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Input Devices Hardware Technology

Eee Keyboard Details Released 166

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the now-accepting-review-copies dept.
Details on the new Eee keyboard, previously held secret during the FCC filing, have now been made available. You can now take a look at the innards and a full spec sheet detailing exactly what is being promised. "Beneath the 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touch panel (with stylus) we'll be getting Windows XP Home running on an Intel Atom N270, 945GSE / ICH7-M chipset with Broadcom AV-VD905 video decoder, 1GB of DDR2 memory, either 16GB or 32GB of flash storage, 4-hour battery, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and VGA outputs, integrated stereo speakers and mic, 3x USB, headphone and mic jacks, and external WiFi / UWB antenna. The Eee Keyboard's on-board Ultra-Wideband (UWB) throws 720p content to your TV within a 5-meter range (10-meters for non-video transmissions) via a UWB receiver packing 2x USB ports, another mini-USB port, audio out, and HDMI."
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Eee Keyboard Details Released

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  • Just when you thought releasing another "Eee" branded product would be like flogging the skeleton of a dead horse
  • The C64 is back! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BumbaCLot (472046)

    How hard would it be to build a cheaper version to teach kids programming?

    • by Scutter (18425) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:09PM (#29722621) Journal

      How hard would it be to build a cheaper version to teach kids programming?

      6? Maybe 7? I don't know, what scale are we using?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gnick (1211984)

        A scale from 1 to 10 with 4 being the most difficult. 7 sounds about right - More difficult than installing programming tools on a regular computer or laptop and restricting the kid's permissions, but less difficult than naturally breeding a man-bear-pig.

        • > but less difficult than naturally breeding a man-bear-pig

          Difficult sure, but fun? You betcha!

        • I AM a naturally-bred man-bear-pig, you insensitive clod! Reset your scale to a measurement more appropriate!

          Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go feed my mother..

    • Probably depends on whether you are Jeri Ellsworth [wikipedia.org] or not. More broadly, it really depends on whether you actually want "a C64 to teach kids programming" or "to teach kids programming" and whether you insist on building it or not.

      There are several modern remakes of the C64, usually sold for gaming, some of which can have a keyboard modded on. Those are probably your cheapest bet and definitely your best bet if you actually want a C64. Second cheapest(at least in the developed world) would be your bog-sta
    • by Ant P. (974313)

      Easy - just convince some company that isn't married to Microsoft like Asus is to build one that's compatible with any OS suitable for teaching kids with.

  • Shadowrun (Score:5, Funny)

    by vertinox (846076) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:09PM (#29722617)

    Does this remind anyone of the Shadowrunner decks?

    Maybe if I get this, Vuzix Wrap Eyewear [engadget.com], a neon green mohawk, and leather jacket I can start calling myself a "Decker" ;)

  • by ClayJar (126217) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:12PM (#29722661) Homepage

    My very first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. It was basically a computer in a keyboard that I connected to the TV. Now, decades later, I will soon be able to buy a computer built into a keyboard that will display on my TV.

    "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

    Of course, if this can handle "HD" YouTube, Netflix streaming, and other online sources, it might actually be worth looking into as an alternative to building my own low-power box for the TV. At least worth keeping an eye open, I suppose.

    • by oh2 (520684)
      Well, I for one think its very cool. I might buy one just because its shiny.
    • My very first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. It was basically a computer in a keyboard that I connected to the TV.

      Presumably an SDTV, over RF or composite cable.

      Now, decades later, I will soon be able to buy a computer built into a keyboard that will display on my TV.

      Perhaps your TV is an HDTV and will work with one of the video outputs (VGA, HDMI) on the computer. But a lot of the U.S. market still uses SDTV, and in order to connect the VGA output to an SDTV, you need a special $40 cable [sewelldirect.com] that I don't think is included.

      • by MBCook (132727)

        But a lot of the U.S. market still uses SDTV

        I don't think that's the market. This seems targeted purely at enthusiasts and early adopters. This computer fills a very limited role.

      • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882339047 [newegg.com]

        And it's only that high because I'm too lazy to look at other sources.

        • The AUD-2350 cable is called a "dumb cable". It does no scan conversion; instead, it's for those few video chipsets that can already output composite or S-Video over the VGA connector. (The reviews at the right side of the page on NewEgg show that not all video chipsets can do this.) Until people actually buy this Eee Keyboard and see whether its video chipset supports the cable, I'd recommend the Sewell scan converter for someone who wants a cable that Just Works.
    • by Abreu (173023)

      I had one of those too! (I even pestered my parents for the cassette deck for saving programs!)

      This sounds like a good idea for a "living room" computer, using Mythbuntu or something similar...

    • by ukemike (956477)

      "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

      This has all happened before and it will all happen again." Battlestar Galactica.

    • by Megane (129182)
      Get off my lawn, you whippersnapper! MY first computer was a Model I (except there was no "model" yet), and this looks much more like one of those. You can even put a logo on the right side of the keyboard to enhance the experience. The only thing missing is an expansion box larger than the main computer, connected by a cranky ribbon cable. And having to turn off the thing whenever the family wanted to watch channel 12 on the TV.
  • by Unoti (731964) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:19PM (#29722753) Journal
    Sorry, my creativity is running a little dry here. Why would I want this? Is the idea to keep this by the couch and use it as my living room computer, and run video off it to my TV wirelessly with UWB?
    • touchtypetutor?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        touchtypetutor?

        Parsing... parsing... ah! You said "touch type tutor." Not "touchy petutor."

        I was wondering what the heck that was.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chickan (1070300)
      Basically yes, use it to play your cartoons or movies of choice, while checking your email. I'll stick to my mythbox personally though. Screen is too small to be useful without hooking it up to your TV, and if you are doing that its main advantage is size alone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bat Country (829565)

      Educational gaming machine go!

      Let your kid browse the internet in the living room while you read - thus glancing up regularly and supervising to make sure nobody has goatse'd them.

      Show your friends the latest stupid thing you found on Youtube.

      Attached USB + Controller [slashdot.org] + Stella [wikipedia.org] = Living room Atari 2600 which can be easily attached and put away when you're done (less easily accomplished in these days of LCD TVs without coax).

      Cheap television + keyboard computer = information kiosk. Tired of your friends gett

    • Well, yeah. Pretty much. Have you ever hooked your computer up to one of these new-fangled high-definition LCD televisions? If you set the resolution right (few people do), it's as sharp as any other LCD monitor. Only HUGE. I've had a big 1080p panel hooked up to my gaming computer for years and it's awesome. And it's great for regular tasks, too.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:22PM (#29722805) Journal

    So, if it's not sending a video signal, I presume that I'm getting audio only? And this would be useful how...

    Okay, I just RTFA. Unlike the "cool" option of actually transmitting low power ATSC on an (unused) channel, which would make this potentially useful, it requires a hardwired dongle (UWB receiver) at any TV you want to connect. So the "any TV" just turned into "any TV you decide you want to buy a dongle for and manually wire up to receive the proprietary signal." An, of course, that's where the 10m comes in, since the UWB receiver has USB ports on it (for those who are cool enough to have one of these, and so antiquated that the have a wired printer).

    • by ahecht (567934)

      I know it's Slashdot and we don't read the articles, but at least read the first sentence of the summary:

      Beneath the 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touch panel (with stylus)

    • "the UWB receiver has USB ports on it (for those who are cool enough to have one of these, and so antiquated that the have a wired printer)"

      Or, more plausibly, one's interest in having a DVD/blu-ray/big HDD loaded with rips drive is limited when walking around the house; but significant when next to the TV...
    • Unlike the "cool" option of actually transmitting low power ATSC on an (unused) channel

      I'm not sure that the FCC would like this very much.

  • XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:23PM (#29722823) Journal
    Just the other day there was a story about how MS was refusing to patch a vulnerability in XP's ssh implementation (ISTR it was particularly bad for paypal users). Plus we've all heard the crowing about 7 being good to go on netbooks (though as someone who's been testing the RC for work, I do find that one a bit hard to believe -- it's still bloaty and takes more resources than the average netbook can provide). Yet MS is going to continue to push XP for the EEE? I'm confused... Is this their acknowledgement that win7 is not fit for netbooks? Then shouldn't they be patching the problems in XP, if they're going to keep pushing it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lambent (234167)

      SSL, not SSH. And the SSL vulnerability in XP in supposedly worked-around by running a firewall (for the purpose of this discussion, the POS that ships with XP is supposed to be a firewall).

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by clang_jangle (975789)

        SSL, not SSH.

        Thanks, yes I realized that right after I hit "submit". If I try to ssh into a paypal server I might end up with a whole other set of problems... :)

        the SSL vulnerability in XP in supposedly worked-around by running a firewall

        I didn't see that here [slashdot.org], guess I'll go RTFA.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cenc (1310167)

          If you figure out how to do it, Please post. It would finally be a secure connection to pay pal I can trust. Now if I could just trust pay pal.

    • by vxvxvxvx (745287)
      On the one hand they're claiming XP is obsolete. On the other, they're still pushing it even on yet unreleased devices. My only assumption can be that this Eee keyboard is obsolete and that I should hold out for a linux based one.
    • by Tei (520358)

      Well.. is obvious that will continue pushing XP, since you can't fit Windows 7 in a netbook with 2GB of RAM. Once netbooks get powerfull and cheap enough to have 4GB and a +2GHz CPU, then will stop pushing XP, let it die, and push very hard Windows 7.

      I have a eepc 701, and I am very happy with my eebuntu. I have tried Windows 7 in my desktop computer trough vmware, and W7 is garbage. Also, my eepc has 4 GB of disk. I don't see how Windows 7 would install on my netbook at all, since seems Windows 7 OS takes

    • by Eil (82413)

      The Microsoft way: Damn if you do, damned if you don't.

      (It's why I use Linux. You aren't damned either way.)

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Pretty much my thought.

      Shiny new computer, latest hardware, almost decade old software (and by now two generations behind what MS has on offer).

      Sad, truly sad, from all sides. ASUS for not installing some up-to-date software on it, MS for not being able to write an operating system that runs on anything less than top-of-the-line state of the art hardware.

  • No one escapes the commodore amiga/64/128 form factor all in one.

    No one.

  • too many outputs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by viridari (1138635) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:41PM (#29723081)
    The computer should just be a small non-descript box in the entertainment center rack. The keyboard/touchpad should operate without cables, on commodity AA rechargeable batteries. I know this thing has some wireless capabilities but the ports on there are pretty useless to me. Put the expensive stuff in the rack, and let me have a cheap disposable keyboard/pointer on the table where it's likely to have beer or coffee spilled on it from guests.
    • by awtbfb (586638)

      Mac mini, bluetooth keyboard and mouse. It is small, doesn't look ugly under your TV, has a super quiet fan, and you can get plenty of video adapters for whatever TV you have. It also has a DVD drive, so you can toss your DVD player. You can even get an EyeTV USB-stick add-on for DVR capability and export capability to your iPod/PMP. If you really want, you can even run a long USB extension cable to your couch so you can plug in a joystick and play video games. Likewise, you can also set it up as a home med

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

        The only problem with the Mac Mini is that it's pricey. You can get a similarly-small ION-based dual-Atom box for $330 (including 2GB of memory, disk, and DVD drive), just over half the price of the Mac Mini.

        Or, if you're even cheaper, you can build a full-size Pentium Dual-Core box for around $250, which has the added advantage of multiple SATA ports and plenty of room for extra disks (presumably you want your media box to be able to store media). Of course, it won't fit nicely under your TV.

