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.)