Asustek re-defines 'E-machine' with new Eee desktops

Driven by the success of its budget-priced Eee UMPC, Asustek announced a full line of new Eee-branded products that are planned to be launched this year.

The Eee's major selling point is its affordability, and Asustek's president Jerry Shen has confirmed that the Eee line will maintain that point. The E-DT desktop, which is expected to show at CeBIT, will first use an Intel Celeron processor, come with no monitor and cost between $200-$300. The company is trying to bring down the price to $199 before it comes to retail.

Later versions of the Eee desktop will use the Intel Shelton '08 platform that was designed especially for low-cost notebooks. It uses Intel's single core Diamondville processor running at 1.6 GHz, using 945GC chipset with an integrated DirectX 9 graphics chip.

An all-in-one model called the E-Monitor will also run on the Shelton '08 platform, and come with a built-in TV tuner. When it launches in September, it will be the cheapest all-in-one by far at a price point of $499. The current all-in-ones at least double that cost. The Gateway One retails for $1,299-$1,799, Dell's XPS One for $1,499-$2,399, and Apple's iMac for $1,199-$2,299. Perhaps by offering it at such a low price, the E-Monitor can kickstart the all-in-one market like many believe the Eee PC is doing for the UMPC.

Finally, Asustek announced it will be producing an LCD TV with integrated Linux functionality to compete in the over 42" LCD market. Scheduled to launch in September, the E-TV is the only member of the new Eee line that will actually cost more than its competitors. The PC functionality is expected to make the unit cost about $200 more than comparable LCD sets in the same size.

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