NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The new Asus EeePC X205 is a small laptop that runs Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8.1 on a quad-core Intel (INTC) processor, retails for less than $200 and looks like it's big competition for Google's (GOOG) Chromebook initiative. It could start another PC revolution - especially at its Black Friday selling price of $99.
In 2007, Asus introduced a small, lightweight and, most important of all, inexpensive Windows notebook computer called the EeePC. Although much copied and ultimately short lived, this early "Netbook" set the stage for super-affordable laptops. Almost immediately netbooks from Asus and others began siphoning sales from larger. more expensive portables. With evolutionary improvements in software, cheaper hardware and similarly priced tablets over the years netbooks lost favor with the buying public. Asus stopped production of the original EeePC line in early 2013.
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But, PC manufacturers never lost hope in super-low-cost computing. Intel processors have advanced over the years - both high-end models as well as the more affordable Atom line of chips. The company's latest, a 1.33 GHz, quad-core Atom processor was designed for great performance and 12-hour battery life per charge when mated to small (less expensive) amounts of memory. You can find the same processor in a number of new, low-cost computer designs such as the $99 E-Fun Nextbook 8 tablet ( our review here). In the case of the X205 the processor runs along side 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. There's also a microSD card slot for as much as 64 GB of additional storage. The little compute also comes with two years of 500 GB free cloud storage from Asus plus another 15 GB of perpetual storage and 500 GB for two years from Microsoft's OneCloud system.