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Asus Teases Eee Keyboard Again at CeBit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 7 comments

Asus brought its all-in-one keyboard PC that we spotted at CES to Germany this week to give the masses a closer look at this interesting piece of kit.

The company showed off a plethora of pretty goodies at CeBit in Hanover this week. Among the innovative Dual Panel Touchscreen PC concept and the T91 tablet netbook, was the company’s much talked about Eee PC Keyboard. A play on the all-in-one iMac idea, the device packs the netbook (nettop?) and display into the keyboard, offering a compact, no wires needed machine.

Back in Janury Asus described it as "fully functional PC." With a full QWERTY keyboard and 5-inch touch panel, it definitely looked interesting, but there wasn’t much to be said about what was inside the keyboard aside from the fact that it comes packing wireless HDMI out, making it a nifty choice for Home Theatre enthusiasts.

You’re looking at 900g in terms of weight. Specs are as follows: 1.6 GHz Atom processor (rumor says it’s the Z520), 1 GB of DDR2, the option for either a 16 GB or 32 GB SSD, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, the wireless HDMI we told you about before. Ports wise you’re looking at HDMI, three USB, VGA and audio I/O.

According to SlashGear, Asus is using the touchscreen as a multi-function multimedia remote, a browser, a media player and a calculator (sure, why not?). The Register reports that the wired-only version should come in at around $400, while the fancy wireless HDMI model could float at $600.

What do you guys think? Could this be successful as a netbook or will it be a more specialized product reserved for media addicts? I have high hopes for this when it comes to home theatre but other than that, it's hard to see this taking over the nettop world.

Discuss
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  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 4, 2009 10:11 PM
    I would rather throw out the average $5 keyboard than clean it. At $50 I would vacuum it once or twice before doing so. At $400 I would be rather worried about spills but I guess that could be said for most portables.

    I can't really see it being used in a home-theater scenario. If I had a PC DVR it would have a large amount of storage and be running all the time; probably a server in a closet. While the Eee Keyboard could be used as a client I would rather just use a Mini-ITX box next to the display and control it with a RF remote or from a laptop.

    There might be some practical uses in industry but otherwise it's just for gadget freaks.
  • 3 Hide
    mdillenbeck , March 5, 2009 12:19 AM
    I, on the other hand, can see a use for this. I'd put one in my guest room with a monitor as a web browsing PC, and maybe one in the kitchen (great for looking up recipes).

    My Eee PC can handle hulu and youtube most of the time, so it could also be used to stream compressed video streams - a plus.

    However, it is too underpowered to become my PVR. For that, I'd have to stick to a stronger machine with dedicated hardware.

    Overall, I think it is a good idea - it creates a niche in the market.

    Will I buy one right away? Not right now - my budget is tight and I am waiting to see the final specs on the T91.
  • 1 Hide
    anarchy4sale , March 5, 2009 2:55 AM
    I could easily see this as being used to something hooked up for guest spending the night, just hook it up to the HDTV and let em check their mail. I dunno, I dont like people using my main computer.
  • 1 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 5, 2009 5:05 AM
    the device will be competing with netbooks and cheap laptops.
    the only advantage against those this if the user insists on a standard size keyboard and huge monitor for simple web browsing stuff.
  • 1 Hide
    iron-e , March 5, 2009 2:42 PM
    This would be perfect for my living room. I have an lcd hdtv on the wall. It would be nice to occasionally be able to sit down with a simple device and check email, surf the web, or look at pics with the family with out having to go into the office or hide a pc and wireless keyboard in the living room.

    $600 is getting a bit pricy for that kind of functionality and specs, but I'd snatch it up in a hearbeat for $400 with the wirelss hdmi.
  • 1 Hide
    sublifer , March 5, 2009 5:53 PM
    this is an interesting idea for the htpc... it'd be nice to be able to swap out your DVD's of BR-D's from the couch instead of getting up
  • 0 Hide
    joebob2000 , March 5, 2009 6:17 PM
    Is there a real advantage to having all the processing go on in your lap? I don't see how this could hope to displace more traditional high end remotes or wireless keyboards. Unless it can decode 1080p video it won't hold a candle to a purpose built HTPC, and who wants to spend $600 on an oversize "remote control".