9-inch, SSD-based netbooks going down in price

Ask TR editors to pick a netbook, and we'll probably settle on a 10" model with mechanical storage. Many users seem to share that preference, too, because DigiTimes says netbook makers are applying "sharp" price cuts to 9" SSD-based netbooks—supposedly a strategy to clear inventory in the face of reduced demand.

In September, we heard that Microsoft loosened restrictions to allow Windows XP to be pre-loaded on netbooks with 160GB hard drives. Many netbook makers have released 160GB systems since then, and DigiTimes says that has curbed the demand for systems with lower-capacity solid-state drives.

In response, Acer has reportedly dragged an 8GB, 8.9" Aspire One to $6,999 TWD ($202) in Taiwan, while Asus has pulled a 20GB, 8.9" Eee PC to $8,999 TWD ($260). As far as we can tell, though, such dramatic price cuts haven't propagated into the U.S. market yet. Newegg still charges $400 for an Eee PC 900 with 16GB of flash memory.

Incidentally, Asus could be cutting prices as part of its plan to discontinue 9" Eees entirely. An Asus executive revealed last week that his company will ship 10" Eee PCs almost exclusively in 2009. A small number of 7" Eees will also go out to telecom firms.

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