ASUS Eee Keyboard PC (Video)

Posted on 24 March 2009 by

It’s the polar opposite of what you usually see on the portal. A mobile PC built around a huge keyboard with a tiny screen tacked on to the side. Obviously this is not quite your mobile productivity box (unless you want a kneck injury) but it’s an interesting option for the home. The video below was shot a few weeks ago at CeBIT in Hannover. After reviewing it, i’m quite sure that the RF ports you see will be for wireless HDMI antennas.


The big question now is what to call this category of devices. Sofasurfer?

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41 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    New article: ASUS Eee Keyboard PC (Video) http://cli.gs/smmzRP

  2. Morganj says:

    netboard?

  3. Morganj says:

    update to own post,
    what about surfboard?

  4. ChristophD says:

    Maybe I missed this but has Asus commented on how much this is going to cost?

    I certainly like the integrated screen (I’d probably use it for Twitter, RSS feeds and maybe controling iTunes), reminds me of that whole Windows SideShow idea that somehow got lost at one point or another…

  5. jkkmobile says:

    They said wired hdmi version will be around 400 dollars and wireless about 600..

  6. ChristophD says:

    Mmm, that’s not too bad… :-)

  7. Andrew says:

    Surfboard has already been done – as in the Motorola Surfboard cable modem… and Intel’s… Surfboard (?) Ya… If you haven’t seen it – it really *is* a Surfboard, as in big, wet ocean waves.. *with* a computer built in!(!?)

    At first I thought Photoshop, but the article looks legit – just bizarre!

    Surfing along on some monster wave, and suddenly want to check for any updates on your eBay watch list…? No problem! ;)

  8. EC says:

    Photoshop? Did you click PLAY on the VIDEO? It’s not just a picture :)

  9. josh says:

    Is it pocketable? NOPE
    Want to use it at home? NOPE thank u very much
    Then, why were asus build such of device?
    1.Another concept toy to play with
    2.Sensations
    3.Asus getting bored with their netbook and stagnant on ideas

    :P

  10. EC says:

    Josh,

    It might not be for YOU (nor me, as I stated already and why) but I would “put my money” on this being a nice success no doubt! Asus isn’t really “into” making pocketable computers right now. Do you know how many people really don’t really want to invest the money and effort it takes (for them) to buy a computer, set it up but only really wants it for some emails, some shopping and some youtube video watchting, and wouldn’t mind doing so on their TV?? A lot I would dare to say, and no I have no stats on it. I have a feeling this will make it a lot better than very much locked down Apple TV!

  11. Marc says:

    I read somewhere that a version of this would support wireless HDMI.

    I guess this is a living room/media centre type device? Having a second screen (the touch screen) would be great for controlling the main screen displaing all the media.

    Not sure I have a use for it, but I want one anyway!

  12. Chris Davies says:

    Yes, there’ll be two versions apparently: one with Wireless HDMI, the other without.

    http://www.slashgear.com/asus-eee-pc-keyboard-landing-june-from-400-0336323/

  13. John says:

    netbook == interNET noteBOOK
    nettop == interNET all-in-one deskTOP

    I suggest:

    netboard == interNET keyBOARD computer

    I’m kind of annoyed that ASUS seems to be letting their Linux support languish. I’d love to see that thing with Ubuntu Mobile on it. Maybe EeeBuntu will support it.

    The screen rotation part, though, is kind of funny. Can you see someone on a train or a bus, who doesn’t have a table, turning that thing to the same orientation he was briefly showing it in (keyboard down, screen at the “top”), using it like an N800 or N810 tablet?

