Apparently Asus is ready to ship the 2G Surf version of the Eee PC a little sooner than I'd expected. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Asus is launching the lowest-cost version of the already low-cost Eee PC today.

The 2G surf differs from the 4G model in four basic ways:

  1. It has 2GB of solid state storage, instead of 4GB
  2. It comes with 256MB of RAM, rather than 512MB
  3. It lacks a webcam
  4. It carries a $299 list price, which is $100 lower than the 4G
The Chronicle article doesn't answer some of the big questions I have:
  1. What did Asus cut from the operating system? The OS alone takes up 2.3GB on the 4G. So something must be missing, unless the webcam drivers take up a ton of space.
  2. How much free memory is available to the user?
  3. How easy is it to upgrade the RAM/solid state memory? There've been reports of some people receiving 4G units that don't have a door in the back for upgrading the RAM. But if the 2G Surf has user replaceable RAM and a spare PCIe slot, you could easily turn this $299 laptop into a tiny powerhouse for less than the price of a 4G model.
Oh yeah, and Asus is also starting to sell the Eee PC with pastel colored lids. They've been showing off the color variations since day one, so it's nice to know that they should be shipping soon.

[via Engadget]

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