[tabi] a new netbook which may be great for blind people

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 18:09:17 -0400

It's a Keyboard! No! It's a PC!


The idea of containing an entire computer -- including display screen

-- on what is essentially just a keyboard, has been in the fermenting

stage for some time at Asus.

Enter, this month, the all-in-one Asus Eee PC Keyboard, which is

finally shipping, at a price of $600.

It's a handsome piece, not particularly radical; it looks like a

silver-finished keyboard. The centerpiece, which is to the right of the

full-size keys, is a five-inch, rectangular, 800-by-480 LED-lighted

touch screen, which looks a lot like an iPhone.

It is very crowded inside that slim wedge of a touch screen; Asus found

spots for a 16-gigabyte solid-state drive, a gigabyte of RAM, Wi-Fi and

Bluetooth chips, plus video outputs (including HDMI) and U.S.B. ports.

Processing power comes from an Intel Atom chip. The computer runs

Microsoft Windows XP version, not Vista.

The device is not meant to replace a laptop for mobile workaholics. And

it won't. The display is useful mainly as a window for Internet

browsing, e-mailing, Facebooking and receiving RSS feeds. To Asus, the

device is a desktop replacement or supplement. But in practice, it

behaves like ...well, a keyboard, with nicely clicking keys. Although

the screen to the right side is bright and crisp, I would not get rid

of that LCD monitor just yet.

The device was first shown in January 2009, at the Consumer Electronics

Show, and its introduction was an on-again, off-again affair, as the

company waffled on specs and release dates for months before the

"formal" release was announced earlier this month. It is now available

for purchase at retailers including Amazon.


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