You can now pre-order Asus' $199 Win8.1 netbook

Asus' EeeBook X205 is a new take on the netbook concept, with low-horsepower Intel hardware, Windows 8.1, and a puny $199 price tag. We first heard about it almost two months ago, and now, the system has gone up for pre-order at Amazon. The e-tailer charges $199 with free shipping and quotes a November 3 release date.

The EeeBook X205 may harken back to the netbook era, but in many ways, it has more in common with today's Chromebooks. There's a 11.6" 1366x768 display, a quad-core Atom Z3735 processor (from the Bay Trail generation), 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and 32GB of eMMC flash. As with Chromebooks, you're out of luck if you want more local storage—but there's plenty of cloud storage on offer. Asus provides 500GB free of charge for two years, and a Microsoft OneDrive promotion adds 115GB on top of that.

The system is also pretty thin and light, at 0.7" and 2.2 lbs, and the 12-hour battery life rating sounds pretty good to me. Asus' website clarifies that the quoted run time applies only to web browsing, but that's actually a pretty typical usage scenario for a system like this. (Thanks to Liliputing for the tip.)

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