Yesterday I spent a lot of time with 3K Computer’s RazorBook 400. At the time, the system was priced at $399 and compared with the $399 Eee PC 4G (Xandros), it just couldn’t hold a candle. I noted the system’s inability to load on new programs and Flash to view streaming video. Today the company has announced that the system is now priced at $299! Coincidence? I think not. I received an e-mail this morning from 3K Computers in response to my concerns. It read:
The 3K RazorBook 400 is not designed to support the functions that they [LAPTOPMag.com] are attempting at this time. Its intended as a low cost, portable computing appliance, for basic internet browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, media/video playback, online Flash Games, and instant messaging.
Not intended to support what we’re attempting? Dude, it’s not like we were trying to turn the thing into a Web server. We were just “attempting” to view YouTube!
A 3K IT Manager is working to fix the Flash issue, I was also told. Additionally, today’s press release quotes 3K Computer’s CEO Dan Jacobs:
“The day has finally arrived and the 3K RazorBook 400 is now hitting the US market. We just lowered our MSRP to $299 as part of this exciting announcement. There has been a lot of comparison from bloggers to the Asus eeePC due to its similar 7-inch LCD form factor. The 3K RazorBook 400 is a unique product that was designed as a low-cost ($299) portable Internet appliance, not to replace your home PC or Notebook computer.”
Does the RazorBook’s lowered $299 price change the game for the small system? Not if you’re comparing it to the Eee PC 2G Surf, a $299 mini-notebook which offers flash, an up-to-date version of the Firefox browser, OpenOffice.org office applications, a faster-processor, and a working battery than can be removed and swapped out. That said, the form factor on the Razorbook is unique. I am impressed with the small size of the system and its light weight. However, the inability to install Flash to view videos in the browser and to install additional programs on the mini-notebook is a deal breaker. If you are looking for a small system to check your e-mail and read some blogs, the RazorBook will work but so will the Eee PC 2G Surf.