mr_mischief writes "According to Hot Hardware's recent review, Asus is getting ready to unleash a $199 compact notebook running Linux. This is entirely different from this recent $150 Linux laptop story which many Slashdot readers believed to be a scam. There's a dual-mode menu which offers a simple system for novice computer users, and a slightly more advanced version for others. It's not aimed squarely at the same market as the One Laptop Per Child project's XO, and is expected to be sold to end users worldwide. It's targeted at new users who don't own a computer or at people who want a cheap, small laptop for basic tasks. The reviewed version has a 7" screen and a cramped keyboard to match, but a 10" version is available for $100 more. It offers built-in wired and wireless networking, four USB 2.0 ports, and a three-hour battery life. The storage options are a bit cramped, as you only get 4 GB of on-board storage (8 GB on the $299 model) and no optical drive. As the review says, though, USB 2.0 can make up for that if you like, and the lack of moving drive parts makes the machine run dead quiet."
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