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Eee Keyboard Details Released

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-accepting-review-copies dept.

Input Devices 166

Details on the new Eee keyboard, previously held secret during the FCC filing, have now been made available. You can now take a look at the innards and a full spec sheet detailing exactly what is being promised. "Beneath the 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touch panel (with stylus) we'll be getting Windows XP Home running on an Intel Atom N270, 945GSE / ICH7-M chipset with Broadcom AV-VD905 video decoder, 1GB of DDR2 memory, either 16GB or 32GB of flash storage, 4-hour battery, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and VGA outputs, integrated stereo speakers and mic, 3x USB, headphone and mic jacks, and external WiFi / UWB antenna. The Eee Keyboard's on-board Ultra-Wideband (UWB) throws 720p content to your TV within a 5-meter range (10-meters for non-video transmissions) via a UWB receiver packing 2x USB ports, another mini-USB port, audio out, and HDMI."

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Don't bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29722553)

There will be no linux driver for it.

Re:Don't bother (3, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722593)

Yep. Asus brought Linux into the mainstream with the Eee 70x series 'netbooks' (as much as I hate that term, 'tiny laptop' is better) and promptly stabbed it in the back.

Re:Don't bother (1)

zorro-z (1423959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722877)

Agreed, that is a pity. I bought a refurbed Eee 900 a few months back specifically b/c of its being a linux box. Now, I get the pure geek fun of being able to test various distros via ISOs + UNetBootIn, w/no licensing issues whatsoever.

I am curious, though, to see how much Asus embraces Google Chrome OS; it seems as if they may do so enthusiastically. Chrome OS, if it's all it's cut out to be, would be perfect for an Eee, making it effectively into a mobile thin client. Don't forget that Chrome OS is basically linux w/a Google clown suit.

Re:Don't bother (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723141)

Would it have been better if they had just not bothered with Linux at all?

Seriously, all you people do is whine.

Re:Don't bother (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723539)

Completely untrue. Sure, some of us are whiny, but a good percentage are also bitter and vengeful.

Re:Don't bother (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723619)

Would it have been better if they had just not bothered with Linux at all?

Seriously, all you people do is whine.

I am posting anonumously to preserve my spent mod points in this article. Why is this a troll? It is a valid question. Asus tried with Linux and the hand of MS smacked them across the face for it and they relented. Do they not deserve some praise or at the very least some sort of acknowledgement that they even tried to begin with? I am sure Asus would be happy to continue to sell the Linux versions because there is a customer base with demand and very little cost to Asus to meet that demand. You all make it sound like Asus did this because they were playing a sick joke on everyone.

Re:Don't bother (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722915)

In this application, the UWB interface basically replaces two wires. It goes from the computer to a breakout box with 1 HDMI and a few USB ports. Essentially, one HDMI cable and one USB cable going to a USB hub.

If the whole mass is implemented as a "UWB interface device" linux support would be a real surprise. I'd probably be just like wireless in the bad old days, only worse. However, they could also, in principle, have encapsulated the whole UWB bit behind standard looking interfaces. If all the host computer sees is a USB port and an HDMI port, with the UWB silently replacing the usual wires, then software support should be more or less automatic(although, there probably will be some little pairing interface to be figured out).

More "Eee" again (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722559)

Just when you thought releasing another "Eee" branded product would be like flogging the skeleton of a dead horse

The C64 is back! (2, Interesting)

BumbaCLot (472046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722585)

How hard would it be to build a cheaper version to teach kids programming?

Re:The C64 is back! (4, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722621)

How hard would it be to build a cheaper version to teach kids programming?

6? Maybe 7? I don't know, what scale are we using?

Re:The C64 is back! (2, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723139)

A scale from 1 to 10 with 4 being the most difficult. 7 sounds about right - More difficult than installing programming tools on a regular computer or laptop and restricting the kid's permissions, but less difficult than naturally breeding a man-bear-pig.

Re:The C64 is back! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723205)

Am I the only one that just tried to picture a useful difficulty scale that peaks at 4?

And then tried to figure out which side of 4 "naturally" combining 3 different species would fall on?

Re:The C64 is back! (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724145)

> but less difficult than naturally breeding a man-bear-pig

Difficult sure, but fun? You betcha!

