Update: Despite messages to the contrary on the RM.com Web site, Crave has been assured by RM that the miniBook can be bought by individuals outside of educational institutions.
The £169 laptop is here! It's still known as the Asus Eee PC, but will also be sold by RM, under the name RM Asus miniBook. We got the chance to play with one yesterday and are now completely smitten.
Those following the miniBook's progress will know it has a 7-inch screen, a Mobile Celeron-M ULV 900MHz, 256MB of RAM, 2GB solid state hard drive 802.11g Wi-Fi, integrated webcam, microphone and speakers, and an optional 3G module for getting online wherever you are. This version -- plus a £199 version with a 4GB SSD and 512MB of RAM -- are available to order now.
One of the reasons for the miniBook's ludicrously low price is the fact it doesn't use Windows -- it's Linux-based. It comes with a copy of Open Office, plus you can install any amount of open source software that in most cases work just as well as their off the shelf counterparts. If you really can't live without Windows, the miniBook's fast enough to run Windows XP.
We've got some lovely pictures of the miniBook/Eee PC in action over the next few pages. We suggest you click through to take a look.
Update: A full review of the Asus Eee PC 701 is now available. -Rory Reid