I've done some present day calculations for assembling a Santa Rosa white book using a ASUS S96S chasis. Surprisingly, it can actually be done for a fairly decent price. First, I will list down a list of prices that I'd found for the parts first.
- T7100 CPU - GBP 137 (T7300 - 161)
- 1Gb PC5300 RAM - GBP 30 (2Gb - 37)
- 60Gb SATA HDD - GBP 29
- 802.11a/b/g Wifi - GBP 10
- DVD+RW - GBP 28
Now, for the chasis. The ASUS S96S is selling at DABS for GBP 390. With 3% discount, that would be GBP 378. However, considering that it's selling in the US for about $525, I'm fairly certain that I can hunt around for a better bargain. The chasis comes with:
- NV 8600M GS graphics with 256 Mb dedicated memory
- 15.4" 1280x800 screen
- all the other trappings of a 600 quid laptop
Personally, I like the idea of having an upgradeable laptop. I would certainly upgrade the RAM and HDD when required. The wireless card could be upgraded to 802.11n once they've settled the specs. The DVD drive could be upgraded to a HD-DVD or BD drive when those become affordable. Also, the processor could be upgraded to a much faster one if it's slowing me down too much (which I doubt).
Another very suitable alternative for me to mull over the next few months.
UPDATE@1136: The chasis might actually come with a DVD writer. In which case, I could save about 30 quid and spend that to upgrade RAM or processor.