For a good while now the Eee Keyboard PC from ASUS has been is a recurring state of "coming soon" but the company has made things a tad more certain by issuing an official launch statement. Connecting the keyboard-computer hybrid to an external monitor, projector or HD television gives users yet another portable web-enabled multimedia entertainment center or stylish boardroom presentation solution.
As Gizmag reported in January, the Eee Keyboard PC will be powered by an Intel Atom N270 processor supported by 1GB of DDR2 memory. Lightweight at just 2.4 pounds and finished in aluminum with a durable UV-coated underside, ASUS has announced that in response to user input the EK1542's "LED-backlit keys are precisely calibrated to ensure consistency in mechanical responsiveness, latency, and actuation pressure."
The ultra-wideband display kit will now be included with initial purchase, allowing users to "stream HD 720p visuals to a designated display device within a 5 meter range." The five inch 800 x 480 multi-touch panel to the right of main keying area can (at its most basic level) be set to control onscreen activity or "can be set to display quick launch keys and shortcuts to enable users to easily access programs and web content. It can also display the media player's interface, allowing users to browse, select, and play songs with a tap of a finger."
Windows XP Home has been confirmed as the operating system which, given other more up to date specifications on offer (such as 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1 and ultra wideband wireless video transfer), is a little disappointing. Interfacing with the Eee Keyboard PC is taken care of by the inclusion of three USB 2.0 ports for adding external storage to complement its 16GB/32GB SSD drive or to facilitate wired printing options and so on, there's one HDMI and a VGA for connection to a HD television or monitor and of course headphone and microphone jacks.
Sadly, ASUS has neglected to part with the most important information in its announcement - a confirmed date for release and its actual cost, although Amazon US has had it listed at a pre-release US$599 for a few weeks. Won't be long now...