Hey! (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724171)

I AM a naturally-bred man-bear-pig, you insensitive clod! Reset your scale to a measurement more appropriate!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go feed my mother..

Re:The C64 is back! (0, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722715)

Just buy any netbook and install IDLE, the official Tk-based editor for Python programs.
  • Under Windows: Install Python from Python.org [python.org] ; IDLE comes inside.
  • Under Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install idle
  • Under Xandros, the Linux distro that comes on some Eee PC notebooks, you might want to do what I did a week after I bought mine: Wipe the drive, install Ubuntu, and follow the Ubuntu instructions.

Re:The C64 is back! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723153)

Parents who love their children do not introduce them to programming through a language which uses semantic indentation.

Re:The C64 is back! (1, Offtopic)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723377)

Seconded, contrary to the Anonymous coward, I believe that Python is the best programming language for kids.

Re:The C64 is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723763)

i'd go for the cleaner syntax of ruby instead. And somebody is sure gonna mention lisp/scheme now :D

Re:The C64 is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723795)

Python is a fad language. In another couple of years it'll be as dead as BSD and BeOS are.

Re:The C64 is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29724485)

Awww, somebody's favorite language isn't as popular.

The only thing wrong with Python is speed, and that's what C/C++ extensions are for. Otherwise it's goddamn awesome and getting better with a huge range of new stuff from Py3k to Unladen Swallow to IronPython to PyPy.

Re:The C64 is back! (1)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724449)

Also install Pygame [pygame.org] for them to make it true fun.

About the indentation remark by the AC above: I expected I would hate Python's indentation rule, but I actually love it. Liberated from BEGIN & END or { & }.

Re:The C64 is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29722795)

there already are $15 computers built into a keyboard for kids.
Called 'TV computers' or somesuch. Based on a NES.

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/dereklomas/TVComputer#5256799083697212402

There was some project a while back to make an OLPC competitor useing them. I don't know how it panned out.

Re:The C64 is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723041)

I've already got a device with a keyboard and a 1024x600 screen, with an Atom n270, 1GB RAM, 16GB flash, wifi, bluetooth, VGA port, stereo speakers (but only mono mic), 3x USB, a spare SD slot... etc... Mine was on-sale at a big-box stationary chain for $240 .. the only thig it seems to be missing from the specs is the UWB TV hookup... but my TV doesn't have UWB anyways...

As for the shadowrun similarity... I have a USB serial adapter and console cable and frequently get asked to "jack in" to network routers by remote troubleshooters...

Re:The C64 is back! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723147)

Probably depends on whether you are Jeri Ellsworth [wikipedia.org] or not. More broadly, it really depends on whether you actually want "a C64 to teach kids programming" or "to teach kids programming" and whether you insist on building it or not.

There are several modern remakes of the C64, usually sold for gaming, some of which can have a keyboard modded on. Those are probably your cheapest bet and definitely your best bet if you actually want a C64. Second cheapest(at least in the developed world) would be your bog-standard-Wintel-box-circa-5-years-ago free for the taking from whoever is throwing it away today. Third cheapest would be, depending on the day, either the second cheapest option purchased from a refurb vendor, or a netbook on sale.

There is a lot to be said for making things, if one is interested; but as a means of putting programming tools in front of children, it hasn't really been economically sensible in some time.

Shadowrun (4, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722617)

Does this remind anyone of the Shadowrunner decks?

Maybe if I get this, Vuzix Wrap Eyewear [engadget.com] , a neon green mohawk, and leather jacket I can start calling myself a "Decker" ;)

Re:Shadowrun (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722893)

Decker was the first word I thought when I saw it.

Re:Shadowrun (2, Funny)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723167)

Don't know about that. But you could certainly start calling yourself "celibate", at that point.

Re:Shadowrun (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724511)

Yep. Looking forward to nabbing one and taking it apart :)

[John]

Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (1)

Pysslingen (544910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722643)

Thought the days of keyboard integrated computers were long gone, primarily because of how exposed the keyboard is.... But apparently some companies prefer to not learn these lessons. Who is the target market?

Re:Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (4, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722695)

Not quite. There is a tiny niche product called a laptop that not only combines keyboard and computer in one, but the display too. Really poor design.

