Last week Asus finally revealed pricing and specs for their much anticipated Eee PC ultra-portable laptop. Anticipated not so much for the specs -- 7-inch LED-backlit LCD, 2 to 8GB of flash storage, up to 1GB memory, WiFi, and webcam -- but for the low, low $199 retail price
. Rightly, more than a few of us were dismayed when the entry-level model was revealed to actually cost as much as US$358 in Taiwan and an expected $300
(pre-tax) price when launching Stateside before the month is out. The culprit? Well, according to DigiTimes
' Taiwanese component insiders the relatively steep price is in large part due to an unexpectedly high cost for the 7-inch LCD panels. Asus had expected to source the panels for about $15 each but found themselves paying AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) up to twice as much for the hardware. Feel better for knowing? Yeah, didn't think so.