Asus reveals Eee Keyboard, M50 notebook with mini-screen

Asus reveals Eee Keyboard, M50 notebook with mini-screen

Asustek Computer on Tuesday revealed two new devices with small screens, a keyboard with a built-in computer and 5-inch touchscreen, and a new version of its M50 laptop PC with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display located below the keypad.

The Eee Keyboard was made to connect to any device with a display screen, from a monitor or an LCD TV to a digital projector. But in case nothing larger is available, it has its own 5-inch screen to the right of the keypad.

The goal is to make any screen or projector into a potential Internet device via the Eee Keyboard. A user will only have to carry around the 2 lb (0.95-kilogram) keyboard to find the Internet just about anywhere.

The device runs Microsoft Windows XP Home, has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessor, 1GB of DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) DRAM and an onboard 16GB or 32GB SSD (solid state drive) to store data.

It makes use of a host of wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 and Ultra Wideband HDMI (high definition multimedia interface), in addition to ports for a number of connections, including USB 2.0, a VGA port, HDMI ports, and connections for headphones and microphones.

The Eee Keyboard and M50 notebook will both likely be available within the next three to six months, according to Jonney Shih, chairman of Asustek, who spoke at a news conference ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The special M50 notebook actually comes with two separate computers onboard.

The laptop has its own computer and the 4.3-inch screen isn't just an additional screen, it's designed to be a window into information stored on the laptop as well as a separate computer that can, among other things, let you run movies on the M50's main display screen using the small amount of energy from the mini-computer instead of the main laptop computer.

The power savings involved could allow users to go 12-hours without a battery recharge, Shih said.

Further details about the M50 were not immediately available.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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