Re:Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29722849)

I hear some of them laptops have greater than 800 x 480, too. They even have the display above the keyboard -- not off to one side.

Re:Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (2, Interesting)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722895)

I think the target is something like the iMac and Mac Mini markets. As for keyboard-integrated computers, what about laptops, which are practically the only computers sold today? And, while we're on the subject, I've lately been wondering why so many good laptop technologies have never made it onto desktop machines. I, for one, would love to have a small battery in my desktop box for when the power went out (I've lived some places that had really crummy power connections) and something like a laptop battery would be smaller, cheaper, and better-integrated with a standard desktop OS than a UPS. And most of the components don't really need a full-sized case. Full-sized hard drives and power supplies, by my understanding, are legitimately better than mini hard drives and external power bricks... and video cards, for people that care about graphics. I really don't, which saves me some space... so why can't I buy, right off the shelf, a small-form-factor desktop PC with quality desktop components where they matter and tiny ones where they don't? With a laptop-style battery, great ACPI support out of the box, and practically noiseless (unless I'm running a compile job)?

Re:Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723099)

It's going full circle for design but progressing in performance. Next will be really fast tape drives with >1TB storage instead of optical drives.

This does make me strangely nostalgic, though, since the first computer I ever used was an Amstrad CPC 464.

Re:Mechanica Stress and Spilt Milk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723305)

Check out the specs on LTO4 and LTO5. A TB of tape is easy to ask for. However, with drives in the $2500 range, don't expect it to replace your $20 dvd burner any time soon.

Wow, it's my TRS-80 Color Computer 2! (4, Insightful)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722661)

My very first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. It was basically a computer in a keyboard that I connected to the TV. Now, decades later, I will soon be able to buy a computer built into a keyboard that will display on my TV.

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

Of course, if this can handle "HD" YouTube, Netflix streaming, and other online sources, it might actually be worth looking into as an alternative to building my own low-power box for the TV. At least worth keeping an eye open, I suppose.

Re:Wow, it's my TRS-80 Color Computer 2! (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722743)

I like generic stuff like that, because it's so vague as to always be right. Which makes it useless.

Although I'm not sure the internet has been done before.

Re:Wow, it's my TRS-80 Color Computer 2! (1)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722789)

Well, I for one think its very cool. I might buy one just because its shiny.

It doesn't really require an HDTV, but... (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722793)

My very first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. It was basically a computer in a keyboard that I connected to the TV.

Presumably an SDTV, over RF or composite cable.

Now, decades later, I will soon be able to buy a computer built into a keyboard that will display on my TV.

Perhaps your TV is an HDTV and will work with one of the video outputs (VGA, HDMI) on the computer. But a lot of the U.S. market still uses SDTV, and in order to connect the VGA output to an SDTV, you need a special $40 cable [sewelldirect.com] that I don't think is included.

Re:It doesn't really require an HDTV, but... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724121)

But a lot of the U.S. market still uses SDTV

I don't think that's the market. This seems targeted purely at enthusiasts and early adopters. This computer fills a very limited role.

$10 cable (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724137)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882339047 [newegg.com]

And it's only that high because I'm too lazy to look at other sources.

...might not work with the Eee (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724715)

The AUD-2350 cable is called a "dumb cable". It does no scan conversion; instead, it's for those few video chipsets that can already output composite or S-Video over the VGA connector. (The reviews at the right side of the page on NewEgg show that not all video chipsets can do this.) Until people actually buy this Eee Keyboard and see whether its video chipset supports the cable, I'd recommend the Sewell scan converter for someone who wants a cable that Just Works.

Re:Wow, it's my TRS-80 Color Computer 2! (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723521)

I had one of those too! (I even pestered my parents for the cassette deck for saving programs!)

This sounds like a good idea for a "living room" computer, using Mythbuntu or something similar...

What would you use this for? (3, Insightful)

Unoti (731964) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722753)

Sorry, my creativity is running a little dry here. Why would I want this? Is the idea to keep this by the couch and use it as my living room computer, and run video off it to my TV wirelessly with UWB?

Re:What would you use this for? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722953)

touchtypetutor?

Re:What would you use this for? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723183)

touchtypetutor?