    It would also be interesting to see if usable as a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse/Trackpad. There’s Maemo software that lets you do that with the N800 and N810 … imagine that you could not only use it as a standalone PC, but also use it to remote control other devices. (does it have a USB-client port? I wonder if you could also use it as a USB keyboard/trackpad) Add mass storage access (USB hard drive mode for exporting a portion of the internal storage when hooked up as a USB keyboard/trackpad + Bluetooth FTP when used via Bluetooth)

    Give it Splashtop and EeeBuntu boot options, both with the ability to use it as bluetooth and USB keyboard/trackpad, and I think you’d have a rather interesting device to use as a mobile/roaming desktop device. Not mobile like a laptop or tablet, but mobile like a “take your desktop environment with you”. Could also be useful for things like a data center crash cart.

    Maybe also sell a 9″ or 10″ LCD monitor as an accessory for it. Again, not a true mobile, but definitely a “take it with you” option.

    I didn’t see dimensions … how long is that thing? I wonder if it’d fit in my new gadget bag (I saw the writing on the wall and got one that can fit a 10″ netbook … and actually can hold a bit more than that).

  14. Marc says:

    I really don’t think it is supposed to be a mobile device. I think it’s designed for the living room to go with your TV. There is no way that screen is supposed to be the primary display.

    Remember Asus already make a desktop EEE PC, so a home based model is nothing new for the product line.

  15. John says:

    I very specifically didn’t mean mobile device in the sense that you’d use it with just integrated display (and I said as much). In fact, your suggested use (use it from your couch) is close to the meaning I had, except that you could use it from ANY couch. Or both at home desktop and office desktop.

    It’s mobile in the sense that you can take it anywhere. Not mobile in the sense that you can use it anywhere (you need to take it to a place where you have a display, such as the TV near your couch, or the monitor at your desk, etc.). In a way, it’s like the early 80’s “luggable” computer, except that you don’t have to do a lot of “lugging”.

  16. Nick Donnelly says:

    eee PC Keyboard, with a small screen. Cool – talk about ‘out of the box thinking’ (but whats it for?): http://bit.ly/oKv28

  17. Andrew Mason says:

    ASUS Eee Keyboard PC (Video) http://is.gd/oH9S

  18. Milnoc says:

    It reminds me of the old Radio Shack TRS-80 computer. It too was a computer built into the keyboard, but its capabilities were definitely not up to par with this new Asus compuboard.

  19. EC says:

    Milnoc,

    Back then ALL “personal” computers were “built into the keyboard” regardless of brand, be it Apple, Commodore, TI 99/4A, Radio Shack or any other ones.

    Nice site for vintage stuff is here: http://www.vintage-computer.com

  20. John says:

    I wouldn’t call the Apple’s “built into the keyboard”. Very much the other way around (they keyboard was built into the computer). When the keyboard square footprint is less than 1/2 of the device’s overall square footprint, I think it’s fair to say that the keyboard is built into the computer instead of the other way around :-)

    Also, the PET computers were somewhat “personal computers”, and even more of the “keyboard is built into the computer” model than the other way around. Same with most of the Atari computers, most of the Radio Shack/Tandy computers, the TI, etc. There was a lot more to them than just the keyboard area, they just happened to have an integrated keyboard into the main “cpu” unit.

    I really only remember one or two of the Commodore’s being “computer is built into the keyboard” types, like this one (the Commodore 64, and the Commodore Vic 20).

  21. EC says:

    I am not sure how you’re trying to differentiate between computer in keyboard and the other way around, nor am I interested in a debate on the subject anyone who might be interested in the subject I’m sure can go to the link I posted above but as for Commodore, most of the Commodore products prior to it’s bankruptcy in 1994 were keyboard and computer in one, including the Commodore 128 Amiga 500, 600.

    When I said Apple I was referring to such models as Apple II (most of that series) which is of the same era as the RS TRS-80 of late 70’s early 80’s just like the TI-99/4A and C64 etc.

    My point being personal computers (ironically also most often hooked up to your TV) started out with ALL-IN-ONE keyboard and CPU. However you want to call it KB in CPU or CPU in KB is up to you!

