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Cheap as chips – the latest on little laptops

You may have given it to the kids already but you can at least claim early adopter status in having bought the Asus EeePC before anybody else.

Because there is a shoal of similar, cheap, dinky laptops bulging the world's computer distributors' warehouse doors. Or will soon be. The standard price is around $400, the operating system is normally one or another version of Linux, although Windows XP will be available for the timid, the screen is around seven inches diagonally although Asus has just announced a nine inch version, and the keyboard, when it's in proportion, is virtually unusable.

You may think the current £220 for the EeePC is pretty cheap but I've put down a tenner deposit for an Elonex One at just £100, with delivery promised in July. Actually I've got a perfectly serviceable laptop which I almost never use. Four of them actually. Still, best to be prepared. If the bubble hasn't burst by July and the One actually turns up, I'll let you know.

Below is the current list. Despite Gigabyte's recent contention that it can't see margins in any price less than £350, be prepared for more by summer.

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