Parsing... parsing... ah! You said "touch type tutor." Not "touchy petutor."

I was wondering what the heck that was.

Re:What would you use this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29724395)

I was thinking it was an awkward portmanteau of "touchy" and "computer" so you're not alone

Re:What would you use this for? (2, Insightful)

Chickan (1070300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722965)

Basically yes, use it to play your cartoons or movies of choice, while checking your email. I'll stick to my mythbox personally though. Screen is too small to be useful without hooking it up to your TV, and if you are doing that its main advantage is size alone.

Re:What would you use this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723287)

it's bigger and higher res than the iPhone screen, which is not exactly useless...

Still, the idea is to use the small screen to control the 2nd display (the TV) without having to squint to read the options on the 720p screen. Also, being able to check e-mail, pop up a web site, etc, which still streaming the video or audio to your TV is nice. Also, it's highly portable, always open (no clamshell), and easy to clide behind or under a big screen TV (not as bulky as a netbook). A set-top box with a bluetooth keyboard is probably more ideal in most situations, however, being able to get a few extra UWB receivers and move this around from room to room without decabling is a nice touch if you have a few TVs.

Re:What would you use this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723485)

THIS!
The screen is way too small to be of any use.

I would have preferred a wider screen in the center, splitting the keyboard in half.
Also, if you could fold the keyboard down the middle (on either side of the screen), this would have been massively more useful.
This is the reason why i won't bother getting it.

Re:What would you use this for? (2, Interesting)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724385)

Educational gaming machine go!

Let your kid browse the internet in the living room while you read - thus glancing up regularly and supervising to make sure nobody has goatse'd them.

Show your friends the latest stupid thing you found on Youtube.

Attached USB + Controller [slashdot.org] + Stella [wikipedia.org] = Living room Atari 2600 which can be easily attached and put away when you're done (less easily accomplished in these days of LCD TVs without coax).

Cheap television + keyboard computer = information kiosk. Tired of your friends getting drunk and wanting to use Google on your computer to settle disputes on random shit? Stick one of those in your living room on a pedestal. Call it "The Last Word."

Have a little too much money? Do you like having whiteboards but you consider them lower-class? Buy a large format flat screen television, something cheap which can hack 720p clearance from some home theater "everything must go" sale, stick it on the wall and use this thing on a cheap pedestal table as an art easel. Encourage people to graffiti on your wall with the stylus on the attached screen.

Attach a webcam to one and stick it up in your windowsill and take time lapses of the seasons. Hell, if it's cheap enough, put one in each window.

Or just use one for the same thing you'd use an EEEpc other than reading on the bus to work.

10 meters for non-video transmission to a TV? (2, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722805)

So, if it's not sending a video signal, I presume that I'm getting audio only? And this would be useful how...

Okay, I just RTFA. Unlike the "cool" option of actually transmitting low power ATSC on an (unused) channel, which would make this potentially useful, it requires a hardwired dongle (UWB receiver) at any TV you want to connect. So the "any TV" just turned into "any TV you decide you want to buy a dongle for and manually wire up to receive the proprietary signal." An, of course, that's where the 10m comes in, since the UWB receiver has USB ports on it (for those who are cool enough to have one of these, and so antiquated that the have a wired printer).

Re:10 meters for non-video transmission to a TV? (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723355)

Yeah I fail to see the utility. If you need to have something plugged into your TV anyway why not plug in an Eee Box and use a wireless keyboard. It doesn't really gain the advantages of a laptop since it needs an external screen and an Eee Box plus a thin keyboard probably take up less space.

Re:10 meters for non-video transmission to a TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723391)

I think it has to do with the strength of the signal. For rapid screen updates (without horrid latency) you need to be within 16 feet of the TV. Up to 32 feet away, you can still get a semi-static display, just not watching 60 FPS video.

Re:10 meters for non-video transmission to a TV? (1)

ahecht (567934) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723497)

I know it's Slashdot and we don't read the articles, but at least read the first sentence of the summary:

Beneath the 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touch panel (with stylus)

Re:10 meters for non-video transmission to a TV? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723611)

"the UWB receiver has USB ports on it (for those who are cool enough to have one of these, and so antiquated that the have a wired printer)"

Or, more plausibly, one's interest in having a DVD/blu-ray/big HDD loaded with rips drive is limited when walking around the house; but significant when next to the TV...