  22. Devindra Hardawar says:

    Behold, the Asus Eee Netboard? http://twurl.nl/isfixo An entire computer in a keyboard with a tiny screen.

  23. Andrew Robinson says:

    WOW RT @devindra: Behold, the Asus Eee Netboard? http://twurl.nl/isfixo An entire computer in a keyboard with a tiny screen.

  24. toast4321 says:

    RT @devindra: Behold, the Asus Eee Netboard? http://twurl.nl/isfixo An entire computer in a keyboard with a tiny screen.

  25. bkos says:

    Netboard all the way! That was the first thing I thought of, too!

    I think nobody wants to rotate the screen, windows is just not prepared for a 480×800 screen on bootup. So once the os is loaded some asus code rotates it.

  26. Roadrunner says:

    Reminds me of the good ol’ Amiga 500, 600 and 1200, not forgetting the C64 (shhh, don’t mention Atari).

  27. Balazs says:

    I used Netboard first. About 3 Weeks ago when i saw it first. check the tag : http://ndevil.com/tag/netboard

    Should put a trademark on it and get sued by dell intel like psion gets right now :-)

  28. Saul Hansell says:

    View of neat ASUS Eee keyboard. Computers will be everywhere! http://bit.ly/uzrb1

  29. Elie says:

    Why don’t they design stuff for left handed people! I would really like to use the touch pad screen with my left hand!

  30. EC says:

    Kind of like they don’t really have aftermarket radios for cars that drive on the LEFT side of the road :). Ever thought about it? (Bet you Chippy has :)) but if you’re in the drivers side (passenger side to most of us) and you want to turn the volume dial, it’s waaaay over on the left side :)

  31. Kahm says:

    Anyone else disappointed that this isn’t a regular PC-keyboard with an auxillary PC? I wanted a product where the touchscreen was an intelligent input device for my regular PC/secondary display. For that purpose, having an entire EEE in there makes it very flexible.

    I’m having trouble figuring out it’s purpose as a complete stand-alone computer, as Asus sees it. :(

  32. EC says:

    I loved this idea since I first saw it, though I personally won’t be needing it (have Mac mini hooked up to TV).

    However Asus, take that screen and build an MID/UMPC around it in ASUS EEE fashion, PLEASE!!! :)

  33. Beware says:

    I really don’t understand why people are so blown away by this concept. It’s a style that’s been around for a LONG time and has been mimicked with modern computers. The issue is most of them have gone completely unnoticed, but this one will get all sorts of press because Asus made it. =\

  34. EC says:

    Can you elaborate what other devices that have been “self powered” with an LCD touch pad (showing the OS) and wireless HDMI (or HDMI at all for that matter). I am not following what devices you would be talking about when you say “it’s a style”?

    However if you’re talking about a keyboard+CPU hooked up to a TV yes I believe we already covered that aspect of it this way and that way in here already :)

  35. EC says:

    Haha just to followup I just ran into this: http://9to5mac.com/eee-keyboard

    If the macfanboy (yes I use mac but don’t see myself as a fanboy :)) are saying it is COOL, I guess Asus did something right!

  36. Andrei Ionescu says:

    best concept of 2009 – all in one PC + living room hub = http://tinyurl.com/d99m2v

  37. mytvpc says:

    Do you work in this industry? YOu seem to know a lot about the subject.

  38. sam says:

    Asus Eee Keyboard PC .. http://bit.ly/WQXpC

  39. Mr B says:

    Cannot wait for this to be released! since reading about it a few weeks ago i have wanted one so bad, still not able to find that much information about the Keyboard PC.

    I wrote a blog in response to alot of comments i am seeing regarding the Asus doing what Commodore international did in 82′. You can check it out Here

    Mr B.

  40. James. Braselton says:

    hi. There. We. Should. Call. These. New. Products. Eather. Keyboard. Pc. Or. Net. Keyboard

  41. johnkzin says:

    Is. this. talk. like. William. Shatner. Day? ;-)

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