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Asus Reveals the Eee Keyboard

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the want-it-already dept.

Portables 312

El Lobo writes "Asus' success with its Eee line of netbooks might have come as a surprise, but the company is now determined to expand the Eee brand into every possible niche and form factor. Case in point: the insanely cool Eee Keyboard, which will surely bring a smile on the faces of those who remember the glory days of the home computer. Described as a fully functional PC with inset Qwerty key arrangement, the keyboard has a 5in touch screen that displays a suite of bespoke media controls or a Windows desktop."

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Fond memories (4, Funny)

Naatach (574111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375801)

Ahh. Atari 600, I pine for thee.

Re:Fond memories (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376195)

Ah FecalTrollMatter [slashdot.org] I pine for thee...

Re:Fond memories (2, Funny)

3chuck3 (512455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376451)

OMFG!!!!!!! ASUS REMADE A VIC-20!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!PONIES!?!!!!

Re:Fond memories (3, Informative)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376467)

I don't remember a straight 600 model, just 400 and 800 in the non XL/XE models. I had a 600XL (which I upgraded the ram in) then a 130XE (and someone gave me a defunct 800XL and several working peripherals), when I start missing them I go find an emulator and play awhile until the urge passes.

Next up. (1, Flamebait)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375813)

A wireless 3D mouse.

Oh wait, that's been done. [slashdot.org]

ZX Spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26375841)

Didn't know Clive Sinclair was still around and working for Asus ?

cool (5, Insightful)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375845)

This is comparable to a mini pc tucked under the TV with a wireless keyboard and/or a harmony control. The battery life and software UI on the touchpad will be critical to the success of this product.

5" screen? (4, Funny)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375875)

I am glad I kept my Osborne 1 disks - I can now run those programs in full screen mode under cpem80.

Re:5" screen? (5, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375901)

Look at the bright side. At least you could play crysis on that screen with an average video card.

Not innovative; but slick enough, and really fun.. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375879)

Kind of like the EEE itself, actually. You've been able to get computers built into keyboards from specialist suppliers for ages now(not to mention the pantheon of fondly-remembered early systems in the form factor) but they aren't inexpensive and tend toward slightly dull, legacy heavy designs, which is appropriate given the usual customers for such things; but not really exciting.

This little guy, if it ever makes it to market, should be great fun to play around with(particularly if the secondary screen widget is reasonably open to hackers and third party devs). Good looking, probably fairly cheap, no doubt fairly basic specs; but enough for many purposes. I like it.

Re:Not innovative; but slick enough, and really fu (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376161)

It'll also be the world's greatest remote.

Re:Not innovative; but slick enough, and really fu (4, Interesting)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376543)

It doesn't look like much use as a laptop due to the tiny screen in an awkward place and lack of cover for the keyboard. A three hour battery life means it's not much use as a wireless keyboard. I suppose as a desktop PC it would be OK, but then why have the tiny additional screen and battery? They just make it larger and more expensive than it needs to be. Ditch the screen and battery and it might make for a cheap, compact desktop PC, but as it is I just don't see the point. On the other hand there are plenty of things I don't see the point of that are hugely popular, so what do I know?

Re:Not innovative; but slick enough, and really fu (0, Redundant)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376723)

Did you read the article?

"If you think this isn't already cool enough (which I cannot imagine), then you should know that it comes with Ultra-Wideband Wireless HDMI buit-in. Plug in a small box at the back of your TV, and connect to it wirelessly, and send the display signal over the airwaves. It comes with the usual wireless options and ports as well, of course. "

It is the new 64. (4, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375891)

Humm. Now they need to add a USB hard drive that also has a USB Hub in it so that I can add a second USB hard drive and the a printer :)

Re:It is the new 64. (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375979)

Yo dawg we heard you like usb hard drives so we put a usb port on your usb hard drive so you can use a usb hard drive on your usb hard drive.

Re:It is the new 64. (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376047)

You never used a C64 with a 1541 drive did you?
The old C64 used a serial version of the IEE-488 bus to connect drives and printers. It allowed dasy chaining of one drive to another and usually ended with a printer if you had one.

Re:It is the new 64. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376073)

he's also a rastopede

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376227)

At least some of the Apple IIs could do this too, with disks at least.