XP? (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722823)

Just the other day there was a story about how MS was refusing to patch a vulnerability in XP's ssh implementation (ISTR it was particularly bad for paypal users). Plus we've all heard the crowing about 7 being good to go on netbooks (though as someone who's been testing the RC for work, I do find that one a bit hard to believe -- it's still bloaty and takes more resources than the average netbook can provide). Yet MS is going to continue to push XP for the EEE? I'm confused... Is this their acknowledgement that win7 is not fit for netbooks? Then shouldn't they be patching the problems in XP, if they're going to keep pushing it?

Re:XP? (2, Interesting)

lambent (234167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723045)

SSL, not SSH. And the SSL vulnerability in XP in supposedly worked-around by running a firewall (for the purpose of this discussion, the POS that ships with XP is supposed to be a firewall).

Re:XP? (1, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724355)

SSL, not SSH.

Thanks, yes I realized that right after I hit "submit". If I try to ssh into a paypal server I might end up with a whole other set of problems... :)

the SSL vulnerability in XP in supposedly worked-around by running a firewall

I didn't see that here [slashdot.org] , guess I'll go RTFA.

Re:XP? (1)

vxvxvxvx (745287) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723947)

On the one hand they're claiming XP is obsolete. On the other, they're still pushing it even on yet unreleased devices. My only assumption can be that this Eee keyboard is obsolete and that I should hold out for a linux based one.

Is easy. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724785)

Well.. is obvious that will continue pushing XP, since you can't fit Windows 7 in a netbook with 2GB of RAM. Once netbooks get powerfull and cheap enough to have 4GB and a +2GHz CPU, then will stop pushing XP, let it die, and push very hard Windows 7.

I have a eepc 701, and I am very happy with my eebuntu. I have tried Windows 7 in my desktop computer trough vmware, and W7 is garbage. Also, my eepc has 4 GB of disk. I don't see how Windows 7 would install on my netbook at all, since seems Windows 7 OS takes 10GB of the hard disk.

Re:Is easy. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724951)

I'm running 7 on an Eee 1000HA with 2 GB RAM. It runs just as well as XP did - maybe better. Of course, I don't have an SSD, so space is not a concern.

ITS 2009 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29722841)

WHY ARE WE STILL USING KEYBOARDS?!! die die die die die death to all keyboards!

Re:ITS 2009 (2, Insightful)

wed128 (722152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723021)

sorry to feed the troll...but i'd like to hear an alternative?

Re:ITS 2009 (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723107)

I suck on the bare USB cable for text input.
There is even a linux driver for me in recent kernels.

Re:ITS 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723151)

There you go. [apple.com]

Re:ITS 2009 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723199)

Same here.
I use a a keyboard because:
(OK, hand writing recognition)
A) I type faster than I write
(speech-to-text)
B) When I'm at the office I don't want people to be interrupted by my talking (we have someone who talks on the phone to her family for long periods of time, it is extremely annoying even though they stuck her back in her own room).
C) We sometimes have people out front waiting to be helped and they might hear someone dictating to their computer. (Law office, I don't think some people would want that)
(to the virtual keyboard)
D) I don't look at my keyboard when I type. I don't need to look at the screen, I just type and will even hit backspace to correct things even though I haven't looked at the screen.

Umm, can't think of any other main reasons at the moment.

Yup (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29722875)

No one escapes the commodore amiga/64/128 form factor all in one.

No one.

too many outputs (3, Insightful)

viridari (1138635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723081)

The computer should just be a small non-descript box in the entertainment center rack. The keyboard/touchpad should operate without cables, on commodity AA rechargeable batteries. I know this thing has some wireless capabilities but the ports on there are pretty useless to me. Put the expensive stuff in the rack, and let me have a cheap disposable keyboard/pointer on the table where it's likely to have beer or coffee spilled on it from guests.

