Hands on with Asus' redesigned Eee Keyboard
But launch delayed - again
Despite promising to launch its Eee keyboard last month, Asus has demoed a revised version of the computer-in-a-keyboard, which is now due to ship early next year.
Asus has revised the Eee keyboard's features and launch date
Among the changes Asus has made to the device are the replacement of its 5in resistive touchscreen display with a capacitive panel.
Ken Wang, Asus' product design chief, told Register Hardware that a capacitive touchscreen, like that found in the iPhone and other top-end handsets, provides “better touch responsiveness” on the 800 x 480 panel.
The keyboard will ship with this plug-in Wi-Fi antenna
SWang added that the keyboard's touch-sensitive panel will also support gesture control features akin to Apple’s Magic Mouse – reviewed here. The keyboard will, for example, launch a web browser when you swipe to fingers over its screen.
But Asus’ own design choices for the keyboard mean that the gadget will now ship with a external wireless antenna (shown above) rather than in internal one.
During tests Asus discovered that the keyboard’s metallic body greatly reduced its ability to pick-up Wi-Fi signals, the company admitted. But because the firm’s designers liked the metallic look, they kept it and just moved the aerial outside of the casing.
Resistive out, capacitive in
However, a non-metallic version of the keyboard is also planned, which will feature an integrated wireless receiver.
Asus wouldn’t tell us how much the keyboard will retail for when it hits the UK next year, or when the alternative model with integrated Wi-Fi receiver will be available. ®
Gimme a 22" ipod touch
Gimme a 22" ipod touch, please, with a display port, usb, firewire!
This thing is ridiculous, no really, total loss - who is in charge of Asus, these days? Have they hired Darl or something?
Who wants to carry a keyboard around with a ..... 5" screen??? Utter fail!
I expected a link to an Amiga or Archimedes, but it seems you had a Olivetti with CGA graphics running MS-DOS. Bad luck mate! Have a beer.
I thought I liked the idea of keyboard with LCD but I've been playing with a Palm Pilot Terminal Emulator and decided to slap that on my keyboard as per the Eee design -
Bloody awful ergonomics.
Having not been sure of what use it would be, I'm now not convinced it's that usable if it has a use. It seems neither as good as a small NetBook ( like Asus used to make ) nor a PDA-style offering with a small USB keyboard. Oddly enough, being right handed, it seems to work better with screen to the left; perhaps because that's where I put paper I'm copy-typing from as way past the cursor and numeric keypad is just too far away, and mainly one finger typing is right handed and gets in the way of viewing.
I won't use the "Fail" icon as perhaps it will be better in the flesh. I suspect not, and not likely to arrive at a price I'd pay. I would put money on it coming high in the "Pointless Gizmos of 2010" rankings.
This still needs a monitor, right?
So what advantage does it have over a netbook/laptop, SFF PC, or even one of Asus' teeny desktop thingies?
Re: I still don't really see the point.....
Piloti> Wasn't there a Wang or Apricot or something like that that had a built in screen int he keyboard..... ?
Apricot PC (http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=499): "the keyboard was quite original with 8 "normal" and 6 flat programmable function keys along with a built-in LCD screen (40 characters / 2 lines) which displayed the function of the keys" (see also the Xen and Xi models).
I liked the idea that the function keys could be custom-labelled without the need for a loseable card strip or a second line on the screen - but this was, inevitably, rendered rather passe by high-resolution screens with WIMP GUIs. This seems to be the next iteration of that. It's cool, and it will be interesting to see what developments it inspires ... but right now I can't see it's got anything to offer over my netbook+desktop combo.