Bored with making MacBooks for Steve Jobs, one day Asus decided to create its own stylish laptop and flog it on the cheap. The result was the Eee PC -- a Linux-based ultraportable notebook that wowed consumers, shocked rival manufacturers and is slowly but surely revolutionising an industry.
But Asus is no longer alone. Since the Eee's launch, many of its rivals have begun to create similar alternatives -- each designed to pilfer a piece of the budget ultraportable pie. Some are trying to beat the Eee on price, some on specs, but they're all tiny and they're all camped out in the bargain basement. They're all real products, and a few are already available, so we've included links to our full reviews for those.
Asus Eee PC 701, £220
The Eee has racked up hundreds of thousands of sales in a relatively short space of time. It's portable, attractive, versatile and has completely flipped the laptop world on its head with a stupidly low price point.
In exchange for a touch over £200, the Eee provides a Pentium M 900MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, a 7-inch 800x480-pixel display, and enough Linux software to keep you busy for weeks. It's awesome value.
Okay, the hype overshadowed the fact that it's rather slow, sometimes unreliable and nearly impossible to type on if you had grown-up fingers, but these are minor details. In the long run it'll be recognised as one of the decade's most important pieces of tech design. Its rivals -- including the Eee PC 901 -- will have a very hard time topping it.
Read the full Asus Eee PC 701 review here, then click through for more wannabEees. -Rory Reid