Asustek shows new Eee PC with slide-out battery

The Taiwanese company also revealed a new widescreen laptop with big onboard stereo speakers

Asustek Computer showed a bit of style on Tuesday, skinning a netbook with faux alligator hide and outfitting a new premium widescreen laptop with dual touchpads and big Bang & Olufsen speakers.

The Eee PC 1008P (Karim Rashid Collection) sports a 10.1-inch screen with LED (light emitting diode) backlight, uses Microsoft's Windows 7 Starter OS and Intel's new Atom N450 (Pine Trail) microprocessor. Asustek commissioned New York designer Karim Rashid, known for designing luxury goods and interior decor at restaurants and hotels, to extend his vision to netbooks.

Rashid created an outer shell with a rubbery, reptile-skin like texture in two colors: hot pink and brown gold. A unique aspect of the design is a compartment on the bottom of the device where the netbook's long, thin battery can be slid out and replaced with another battery for longer run time. The company said a second battery would have to be purchased separately from the original device. The company did not say how many lithium ion cells are inside the battery but rated it for six hours of play time.

The netbook comes with 1GB of DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) memory as well as a 250GB hard drive for storage. It has built in WiFi, 802.11n, as well as Bluetooth 2.1 and optional wireless connectivity via 3G or WiMax.

Asustek's second designer product of the day was its N90 Bang & Olufsen widescreen laptop.

The laptop boasts an 18.4-inch high definition screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution and speakers on either side of the screen that extend a few inches out to the side and all along the display, from top to bottom. The wide screen and added speakers make the display top larger than the keyboard/computer side of the laptop, so when closed it looks like an oversized lid.

A smaller version of the laptop, the N60, has a 16-inch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution.

The N90 comes in a variety of configurations, including a range of Intel Core i7 and Core i5 microprocessors, 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional or Home Premium OSs, up to 12GB of DDR3 (double data rate, third generation) memory and support for two hard drives and up to 1.28TB of storage. The choice of on-board optical drives includes a Blu-ray Combo drive or a DVD Super Multi drive.

The laptop also comes with a built-in 2-megapixel video camera. It weighs 4.8kg with a 6-cell battery.

Pricing and shipping dates were not immediately available.

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