      • by cpotoso (606303)
        Wow, you're basically describing my setup! Apple mac mini bought of craigslist for $200 (core 2 duo 1.83 GHz, 2 GB Ram, 80 GB HD---soon to be upgraded to 1TB when I have time), plus bluetooth kbd and mouse (both use standard AA batteries), and elgato eyetv hybrid ATSC tuner. Nice setup!!!
      • The fan maybe quiet, but it's very ineffective. I loaded coretemp and was truly scared of what i saw. 60 C+ temperatures for both cores when idle. My Q9550 overclocked to 3.4 ghz with good cooling idles at 41 C. Most overlockers don't recommend getting your cores over 70 C, so if mac mini idles at 60 it will probably easily hit 80 C under load.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest (867930)
      I keep saying ... "All computers should be black and rack mount". Curvy cases that you can't stack are pretty on their own, but useless around other equipment. The same goes for routers (Linksys 160N, I'm looking at you). You'd think we'd be at the point where manufacturers would not be charging a premium for rackable equipment. It doesn't even need to be truly rack mount, just a similar form-factor, like audio/video equipment.
  • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:43PM (#29723105) Journal

    I don't know about you, but my HTPC's wireless keyboard gets beat around and dropped quite a bit. I wouldn't want to subject an HDD to that.

    My personal feelings... I question the usefulness of this over a dedicated Ion box with a wireless keyboard.

  • it's got a fan! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locutus (9039) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:49PM (#29723161)
    holy cow, they still need a fan on those things? Can't wait to hear these things rattling around after a couple of years when the bearings start going out. They should release an ARM version IMO.

    LoB
  • 800 x 480? (Score:3, Funny)

    by sfled (231432) <sfled@yaho o . c om> on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:54PM (#29723219) Journal

    Dude, if this keeps up, screens will soon have the height and width ratios of freakin' banner ads.

    Just saying.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      From the pictures, it looks like 480 (width) by 800 (height). Though this is not exactly your typical computer screen, which of course must be wide to be optimal for watching movies, rather than something like reading and writing.
    • The aspect ratio of a 800 x 480 screen is about half-way between WUXGA (1920 x 1200) and full HD (1920 x 1080), which seems to be equally common on monitors these days. So 800 x 480 is hardly an unprecedented step.
  • by CFBMoo1 (157453)
    I'm back in the 80's!!!

    http://www.geekwithlaptop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/radio-shack-trs-80-model-100-mobile-computer.jpg

    http://www.phys.uwosh.edu/mike/calcs/pc1.html

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Sharp-PC1500-IMG_0306.JPG

    All they need with that thing is a thermal printer and someone with frizzy hair!
  • Major obvious flaw (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davevt5 (30696) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:56PM (#29723249) Homepage Journal

    This is built for people who are right handed. That vast majority of people that matter to me are left-handed.

    Any chance there will be a version sold at the Leftorium?

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gm a i l.com> on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:58PM (#29723265) Homepage Journal

    I like the idea of the keyboard only form factor PC like 80's boxes wired to TVs, but do you think they could do the Amiga like thing and put in a 1GB kick butt graphics card into it... :-)

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      Why would you want a 1gig video card in what's essentially a monitor-less netbook? You certainly don't need it for the video storage, and it's not like this has enough horsepower to run an video intensive games. Seem like it would just drive the cost up needlessly.

      • by tjstork (137384)

        You certainly don't need it for the video storage, and it's not like this has enough horsepower to run an video intensive games. Seem like it would just drive the cost up needlessly.

        Yeah, you are right. We would should probably have a core i7 in there, and wire it up to the hdtv, and that would be an amiga like thing.

  • I always wanted an IBM PCjr. keyboard with a touchscreen and a way to hook it up to your TV.

    I mean, I know the 80's retro look is in, but do they have to bring back all the crappy stuff from the 80's too?

