ASUS S1 Mobile Pentium III-M 1.2GHzby Matthew Witheiler on May 21, 2002 11:43 PM EST
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The most popular notebooks for the North American market have historically been in the desktop replacement class. These notebooks, which are typically large and fully featured with the latest and fastest components, have been the best selling notebooks in this market for some years now. As the name suggests, notebooks in the desktop replacement class are meant not to accompany a desktop PC but replace it in many cases.
With all the success that the desktop replacement notebook has been met with in North America, other markets have shied away from buying bulky but fast notebooks. Let's take the Asian laptop market for example. Instead of looking for a laptop replacement for their current desktops, consumers in the East look for a mobile system to accompany their desktop counterpart. Although these thin-and-light and ultra-portable notebooks are typically less powerful and featured than their desktop replacement counterparts, what they sacrifice in these areas they make up in portability. Notebooks in this class have served as the business user and frequent traveler's best friend in Asia for some time now but have yet to make a major impact on the North American market; until recently.
As technology progressed, the components that notebook manufacturers have been able to squeeze into a small space have grown more powerful. Chip manufacturing processes have gotten smaller, component integration has become widely accepted, and power requirements have shrunk. The result of these factors: thin-and-light and ultra-portable notebooks have increased in power as well as in included features. No longer does a small notebook carry with it a slow processor and sub par video, and as a result more and more North American consumers are turning to more portable notebook solutions. They may not yet be as powerful as their desktop replacement brothers, but thin-and-light notebooks are certainly easier on the back.
One company that recently began attacking the thin-and-light notebook market in North America is ASUS. ASUS' thin-and-light notebook offering, the S1, recently found its way into the United States market as well as into the AnandTech labs. Let's see what this thin-and-light has to offer.