Been there, done that (2, Informative)

awtbfb (586638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724079)

Mac mini, bluetooth keyboard and mouse. It is small, doesn't look ugly under your TV, has a super quiet fan, and you can get plenty of video adapters for whatever TV you have. It also has a DVD drive, so you can toss your DVD player. You can even get an EyeTV USB-stick add-on for DVR capability and export capability to your iPod/PMP. If you really want, you can even run a long USB extension cable to your couch so you can plug in a joystick and play video games. Likewise, you can also set it up as a home media server and/or remote access gateway when you're out and about.

Basically, you can do just about anything with one box.

Good choice going with SSD (2, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723105)

I don't know about you, but my HTPC's wireless keyboard gets beat around and dropped quite a bit. I wouldn't want to subject an HDD to that.

My personal feelings... I question the usefulness of this over a dedicated Ion box with a wireless keyboard.

I know it wouldn't quite contain the name, but... (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723131)

they should have called it the KeeeyPC

WebTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723135)

How is this different from WebTV?

it's got a fan! (2, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723161)

holy cow, they still need a fan on those things? Can't wait to hear these things rattling around after a couple of years when the bearings start going out. They should release an ARM version IMO.

LoB

800 x 480? (2, Funny)

sfled (231432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723219)

Dude, if this keeps up, screens will soon have the height and width ratios of freakin' banner ads.

Just saying.

Re:800 x 480? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723933)

From the pictures, it looks like 480 (width) by 800 (height). Though this is not exactly your typical computer screen, which of course must be wide to be optimal for watching movies, rather than something like reading and writing.

Where's my Delorian???? (2, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723225)

I'm back in the 80's!!!

http://www.geekwithlaptop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/radio-shack-trs-80-model-100-mobile-computer.jpg

http://www.phys.uwosh.edu/mike/calcs/pc1.html

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Sharp-PC1500-IMG_0306.JPG

All they need with that thing is a thermal printer and someone with frizzy hair!

Major obvious flaw (2, Interesting)

davevt5 (30696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723249)

This is built for people who are right handed. That vast majority of people that matter to me are left-handed.

Any chance there will be a version sold at the Leftorium?

Re:Major obvious flaw (3, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723783)

Correction: this is built for people who use the touchpad with their right hand. (I am right handed, but I mouse on the left, so I can keep my right hand on the keyboard. Or penis, depending on the situation.)

But ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723259)

... does it run Linux?

Re:But ... (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724193)

You mean does it run Windows 7?

Re:But ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29724701)

No, I mean: Does it HURD?

OH FFS It's an Amiga! (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723265)

I like the idea of the keyboard only form factor PC like 80's boxes wired to TVs, but do you think they could do the Amiga like thing and put in a 1GB kick butt graphics card into it... :-)

Re:OH FFS It's an Amiga! (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724357)

Why would you want a 1gig video card in what's essentially a monitor-less netbook? You certainly don't need it for the video storage, and it's not like this has enough horsepower to run an video intensive games. Seem like it would just drive the cost up needlessly.

Re:OH FFS It's an Amiga! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724417)

You certainly don't need it for the video storage, and it's not like this has enough horsepower to run an video intensive games. Seem like it would just drive the cost up needlessly.

Yeah, you are right. We would should probably have a core i7 in there, and wire it up to the hdtv, and that would be an amiga like thing.

Just what I want (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723461)

I always wanted an IBM PCjr. keyboard with a touchscreen and a way to hook it up to your TV.

I mean, I know the 80's retro look is in, but do they have to bring back all the crappy stuff from the 80's too?

Why not Linux? (2, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723569)

I was excited until I read Windows XP Home.

Look, I know a bunch of people run Windows. But on an Atom CPU, 1GB memory, 16GB (smallest) flash drive, I just don't see Windows being that great. I'm sure Windows will run, but how well?

Ah well, I suppose I can easily wipe this and put Fedora on it ... I just wish Eee put a Linux option on more of their gear, installed out-of-the-box. Even if I wipe whatever Linux they give me and put another distro on it, I'd love to send a message by buying the Linux option.

To compare, I'm running an older Dell subnotebook with 1GB memory, booting Fedora 11 from an 8GB consumer flash drive. Works great, very fast!

Re:Why not Linux? (1)

dbet (1607261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723725)

That's my question. The entire netbook industry, for example, went from its Linux origins to >90% shipping with XP now. What's the incentive? Unless they think they can sell more with Windows since its a familiar name and Linux sounds too technical.

