Asustek adds scent to style in latest netbook launch

The stylish Eee PC 1008P goes on sale in Taipei for NT$18,988 (US$600)

Asustek Computer launched its newest netbook on Tuesday, a stylish device with faux alligator hide casing and two slender, easy-to-change batteries that the company says will run for six hours each.

The Eee PC 1008P (Karim Rashid Collection) has a 10.1-inch screen with LED (light emitting diode) backlight. It went on sale in Taipei for NT$18,988 (US$600/$AUD646). The netbook was first shown at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month.

The price includes an extra battery, for a total running time of up to 12 hours, an Asustek representative said. The batteries slide out of a compartment on the bottom of the netbook.

Asustek commissioned New York designer Karim Rashid to add flair to the netbook, the first time the company has ever outsourced design work, the representative said. The resulting design, a reptile-skin like texture in a choice of hot pink or coffee brown, will be on display late Tuesday in Taipei alongside bottles of perfume with a shared design. Scent maker Kenzo Parfums opted to join Asustek in the launch because they both used Rashid's design style.

The new perfume will not be called Eee Perfume or anything of the like, the Asustek representative said. There will be no co-marketing of the products, he said.

The Eee PC 1008P will be available in Hong Kong shortly, followed by Japan and the U.S. Pricing was not available for markets other than Taiwan.

The device has Microsoft's Windows 7 OS installed and Intel's new Atom N450 (Pine Trail) microprocessor on board. It also includes 1GB of DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) memory as well as a 250GB hard drive for storage, and an additional 500GB of Eee Storage, storage provided by Asustek on the Web. It has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless networking.

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