Engadget noted that the new class of Eee PC-like ultraportables was in need of a new product category...

"... as we were going over some back posts that since the launch of the ASUS Eee PC (and the numerous products that have followed, from the MSI Wind to the HP Mini-Note), to the best of our knowledge we've all yet to have any normalized, agreed-upon name for these kinds of devices. Yes, they're technically "ultraportables" (which we usually define as being any relatively small laptop and under four pounds), but to say an Eee PC is in the same class as, say, the Lenovo X300, the VAIO TZ, or the MacBook Air would be kind of misleading."

I've seen these at work referred to as ultra low-cost mobile PCs (aka ULCPCs), as noted in our announcement of extended availability of Windows XP Home for ULCPCs. 

As for the specs, the WHDC site outlines the update to the Windows XP Logo Program: on July 1, 2008, Windows XP Logo Program closes for mainstream computers, the Windows Logo Program will accept systems for the new Designed for Windows XP logo for ultra-low cost personal computers (ULCPCs). These are PCs that meet the following requirements:

  • System ships with 1 gigabyte (GB) or less of memory (RAM)
  • Screen size is 10.2" or smaller
  • Storage capacity is 16 GB or less for solid state disk (SSD) or 80 GB or less for hard disk drives (HDD)
  • No tablet functionality
  • DirectX version 9 graphics processing unit (GPU) or older
  • Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) S4 sleep state is optional

Additional information in the Windows Logo Program Requirements version 2.2.1a for Windows XP (available at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlogo/downloads.mspx)

Michael Dix said...

"ULCPCs are a new and growing class of mobile computers designed for first-time PC buyers and customers interested in complementing their primary Windows-based PCs with companion devices with limited hardware capabilities.  These machines vary, but they typically have smaller screen sizes and lower-powered processors than more expensive mobile PCs.

"While originally intended for students and other first-time PC customers in emerging markets, we’re now seeing interest in these affordable devices in developed countries as well."

I should say so.  I see a marker for these PCs in our own home, for our family's casual use and travel, and at work for taking notes. 

IMHO, the 1GB of system memory is reasonable for Windows XP (which is the configuration we've had for our older PCs at home, and on my last Windows XP Tablet PC. I am surprised at the cap on SSD storage capacity at 16 GB: in a year's time, I can see 32GB being quite reasonable at current price declines.  But 16GB should be more than adequate, especially when used as a primary system and application drive, leaving an SD slot populated with a 4 or 8GB SDHC memory card

More info at Windows XP Home for ULCPCs available until 2010.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP, ULCPC, Windows.