Re:It is the new 64. (2, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376289)

The apple disc controller was for discs only. My //c had an internal 5.25, and an external 5.25, and chained through that was an external 3.5". (800k) It had a chain-through as well and I could have added another I think.

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376299)

So could the Atari. It was pretty common back then. It would be so tempting to put Linux and C128 emulator on one of these :)

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376303)

Yeah. Anyone who went to a public school in the early 90's should be very familiar with this arrangement. *Sigh*

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376521)

Yep. Public school attendee cira 87-99 and I can definitely say that we had tons of those old Apple IIe's in the classroom when I was in middle school. That was mostly the individual classrooms though. The "computer lab" where they taught typing had IBM PC's (I think they were old XT models though - the monitor and computer was built together as one unit).

A few other places had IBM's too. I had an "Industrial Technology" class where we actually had a robotic arm controller to play with. Those were all running on 386's I think. Still remember the admin password to the software in there. Good old "gmite". (I'm sure they've stopped using it by now I don't think I'm causing any security breaches :)).

Still, those Apple II's did have some good Algebra software that we ended up using in my Algebra class in the 8th grade. Even back then we could tell that the machines were antiquated but they still were useful to some degree.

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376737)

We unfortunately had Tandy TRS-80 (trash 80) model IIIs (and couple of model 1s) and I think we eventually got two model 4s in the early mid 80s, I got to play with some apple II/II Plus and a few IIIs I think during the computer camp at the local college I think it was in 82 (color and so much better graphics) but our high school was supplied by the local radio shack I guess. Right after computer camp I asked for a computer and got a 600XL for Christmas and that sucker still worked until I presented it to the landfill in 2003 or so.

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376645)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Re:It is the new 64. (1)

BK425 (461939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376349)

Western digital combo.

Channeling Steve Jobs.... (3, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375893)

Everyone's channeling Steve Jobs' these days.

The computer packs the usual Intel Atom internals, and puts them in a thin metal case with a built-in keyboard with Apple-style individually inset keys...

So now you have a lousy keyboard you can't replace with a decent one. It's bad enough on my laptop, but at least there's an excuse for lowering the form factor of the keys way too far... here, there's simply no logical reason for it other than style.

Yep, it's Apple style all right. If it doesn't come with OS X, why put up with the abuse?

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (0)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376019)

Apple keyboards are fine.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (0, Flamebait)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376141)

Apple keyboards are great if you want to really hammer your RSI. I can't work intensively on my laptop for more than 10 or 15 minutes without significant pain.

If it wasn't for OS X you wouldn't find an Apple product released post-1997 in my house - their design is full of stylish crap like this. I'd probably still have my old "Beige G4" for running my Scanjet, but otherwise... it's all about the software.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376429)

Hint: You can plug any USB keyboard into any Mac (including MacBooks) with a USB port.

I recommend this one [yahoo.net] , which has 2 downstream USB ports on it, but YMMV.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376631)

You can plug any USB keyboard into any Mac (including MacBooks) with a USB port.

That's what I do at home, but...

1. That would pretty much eliminate this product, no?

2. That gets to be a hassle with laptops. My boss thought I was really weird carrying around a keyboard with my Macbook... until I explained the problem.

3. I bought a Happy Hacking keyboard, some time back, on the advice of some slashdot geek like you. Complete waste of money. I think I gave it to one of my kids' friends. The keys themselves are nice, but it tries to be TOO small. It needs at least another row and column of full sized keys to eliminate the need for the damn Fn key and let them make the arrow keys full-sized.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376527)

Just because you don't know how to fucking type on a particular type of keyboard doesn't make it bad. Personally, I'll take an Apple laptop keyboard over a big clunky obnoxious keyboard any day. Not to mention the fact that the latter uses a lot more energy to operate and causes a lot more strain on your hands because of it.

Summary: learn how to not fucking pound the keys, and the Apple keyboard will work just fine. The problem is YOU not the keyboard.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376739)

Summary: learn how to not fucking pound the keys, and the Apple keyboard will work just fine.

