New information suggests that Asus may be planning a new version of its popular Eee PC sub-notebook for release this year that will feature a larger screen and internal WiMax.
WiMax Support Extremely Likely
The Asus web site lists a joint event featuring Asus, Sprint, and Intel scheduled for January 7, the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, inviting attendees to "learn about the state of WiMAX technology, preview next-generation mobile solutions (including the next generation EeePC) and immerse yourself in tomorrow’s wireless protocol."
While it is not explicitly said that the next generation Eee PC will feature WiMax compatible with Sprint’s upcoming Xohm service, previous reports about Sprint’s plans suggest that part of the company’s roadmap involves offering the service directly to several models of laptop sometime in mid-2008.
Artist’s Conception of
Xohm will be a wireless service that will offer data transfer speeds noticeably faster than with any of the current 3G networks.
More Changes Possible
An upgraded version of the Eee PC may also include a larger screen. A report by Taiwan-based Commercial Times claims that Asus is sourcing 8.9-inch LCDs from multiple manufacturers. According to CT, these larger panels would only increase the cost of parts by about $15 to $20 for a version built with the larger display.
No confirmation is available for the possibility of an Eee PC with a larger screen. When this device was first introduced, rumors circulated about a model with a 10-inch screen being released later; however, Asus has said several times that it has no immediate plans to introduce a model with a bigger display.