The debut is expected on Monday, though an actual launch may hinge on Sprint's 4G network, which launches during the spring.
The system may also undergo more conspicuous changes, according to an article from the Taiwanese paper Commercial Times. Alleged sources would have ASUS already in production of systems with 8.9-inch screens, significantly increasing the size compared to the 7-inch models on sale today. No word has been given as to whether the display will increase in resolution or be accompanied by a performance upgrade; but as these panels only cost $15-20 more to produce, they should have a relatively minimal impact on the overall price, the insiders claim.
This same report also alludes to the new, premium Eee being unveiled in January, suggesting that the mystery update at CES will include both the larger LCD and WiMAX. Pricing for such a system would likely be closer to $499 versus the $399 of today's version, which only offers Wi-Fi.