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Asus Eee Keyboard Slated for August

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments

Asus plans to ship a self-sufficient computer-in-a-keyboard device this August.

During CES 2009, Asus revealed its nifty Asus Keyboard, a self-sufficient computer-in-a-keyboard device that looks to create its own market much like its predecessor, the Eee PC. Although probably not ideal for playing the latest PC games or rendering CGI graphics, this cool device offers portability, touchscreen technology, and what looks to be a full set of keys. Bulkier than a laptop, the Asus Keyboard could be used as a controllable media center for the living room, entertainment area, or perhaps even the office. We caught a glimpse of the Assus keyboard at CES 2009 as well as CeBIT, and honestly we're looking forward to its eventual release.

Earlier we reported that the 2-pound Asus Keyboard will stream HD content--stored on its built-in 16 or 32 GB SSD--through an optional wireless HDMI output that connects to a monitor, TV, and many other outputs, or via a built-in HDMI port. The 5-inch touch screen (800 x 480 pixels) is built just off to the right, enabling end-users the ability to shop online, check emails, play media, use as a calculator and more via its integrated 802.11 b/g/n wireless network adapter. Under the hood--or rather under the keys--is a 1.6 GHz Atom N270 CPU capable of running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, 1 GB DDR2 memory, and Bluetooth support. The Asus Keyboard also sports a few additional ports: three USB, VGA, and audio I/O. The device supposedly comes packed with a set of speakers, and a microphone.

Kohn Swatton, Asus' marketing executive, told Tech Digest that--since the original prototype made its debut back at CES 2009--the company wasn't exactly sure how it would market the device, or what kind of environment the Asus Keyboard could call "home" by default. However, according to a recent office memo, the Asus Keyboard is expected to hit the market by the end of August. Unfortunately, the company did not offer official information regarding its eventual price tag, or any plans to upgrade the XP OS to Windows 7 come October, however the wireless version will supposedly cost $600, and the wired HDMI version will cost $400.

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  • 1 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 26, 2009 5:53 PM
    this device is going to be SO useful. This will save so much more space on my desk!
  • 0 Hide
    The Schnoz , June 26, 2009 6:40 PM
    I think they should also sell a version like this without the monitor on the keyboard. Another great idea would be a regular HTPC that's not built in the keyboard like this one, but rather just a keyboard with a built in monitor (wireless) only so you can remotely control your media without needing the big screen on.
  • 2 Hide
    NoCaDrummer , June 26, 2009 9:51 PM
    Kinda getting back to the Commodore 64 (and other early 6502-based computers), in an upgraded way. Gotta say, though, it looks a lot nicer. Hopefully it's a lot faster.
    Any word about whether one could wipe Windows and do a Linux install?
  • 1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 27, 2009 2:25 AM
    The SchnozI think they should also sell a version like this without the monitor on the keyboard.

    I dunno. Touch screens have proven to be a nifty interface, and this kind of implementation removes the whole "fingerprints on your nice big monitor" aspect. Hell, you could even hook it up to an old CRT monitor and still have touch-screen controls. I wouldn't mind being able to use it as second monitor dedicated to IM/IRC, myself.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2009 12:43 PM
    I for one Cannot wait for the EEE Keyboard PC to be released!
    Since reading about it a few weeks ago i have wanted one so bad, still not able to find that much information about the Keyboard PC
    Hopefully they do release it in August, and not put it off for longer.

    Also i have written a ASUS EEE Keyboard PC Review (Pre-Release Review, my thoughts on the ASUS EEE Keyboard PC).