I'll take that up with my physical therapist, but I don't think her advice is going to change.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376051)

The bad part is if they use a membrane keyboard instead of contact switches. Latter would be a pain but ARE fixable, the former, good luck finding a replacement.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376087)

Ubuntu with XMBC comes to mind

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (2, Interesting)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376095)

actualy there is a logical reason other thanstyle for a product like this.. given it's size and the goal of being light weight.. by spacing the keys out and allowing the upper frame to be solid accross the mid secion of the device allows the surface to he structural - there for allowing the bottom of it to be thiner and allowing the whole device to be thinner as you don't have to make room under the keyboard for support and you don't need heavy materials around the edges for support - caluse as soon as it flexes watch it die.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376205)

Ever use a really good keyboard, one with microswitch keys? The frame the keys are set in is totally solid. You can't make them all that thin, but this thing has even less reason for thinness than a laptop. The only reason to make it thin is style, and compromising ergonomics for style is exactly the problem I'm talking about.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376333)

i agree.. but if the released this - and it was the size and weight of a c64 they would only sell a handfull where as going thin and lite they will sell alot more - its a function of trying to make something that fills the void they are wanting to fill.. if being small and lite is what they need then they will do it that way.. i was just noting that using the "apple" style keyboard can be explained in a way to make it sturdy not just to look stylish.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376497)

Indeed. They're making a product to sell to people who value style over everything, so of course it's going to ignore everything but style. I understand why channeling Jobs is profitable, I just don't give a damn for the products that result.

And it's not the details of the design. Apple's laptop keyboards without that *specific* design were just as painful, even if they were fractionally thicker.

There are thin keyboards that are far superior. They (and Apple) need to get some IBM Thinkpad DNA in their products, or get in bed with Logitech if that's too scary. Logitech seems to be able to make thin keyboards that feel more like a Thinkpad than a Macbook.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376595)

apple style? No. sony style, originally!

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376115)

Your keyboard milage may vary. Personally, I have trouble using any other kind of keyboard these days. It's just easier on the hands.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376235)

Been there, done that, got the crippling pain. You can keep 'em.

Re:Channeling Steve Jobs.... (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376131)

So now you have a lousy keyboard you can't replace with a decent one.

Sure you can, it has USB ports. Cue the dueling typists. Heck, the built-in keyboard is probably a USB device internally so you could take it apart and have some nice form-factor circuit boards to build a Model-M computer if you wanted. I know you do :)

Seriously though, at least this makes more sense to me than the current iMac. I don't mind throwing out a keyboard when I need to get a new computer, but throwing out a monitor is ridiculous. And while I don't love the chicklet keyboard, if the touchpad works well and it's priced right I may very well get one for my livingroom.

eee Keyboard + iMac = ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26375937)

eee Keyboard + iMac = ?

Re:eee Keyboard + iMac = ? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376471)

two computers.

The Osborne 1 returns! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26375943)

That think looks like a re-make of the Osborne 1 with modern technology.

But seriously, who would want that chicklet keyboard?

Not cool any more? (5, Funny)

Gary (9413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375945)

"...much like many home computers from the days Back To The Future was cool".

Oh geez! I missed the memo. Back to the Future isn't cool any more? Man I'm getting old!

Re:Not cool any more? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376475)

You might also want to take note that mullets and parachute pants are no longer cool.

Re:Not cool any more? (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376615)

Man I'm getting old!

Or is it the other way around?

Re:Not cool any more? (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376617)

Back to the Future isn't cool any more?

Not cool? This is heavy, Doc...

Eee Keyboard (5, Interesting)

clinko (232501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375953)

Anyone else read the headline and think

"Finally, a new/good keyboard for the EEE netbook."

Re:Eee Keyboard (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376093)

Yes, totally. Although the 10-incher on my 1000H isn't all that bad. The trackpad, on the other hand...

Re:Eee Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376203)

look at the samsung nc10, just simply rocks for a keyboard on a 10" device.

Re:Eee Keyboard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376403)

your mum likes me 10-incher, too!

This is not a sexual comment! (2, Funny)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376549)

I happen to love the trackpad.

I usually hate them, but I love the super sensitivity! It makes it such a pleasure to use. Just a quick touch, and such a big response.

Although, historically, I prefer the IBM/lenovo touch point / mouse stick ... and trackballs are even more fun to play with...

Re:Eee Keyboard (5, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376103)

No I thought, "I understand QWERTY and even DVORAK keyboards, but why the hell would anyone want three E keys?"

Re:Eee Keyboard (2, Funny)

bentcd (690786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376463)

No I thought, "I understand QWERTY and even DVORAK keyboards, but why the hell would anyone want three E keys?"

