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Asustek to release more ‘Eee’ Linux desktop PCs

Asustek, the company behind the popular Xandros Linux-powered Asus Eee PC 4G ultramobile PC, knows it’s got something good going on, and so it’s going to push its Linux desktop PCs for all it’s worth.

In 2008, Asustek will be releasing an entire line of Linux-powered PCs: the E-DT (desktop PC), E-TV and E-Monitor.

The E-DT, which we can expect to see by May, at first will use an Intel Celeron processor. The versions after that will use Intel’s upcoming Shelton architecture with a Diamondville processor and the 945 graphic chip set. Diamondville is being designed for low-cost laptops, such as Intel’s own Classmate PC design.

The system is expected to sell for $200 to $300. Asus’ president, Jerry Shen, in an interview with Digitimes said the company will try to push this desktop PC’s price down to $199. This system will come without a monitor.

The E-Monitor is Asus’ Linux answer to the all-in-one PC such as Apple’s iMac. Unlike the iMac, which starts at $1,199, the Linux-powered E-Monitor will be selling for $499. Clearly, Asus intends its Linux “E” line to be the low-price leader in every major desktop PC line.

This system will also use the Intel Shelton’08 platform. It will come with a 19-inch display and a built-in TV tuner. You can expect to see this system in September 2008.

Finally, in an interesting attempt to reach the home entertainment sector, Asus will be releasing a 42-inch LCD HDTV E-TV. More than just a television, this will also be a Linux computer. How can they do that? Good question, and we don’t have an answer yet.

This system is also due to show up in September. According to Shen, its price will be about $200 more than conventional HDTVs of the same size. If it were selling today, that would put a price tag of about $1,200 on the E-TV.

Asus, which also makes a wide variety of other computer hardware, appears to be doing quite well in the low-priced Linux desktop market. The company moved into the Fortune Global 500 list in the middle of last year with total revenue of more than $17 billion.

This, combined with a 54.8 percent year-over-year growth, indicates that while Asus and its Linux “E” line isn’t that well-known today, in the future the company and its Linux computers are on their way to becoming brand names.

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