Tag Archives | eee PC

A Computer in a Keyboard? Sounds Cool. And Retro

Asus produces such a surging sea of variations on its Eee PC netbook–including computers that aren’t netbooks–that it’s hard to keep track of them all. So I don’t blame myself for somehow missing one that was demoed back at CES in January: the Eee Keyboard, which packs a computer inside a slim-looking keyboard. (Specswise, it’s essentially a laptop without a screen.)

The Eee Keyboard has a touchscreen to the right of the keys and HDMI output, and DigiTimes is reporting that it’ll be out “as early as October” for $400-$500.¬†Here’s a video demo by UMPC Portal, shot at the CeBIT show in Germany:

I’m not so sure about that touch-screen, which looks a trifle weird, period, and possibly unusable for southpaws like me. But an Eee PC hooked up to a TV as a sort of giant remote control has potential. One of the reasons I still don’t have a TV in my living room is that I’ve never seen one I’d want to put in my entertainment center. But with this computer, there’s nothing to put anywhere but in your lap.

And hey, I’m not ashamed to admit that I find the Eee Keyboard intriguing in part because the very first computer I used was also a PC-in-a-keyboard. (No, that’s not a touchscreen to the right of the keys–it’s a big ol’ TRS-80 logo.)


(TRS-80 image borrowed from Radio Shack Catalogs.)


IFA: One Laptop, No Child

Unlike most tradeshows in the U.S.–which are open only to grown-ups who are involved in the trade in question–the IFA show in Berlin is open to the general public, and some attendees bring their offspring. In fact, there’s an area called the Kids’ Playground, which is basically a couple of rooms equipped with electronic toys and kid-oriented gadgets.

When some of us American journalists dropped by, we saw four kids deeply engaged in using Asus’s eee PCs–and ignoring a One Laptop Per Child XO laptop that was sitting off to one side. That may or may not be a commentary on the relative appeal of the two low-cost notebooks, but it makes for an interesting photo:

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