Obviously you need e, E and €.

Re:Eee Keyboard (4, Funny)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376721)

Because E is the most used letter in the English alphabet!! Duh!!

Re:Eee Keyboard (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376727)

No I thought, "I understand QWERTY and even DVORAK keyboards, but why the hell would anyone want three E keys?"

Don't be silly, it's not three 'E' keys, that's just the name.

It's got 101 'E' keys!

I guess it's for some species of monkeys.

Re:Eee Keyboard (2, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376735)

I did. I'm now contemplating a wireless eee cluster. Imagine, a beowulf cluster of tiny computers interconnected via bluetooth or 802.11. I'll get an eeePC, an eeeKeyboard, an eeeMouse, an eeeMonitor, maybe even an eeePrinter, and for the hour of battery life that I get out of them, I'll have a mobile cloud with the processing power of a 4-core workstation powered by Atom! Well, the Intel Atom, not U-238. But still, that's pretty cool!

Back to the past (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375957)

The first computer that come to my mind seeing that photos was the ZX Spectrum, the keys are similar, and the concept (minus the actual machine specs, power source and the side touchscreen) are somewhat similar too. Too bad no movie (that i remember, at least) used that kind of computers with some cosmetics to represent the computers of the future... could had a major hit in accuracy.

Seems great for media PCs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26375967)

What would be really cool is to have the small screen show you an alternate display, so you could watch one video feed and keep an eye on another... or just alternate controls.

Cool idea, I'm going to look at getting one of those myself.

I already own several similar models. (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376003)

I already own a computer of a similar form factor. It's kitted out with a state of the art CMOS 6502 processor running at 2 MHz and a unified graphics architecture with 32K of main memory and 32K of PROM based storeage (UV erasable in about 20 minutes or so). Not only that, but it has every expansion port you might expect: parallel, TTL, composite and UHF video, RS-423, analogue, the CPU bus (just for good measure), econet (TM) networking and the innovative Tube(r) interface. Not only that but it also comes with builtin support for both audio tape and *double sided* 5.25 inch floppy disks.

Programs are available for download every night, for free, over the air with a compatible teletext input interface.

Frankly, there's no contest.

Funny anecdote: I remember reading a news story about a burglary at a school which had recently upgraded to the new, shiny Archimedes, replacing their old BBCs. The theives broke in and stole all the keyboards, not realising that the computer was now in a separate box.

Tech Support Hell (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376021)

I can only imagine the confusion this will bring to non-Asus tech support around the world:
Tech: How can I help you today, ma'am?
Little Old Lady: Well, I haven't been able to print my letter using the printer I purchased from you, although I can print other documents just fine. I turned my keyboard off and then back on, just like my son taught me...
Tech: You mean your computer, ma'am? You turned your computer off and then back on?
Little Old Lady: Isn't that what I said?! Well, anyways, I'm looking but I can't seem to find my letter, now.
Tech: Ma'am can you please describe what the screen looks like?
Little Old Lady: Which one? There's a copy of the letter that I haven't been able to print on the keyboard right now. And there's just a blank document open on the monitor.
Tech: There's a copy on the keyboard but you haven't been able to print it?!! How did it get onto the keyboard, ma'am?
etc...

Finally, (1)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376035)

Something to run my C64 emulator on to make it feel authentic :)

Re:Finally, (1)

unhooked (21010) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376335)

All you need is a cassette tape drive and 40 minute load times to complete the feeling.

Re:Finally, (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376531)

All you need is a cassette tape drive and 40 minute load times to complete the feeling.

Bah! You didn't need the tape drive for a 40-minute load time - in some cases you could get that from the C64 floppy, too...

Dumb dur-heads, crippling the peripheral bus to keep it VIC-20-compatible...

Suggestion... (0)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376059)

Suggestion to Asus: Lose the LCD on the end of the keyboard.

It defeats a lot of the purpose of such a device - this looks like something I'd chuck in a backpack, so when I got there, I'd just plug it into an LCD and go. Having an LCD built on the side could give some status information, but at the cost of messing up the center of gravity on the device (important for a lot of situations), and having a scratch hazard on an otherwise casual item. Losing the LCD would also make the unit fewer parts to power and go bad.

