Asus announces ultra-thin Eee PC, laptops

Summary:Asus is making a lot of news at the massive CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany this week. Among other products, the company unveiled three new Eee PCs--including the sleek Eee PC 1008HA--and the new notebooks, the U and UX series.

Asus is making a lot of news at the massive CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany this week. Among other products, the company unveiled three new Eee PCs--including the sleek Eee PC 1008HA--and the new notebooks, the U and UX series.

Of the new Eee PCs, the 1008HA, the follow-up to the S101, is getting the most buzz because of its attractive design (my colleague, Andrew Nusca, called it the netbook Apple should've done, which is high praise). The new model has a 10-inch display, nearly full-size keyboard (92 percent), multi-touch touchpad and 3G and WiMax wireless options. Only an inch thick and 2.4 pounds, the 1008HA has a rounded, glossy cover (Asus apparently refers to it as the "Shell"). The company hasn't released details on the specs, pricing or availability. Engadget has posted a hands-on with the Eee PC 1008HA. The other two Eee PCs were more curious. The Eee Keyboard PC puts "the complete functionality of a desktop PC in a slim and stylish keyboard," according to Asus, and the Eee PC T91 is a wireless 8.9-inch touchscreen tablet with a special set of TouchSuite software for tasks such as Web browsing and organizing photos.

Like the Eee PC 1008HA, the U and UX series laptops are distinguished by a thin profile. Both models have a rubberized, illuminated chiclet keyboard, and the U series adds an illuminated touchpad. The effect is getting some positive mentions from reviewers, though Asus might've gone a bit overboard describing the design in its release as "reminiscent of the streets of Paris with the evening fast approaching." Both models also have an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the LED-backlit display. The U series has a 15.6-inch display, Core 2 Duo processors, Nvidia GeForce 105M graphics with 512MB and up to a 500GB hard drive. Oddly Asus left even the most basic specs of the UX series-aside from a slot-loading DVD drive--out of the announcement. (I'm checking with Asus and will update the post with details.) Both models will ship sometime in the second quarter.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Wi-Fi

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John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are... Full Bio

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