Moblin (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724073)

Windows is the easy option BUT MS puts all sorts of restrictions on it, it is the reason Intel is pushing Moblin, so that powerfull netbooks can be made without the cost of Vista/7

The incentive is that 90% (statistic pulled out of my ass) of the customers just want something they are familiar with.

A shop isn't going to stock 1 linux netbook for 9 windows netbooks, unsure of wether it will ever sell it. It is just simpler to ship 100% windows boxes knowing that large group of Linux fans will simply wipe windows because they are used to it.

We can only hope that MS shoots itself in the foot with its insane restrictions on netbooks forcing manufacturers that want to push the envolope to either pay the premium for Vista/7 or be out performed by companies that do dare to go linux.

Google linux netbooks, those companies are out there. The few and the brave. Buy from them, it is a called voting with your dollars.

Re:Why not Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29723971)

Because they feel that they need to cater to the lowest common denominator, and that is the Windows demographic.

These people want to use anything that moves to replace the virus-infested hellbox hiding in every room in their house, just so they can do it all again.

People complain if they can't install their PopCap games.
People complain if they can't turn it on and see their 'meadow'.
People complain if they can't find their 'Start' button.

Sad thing is, I'm actually not making those types of complaints up. I've heard them all, at least 5 times each.

Re:Why not Linux? (1)

erogenizer (1592175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724819)

So write the code yourself OSS boy. Mr. XP

Doe it have enough power to be useful? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723623)

It's a netbook that has to be plugged in. Atom NT270 + Intel 945G Maybe the broadcom chip helps things along, but the specs seem a bit underwhelming. Does it struggle to maintain framerate at 720p?

Really big PDA! (1)

bruciferofbrm (717584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723653)

Compared to some of the PDAs I have owned over the years, this is pretty darn competitive.

My Zaurus (5500) runs linux, and has a tiny but workable keyboard, but battery life sucks at just over an hour.

My Sony Clie had better battery life, and a funky keyboard, but was PALM OS, and had SONY own design for connectors.

My Windows CE PDA taught me that 'just cause it uses the word "Windows" does not mean it works that same or runs anything you have'.

So this has a good keyboard (not just for thumbs!), runs a real version of Windows. Has a touch screen. Even has connectors you can plug things into you might actually want to anyway. Has 4 hours battery life (umm.. maybe), and can work with your TV.

This is like the PDA dream come true.

Heck, they haven't been 'pocket sized' for quite some time. So this ones a little bigger. So?

Hmmm.. If you can convince your library to setup some wireless HDMI TVs, then all they need is the WIFI network (they probably already setup) and you can bring your own computer!

Who needs laptops now? :-)

Also Hmmm... Who will write the first USB slave app that turns this into a real keyboard (HID device) for another computer and lets you do two things at once like a KVM does?

1982 called - (1)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723707)

They want their PC back. If only it would play Summer Games.

in combination with a wearable display (1)

kievit (303920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29723989)

When you have toy like this [vuzix.com] or somesuch, then you do not need a regular screen. A screenless laptop plus wearable display seems to me a nice solution for mobile computing. Of course the laptop should have a battery life of 8h then. Which should actually be easy, because I would expect those display goggles to use less power than a regular screen.

As a side note: for tall people like me this would be kind of ideal for computing in an airplane. Unless I'm in an exit row or bulk head seat there is no way I can see my regular laptop screen. With display goggles that problem is completely solved.

I'm waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29724089)

... for the follow-on version with improved artificial intelligence; the AIeee!

Traffic Exchange (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29724333)

Its very helpful for those people who are left hand writer...

Traffic Exchange - Solo Ads - Email Solo Ads
http://www.primerealadstate.com/

uh, why? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29724795)

And I want a 20 pounds keyboard running an 8 year old windos version for what, exactly? So I can watch YouTube on a tiny, cheap screen instead of a good display?

I dig an OLED keyboard with software-reprogrammable keys. Cool thing - switching to a foreign language or Dvorak in software.

But a screen in the keyboard just eludes me. Why would I want to look at the keyboard - again, after spending a few years learning to touch-type?

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