As another suggestion, try and make a wireless (perhaps bluetooth) DVI/VGA plug that will allow the device to run completely disconnected from the monitor. Add in an application for quickly setting up and managing external wireless storage and backup, and you've got a nice ultralight system.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Suggestion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376379)

While I agree that making the second screen modular or just not there at all would be nice, TFA said they have wireless HDMI.

Re:Suggestion... (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376481)

it already does wireless display -- ultra wideband wireless HDMI.

Re:Suggestion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376509)

All the messageboards commenting on the keyboard are discussing the issue - and most everyone realizes that they tend to move keyboards from machine to machine over the years, or at least are forced to reinstall windows enough that a 3 install limit is FAR too limited a deal. Oh, and uninstalling the software anecdotally does NOT appear to give you 'back' installs of the driver software so far.

I've worked making software protection schemes on occasion - from encrypted dongles with 'click counters' to sequentially mutating upgrade codes linked to custom hardware to send customers to extend licenses, all to make sure software was limited in terms of what users could do with it under license. This is one limit that really is too far for honorable customers.

The biggest suspicion is that all this was done to minimize the chance and value of the reselling the game. I can see that perspective... but if it's at the cost of actually selling the game in the first place, or of pissing off future customers, they've made a terrible mistake.

Re:Suggestion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376555)

All the messageboards commenting on the keyboard are discussing the issue - and most everyone realizes that they tend to move keyboards from machine to machine over the years, or at least are forced to reinstall windows enough that a 3 install limit is FAR too limited a deal. Oh, and uninstalling the software anecdotally does NOT appear to give you 'back' installs of the driver software so far.

Makes you wonder how many of them have ever used the reinstallation discs that come with most PCs these days. It's fairly rare to encounter reinstall discs that don't already contain a pre-activated license key on them. You don't even need to key in the license key from the side of the box (or bottom of the keyboard in this case).

Re:Suggestion... (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376577)

Yes! Make it a laptop with NO screen!

Specs (1)

burnfury (643188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376081)

Specs as reported here [boygeniusreport.com] and here [vnunet.com] .
  • Self-contained PC / keyboard combo with integrated 5-inch touchscreen display
  • OS: Windows XP Home Edition
  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessor
  • 1GB of DDR2 DRAM
  • 16GB or 32GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Ultra Wideband HDMI
  • USB 2.0 x2, VGA, HDMI, headphone and mic ports
  • Weight: 2 lbs

But in the good old days, (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376089)

The modifier keys (esp. ctrl) were in the right places!

Re:But in the good old days, (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376487)

Here you go [yahoo.net] .

nice! (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376117)

It's got USB ports, so you can easily add a second keyboard for some marathon sessions of two-player Notepad!

typical traffic down up to 30%, 3 months running (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376133)

that would be on the 300 or so sites that we watch.

UNNNGGGHHHHHH!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376251)

oh yeah baby

Seen this form factor years ago (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376295)

I remember seeing these at the bank a few years back (2003) when applying for an auto loan. The loan officer was typing on a keyboard that looked a little wide. Upon closer inspection I noticed it had a VGA and a couple of USB ports. It was one of these self-contained keyboard computers!

I asked about it but of course the loan officer wasn't interested in technological minutia. I never remembered about it until I saw this thread!

And in case you were worried, I got the loan! And I'm about to pay it off (I'm a contributing member of society)!!!!

Arrrgrh!!! (2, Funny)

pondermaster (1445839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376341)

I sometimes hit the keyboard hard when I have to track down nasty bugs in my Awk code. This would escalate my rage into a costly problem.

Chicklet keys?? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376353)

80's flashback.

Retro! (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376359)

I've still got my spectrum... Will this thing support my kempston joystick?

I'm confused (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376367)

Ok, it looks hella cool, and as someone who owned a Tandy CoCo and a Commodore 64 the retro factor is good fun. But what is it for?

Is it intended as a glorious remote control? If so what the heck are we paying a Windows license fee for? Is it a computer? Then what are we paying for wireless hdmi for again? With that dinky screen or a TV across the room general purpose computing will be hard. A media center? Doing video decode on an Atom will be pain, literally as the damned thing will burn yer nuts. And not much room for storing media and a tuner is right out.

