We thought maybe Jointech's $99 mini laptop would be the first sub $100 notebook to make it big in the market, but Gartner analysts say that the prices of mini-notebooks are unlikely to drop to that magical price range for at least another three years. Analysts warn, though, that the focus of breaking the $100 barrier should be shifted to other issues related to mini-notebooks such as determining relevant hardware specifications and power requirements.
Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, believes that the declining prices of hardware along with the increased demand for the devices could potentially reduce prices by 10 to 15 percent in the next two to three years. Will this decline in prices be enough to break the $100 barrier? Jump believes that in order for mini-notebooks to be successful in the consumer and business realm, they should not be considered a computing device but rather a device to explore the Internet and a way for people to work, play, and communicate.
“We expect to see increased product innovation in the PC market during the next few years,” said Ms. Jump. “Mini-notebooks will create opportunities to reach many buyers across all regions, both in mature markets as additional devices, and in emerging markets as PCs.”
The specs on the power-efficient desktop remain similar to the Wind laptop: a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, up to 2 GB DRAM, 160 GB hard disk storage, and WiFi 802.11b/g to keep you connected. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP. Unlike the Wind mini-laptop it has an in-built DVD drive. But just like its portable cognate from the MSI stable, it is highly power-efficient and consumes 7 times less power than other desktops.
The top-end version is priced $299 and the base model has a $199 price tag.The commercial launch of the small desktop will not happen until August and only business users will be able to lay their hands on this slender desktop in July, as MSI expects them to be set its cash registers ringing.