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.