One year ago ASUS began selling a notebook that would change the laptop industry. It was October 16, 2007 that the ASUS Eee PC 701 went on sale in Taiwan (don’t believe us, Wikipedia says so!), ten days later LAPTOP Magazine was one of the first media outlets to review the sub-notebook. Today, we threw that little one-year-old (and now outdated) notebook its first birthday party, with cake and hats and even noise makers (pictures and video of the first-ever laptop birthday party below). Why a party for the little guy and not any others? Because no matter how you look at it that 7-inch mini-notebook, which was priced at $399 at the time, set off a spark within the laptop industry. Since its debut 360 days ago, mini-notebooks, now dubbed netbooks, have begun to run off the manufacturing lines of the top laptop companies. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer all have their own netbooks on the market today. Why? In part, the birth of the ASUS Eee PC proved that consumers were interested in a smaller, low-cost laptop for children or to complement their larger PCs. ASUS sold over 350,000 Eee PCs in the fourth quarter of 2007 and had sold 1 million by June of 2008. And according to recent reports, the company has now shipped 4 million. That original Eee PC 701 was only the start of ASUS’ plunge into the category and, since then, they have released over 10 netbook models.
Evolution may have taken hundreds of years, but not Eeevolution. The basic timeline: in April, the Eee PC took on a 8.9-inch larger screen with the 900. A few months later in June, ASUS released a new design and the 8.9-inch evolved into the Eee PC 901 and incorporated the new Intel Atom processor. At the same time it also expanded into the 10-inch category with the Eee PC 1000 and 1000H models. Then somehow models started reproducing faster than flies on feces, and the Eee PC 903, and 904 were added to the line up. And to bring us up to date, this month we’re expecting the premium Eee PC S101.
We did what we thought was appropriate for the ASUS Eee PC on its one year anniversary; we threw him a birthday party (and taped it all in the video below!) Of course, we invited all of its netbook friends (even the OLPC XO and the Dell Mini 9 popped in, though for some reason the MSI Wind refused to attend). Why, you ask, would they want to come to their competitor’s birthday? Well without him, they might just not exist. They shared some cake, some laughs, and then parted ways to conquer the ever-expanding netbook market. Disclaimer: The video below depicts laptops having a party. Warranties were voided; hats are sold separately.