This thing looks like the sort of impractical but camera hogging stuff Detroit trots out every year as 'concept' cars. So if they are mugging for the camera/blogs why didn't they just make the whole front surface a display with touchscreen and totally pwn the Optimus Keyboard. Bet they could have arranged some sort of permanently attached clear overlay to give about as much tactile feedback as the lame me too apple retro looking keyboard they went with.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376573)

The specs here [slashdot.org] suggest to me that it may very well be quite hackable. Not a powerhouse, but fun.

Memories (4, Funny)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376387)

This brings up fond memories of back when the keyboard WAS the computer. I remember being a REALLY young kid (probably 7 or 8), and seeing a regular IBM/PC keyboard in the store for $35. Since the only computers I'd ever seen back then were Commodores, TI-99/4a's, Apple's, and Tandys, I perceived this as a great deal since I thought that that keyboard was a whole computer. I remember begging my mom to buy it for me since I wanted a computer so bad and it was only $35. Thankfully, she didn't get it. Man I'd have been disappointed if I'd have gotten that thing home and tried to connect it to a TV :).

Not much later I ended up getting a Commodore 64 :).

You kids. (2, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376399)

You have no idea.

I've used a TI 99/4. I've actually tried typing programs into an original IBM PCjr. I used extensively, and almost bought, an Atari 400.

What do they have in common with each other, and this keyboard?

Crappy, short throw, lousy-feedback keys.

If you think you're seeing an old-timer smiling in nostalgic pleasure at this thing, you've mis-identified a grimace of remembered pain.

Re:You kids. (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376477)

I think the Sinclair up to the Spectrum 48K were worse. I mean, flat keys first, then *rubber*! I can't even remember how could I *type* on those...

Re:You kids. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376641)

The best and the worst keyboards I ever used were both around that time. The PCjr's chicklets were the worst. The best was on an HP 9840 terminal. These days, I'm using a NeXT ADB keyboard, which is my all-time favorite for key layout, and second best for quality of the keyswitches.

One of these years, I'm going to see how much of a market there is for the ultimate keyboard: ebony keys, switches that will last for decades, proper steel springs...

-jcr

Re:You kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26376699)

Commodore PET anyone? Now there's a keyboard to forget.

Not quite what I would want (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376409)

If this is intended to control a media center, why does it force the user to get up and to the screen give the media center input?

Wouldn't it be better if the media center itself were a plain, small and silent box (like the Apple TV) to which this neat keyboard could be connected wirelessly? The screen on it would be ideal for browsing through a music collection on the network, when you're in no mood to fire up the big screen in the living room. Communication between the keyboard and the box with the processor could happen by bluetooth or wifi.

An added benefit would be that the keyboard would have much longer battery life.

Re:Not quite what I would want (4, Informative)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376647)

Wouldn't it be better if the media center itself were a plain, small and silent box (like the Apple TV) to which this neat keyboard could be connected wirelessly?

They already do one!

The Eee Box [wikipedia.org] is a small, plain, (almost) silent PC with wifi that comes with a mounting bracket so you can bolt it to the back of your flat monitor or TV via the four VESA mount holes.

Just let me know (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376413)

when and where I can get the EeePhone and the EeePod Touch.

Freakin' caps lock key. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376513)

Why in the hell do all the keyboards made today have the caps lock key where the control key belongs?

-jcr

Lack of optical drive (1)

Naito (667851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376541)

Seriously, why is this listed as a fault these days? Optical discs are big, slow, have lots of DRM and are easily damaged. Give me something that I can plug a big ESATA drive or USB key into and play movies directly off of and I'm happy. I don't want to waste space and battery life on an optical drive.

I know I'm new here, but... (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376545)

... why is it OK to just quote the top paragraph from the source article?

"Asus' success with its Eee line of netbooks might have come as a surprise, but the company is now determined to expand the Eee brand into every possible niche and form factor. Case in point: the insanely cool Eee Keyboard, which will surely bring a smile on the faces of those who remember the glory days of the home computer." is lifted directly from the article linked in the story.

No funny / inappropriate / factually incorrect comments from the editor either...in fact Timothy hasn't posted any editorial comments in the last few stories he's posted. I want Cmdr Taco back :)

Ah yeah now wer' talkin'! (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26376597)

Oh and BTW where is the Run/Stop and Restore buttons...

Long live SYS 64738!!!

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