New Eee PC netbooks Missing Mini-PCIe Connector

Which Eee PC did you get? It seems as though there are two models of the ASUS Eee PC 4G: the “7A” and the “7B.” Both are the same price ($399) and identical to the untrained eye. There is one difference: the 7B is missing the second mini-PCIe (PCI Express Mini Card) expansion connector.

New Eee PC netbooks Missing Mini-PCIe Connector

Yes, that’s the slot that this forbes article talks about for expanding the storage of the Eee PC:

But Asustek clearly wants to connect with the first billion, too. For instance, the 2- to 8-gigabyte memory cards can be upgraded to 32 gigabytes

Apparently, they’re not so much interested in the first billion anymore.

How can you tell which one you have? The serial number starts with either “7A” or “7B.” This can be found on a sticker on the back of the Eee PC. Of course, to see for yourself if your Eee PC actually has the second Mini-PCIe slot, you have to destroy the little yellow tab covering the screws of the hatch on the bottom of the Eee PC. By doing this, you are voiding your Eee PC’s warranty. If your SSD dies within the next year, you not only don’t have a warranty to get it fixed, but also can’t pop in a new SSD storage module into the secondary Mini-PCIe slot- since there isn’t a connector for it.

Early reports indicated that the loss of the connector had to do with black colored units or units shipped to the United Kingdom. I can confirm now that my US Pearl White Eee PC 4G bought via Newegg does not have the second Mini-PCIe connector. It is a 7B unit.

I’m now left with no warranty and no second Mini-PCIe connector- on a device that cost exactly double the original announcement from way back in June.

The weirdest part is that it seems to just be missing the connector itself, which is just a piece of metal. Cost savings? $1.

Regardless, I’d like to hear what ASUS has to say about this. I’m not very happy at all.

Update – There are some users with serial numbers that start with 7B that actually DO have mini-pcie connectors. What in the world is going on?