Looking for an uber-cheap netbook? Don't need a popular operating system? Then you might want to head over to Amazon, where Asus' new Eee PC X101 has gone up for pre-order. The white model is selling for $199.99, and you'll have to cough up an extra $27 for its black-clad sibling.
We first encountered this new Eee PC at Computex earlier this year, and it looks like Asus hasn't changed the formula since. The Eee PC X101 still has a 10.1" display, an Intel Atom N435 processor (with a single 1.33GHz core), a remarkably thin 0.7" chassis, and a weight of only two pounds. Asus also outfits the machine with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of solid-state storage, a 0.3-megapixel camera, and MeeGo software.
MeeGo, in case you haven't heard, is a Linux-based operating system born of a collaboration between Intel and Nokia. AMD joined the project last year, and Wikipedia says Novell and the Linux Foundation are on board, too. In spite of that support, MeeGo has gotten surprisingly few design wins—the Eee PC X101 and Nokia's N9 phone being two notable exceptions.
I don't dislike what little I've seen of the operating system in YouTube videos so far, but the small installed base presumably means users can't expect a great wealth of third-party apps. Of course, it's not like store shelves are creaking under the weight of $199 netbooks, either. Folks who want Windows can spend the extra $50 or so on one of Asus' vanilla Eee PCs.