updated 09:00 am EDT, Thu October 9, 2008
ASUS Touch Eee PCs Enroute
ASUS plans at least a pair of hardware upgrades to its Eee PC line that will point to the future of netbooks, the company's division manager Samson Hu said today. The executive now says the PC builder plans to unveil touchscreen Eee PC models at the Consumer Electronics Show in January; no details are available, but the company expects them to be catalysts for sales. It's unclear whether they would be tablet models or traditional folding designs, though Fujitsu and GigaByte both already have early models of their own.
The company also now appears to confirm Intel's development of a mobile dual-core Atom processor. While Intel has so far only shipped a dual-core nettop chip, Hu and the Eee PC group plan to ship a version suited to the power and heat levels of netbooks as soon as Intel makes them available. That date hasn't been set, the official says.
A dual-core processor would alleviate many of the performance concerns for netbooks, which often have performance only somewhat better than earlier Celeron chips and primarily gain battery life. The dual-core architecture theoretically allows as many as four program threads at once and is considered crucial to spurring the development of netbooks at other PC makers, which have been overwhelmed by netbooks through some stores.
In addition to this news, company head Jerry Shen also says the Eee PC should finally dip below the $300 price point sometime in 2009, though what specifications would reach this level are unknown.