Later this year, Asustek will offer a version of its Eee PC mini-laptops with built-in 3G (third generation mobile telecommunications) to compete with rivals that are doing the same, a company representative said.
A few Taiwanese companies are planning to add 3G wireless connectivity to their laptops, and at least one already has. Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has already signed up wireless service providers in Europe to distribute its G10IL mini-netbook, which should be in stores by September or October.
The devices come with internal 3G modules for HSDPA and HSUPA (High Speed Downlink/Uplink Packet Access). Current mini-laptop owners can go to service providers and get 3G cards, along with a wireless plan, to use the networks any time.
The Eee PCs and other mini-notebooks with 3G built-in will likely be bundled with 3G contracts from a service provider, which could lower their initial hardware cost. Mobile service providers often subsidize a portion of the cost of handsets and other devices and make the money back over the life of the 3G contract.
The representative said prices of Eee PCs with built in 3G would vary depending on service contracts.
The latest Eee PC model available in Australia, the 900, costs $599 for the Windows XP version and $649 for the Linux version.