Next-gen Asus Eee may get touchscreen and GPS

Reports suggest the next version of the low-cost subnotebook will sport a touchscreen and GPS, although confusion remains over release dates
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The upcoming second iteration of Asus's popular Eee PC could sport a touchscreen, reports have suggested.

According to Digitimes, which, like Asus, is based in Taiwan, the Eee 900 may also include GPS support. The claims are based on an interview with Kevin Lin, vice president of Asus' sales department.

Lin is quoted as saying that the Eee 900 is expected to ship in May or June and will be priced in the region of $500 (£250). The desktop version of the Eee, the E-DT, will be released at around the same time, priced at $199 (£99), said Lin.

However, a UK spokesperson for Asus told ZDNet.co.uk on Wednesday that the Eee 900 — which will also be available with Windows, rather than Linux, as the operating system — would be made available from the end of April. This contradicted another Asus spokesperson, who said, just two weeks ago, that the Eee 900 would only go on sale in the UK at the end of the second quarter (June) or the start of the third quarter (from July).

The spokesperson who spoke with ZDNet.co.uk on Wednesday also said that the devices to go on sale at the end of April would not have touchscreens or GPS. Eee-enthusiasts have been modifying the laptop to include touchscreen technology for some months now, but that feature has not yet been officially introduced.

The Eee PC has proved massively successful — so much so that Lin is quoted as describing a 70 percent supply shortfall worldwide in the first quarter of this year. This shortfall is largely due to battery-supply issues, which have been exacerbated by a fire at LG Chem's Ochang plant in South Korea earlier this month.

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