They may not be Eee PCs, but rest assured, Asus [TPE:2357] has once again created a good product with an incredibly stupid ancillary trait. This time it’s not the name, but the… smell. Yes, the F6 line of laptops, which is new this week, will sport 13.3-inch screens, Core 2 Duo chips, ATI Mobility Radeon graphics with 256MB of VRAM, a TV tuner with remote control, up to 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, as well as [deep breath] five different colors and fragrances.
On a philosophical note, it’s interesting to consider that most computer specs — hard drive size, processor speed — are all potential incentives that, at worst, are not as appealing as a competitor’s. For instance, I like the speed of Laptop A, but Laptop B has a faster speed; I buy Laptop B. But with the F6, Asus has introduced something almost entirely new: an incentive that, at worse, is a horrible disincentive to a potential customer. The good news, at least, is that barring any new discoveries by the Glade laboratories, the smell can’t possibly last more than a couple of weeks.
It’s worth mentioning that Asus didn’t just release the sniffy-sniffy laptop all alone, but with a pretty big slew of other notebooks. There’s the B50A enterprise-oriented machine, with a 15.4-inch LCD and Core 2 Duo, along with Asus’s proprietary Expressgate SplashTop quick-use OS, a maxiumum of 4GB RAM and a 320GB drive, water-resistant keyboard, as well as all the usual tricks: Bluetooth, WiFi, superdrive, and 1.3MP webcam.
There is also the non-smelly F8, which is otherwise the big brother to the F6. It has a 14.1-inch screen, all the same specs as the F6, and also comes in five colors (albeit more serious, understated ones.)
Also on the bill were a few gaming laptops, which Asus has dubbed “Republic of Gamers” edition. No matter that this kind of republic would feature very pale citizens with a national acne problem and Ron Paul as life president — it’s still cool to imagine everyone with 17-inch or 15-inch (G71 and G50, respectively) machines running Intel Core 2 Quad processors, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GT video cards, 4Gb of RAM, two 500GB hard drives, a superdrive, 2MP webcam, LED effects and game hotkeys.