  • Why not Linux? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jim Hall (2985) on Monday October 12, 2009 @03:19PM (#29723569) Homepage

    I was excited until I read Windows XP Home.

    Look, I know a bunch of people run Windows. But on an Atom CPU, 1GB memory, 16GB (smallest) flash drive, I just don't see Windows being that great. I'm sure Windows will run, but how well?

    Ah well, I suppose I can easily wipe this and put Fedora on it ... I just wish Eee put a Linux option on more of their gear, installed out-of-the-box. Even if I wipe whatever Linux they give me and put another distro on it, I'd love to send a message by buying the Linux option.

    To compare, I'm running an older Dell subnotebook with 1GB memory, booting Fedora 11 from an 8GB consumer flash drive. Works great, very fast!

    • by dbet (1607261)
      That's my question. The entire netbook industry, for example, went from its Linux origins to >90% shipping with XP now. What's the incentive? Unless they think they can sell more with Windows since its a familiar name and Linux sounds too technical.
      • Moblin (Score:3, Insightful)

        Windows is the easy option BUT MS puts all sorts of restrictions on it, it is the reason Intel is pushing Moblin, so that powerfull netbooks can be made without the cost of Vista/7

        The incentive is that 90% (statistic pulled out of my ass) of the customers just want something they are familiar with.

        A shop isn't going to stock 1 linux netbook for 9 windows netbooks, unsure of wether it will ever sell it. It is just simpler to ship 100% windows boxes knowing that large group of Linux fans will simply wipe wi

    • Re:Why not Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233) on Monday October 12, 2009 @07:52PM (#29726979)

      I just wish Eee put a Linux option on more of their gear

      Well, there was that trade show where the CEO was singing the praises of the eeepc with linux in the morning, had lunch with some MS people, and then apologisedto the audience and press for selling pre-installed linux machines instead of XP. Whatever happened in that meeting was enough for a CEO to publicly embarrass himself so you can bet that it's a policy handed directly from the top to not have linux on these things for as long as whatever promises, threats or inducements hold.
      It's a pity because while people complain about the distro (xandros) it was actually set up with a very good interface for people that are not very familiar with computers.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      You are talking about a system of about 10 years ago on hardware of about 2-3 years ago. It should run, and it should run pretty well and at least be fast. I'd not be too worried about that: this netbook is still way more powerful that even top-line PC's from when Win XP was released.

    • by Arker (91948)
      I agree, putting windows on this thing makes it utterly pointless. The Xandros version that my EeePC came with was rough and needed work. Not a *lot* of work, mostly stuff I could do myself given perhaps a week or two to focus on it, but obviously that isnt really close enough. Windows isnt much better in that respect, and totally unsuited otherwise. I dont discount the allegations some sort of dirty trick or payoff was involved - with MS that is always a safe bet.
  • It's a netbook that has to be plugged in. Atom NT270 + Intel 945G Maybe the broadcom chip helps things along, but the specs seem a bit underwhelming. Does it struggle to maintain framerate at 720p?

  • When you have toy like this [vuzix.com] or somesuch, then you do not need a regular screen. A screenless laptop plus wearable display seems to me a nice solution for mobile computing. Of course the laptop should have a battery life of 8h then. Which should actually be easy, because I would expect those display goggles to use less power than a regular screen.

    As a side note: for tall people like me this would be kind of ideal for computing in an airplane. Unless I'm in an exit row or bulk head seat there is no way I can

  • by Tom (822)

    And I want a 20 pounds keyboard running an 8 year old windos version for what, exactly? So I can watch YouTube on a tiny, cheap screen instead of a good display?

    I dig an OLED keyboard with software-reprogrammable keys. Cool thing - switching to a foreign language or Dvorak in software.

    But a screen in the keyboard just eludes me. Why would I want to look at the keyboard - again, after spending a few years learning to touch-type?

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      This might, possibly, make a decent Home Theater PC/media center type thing. It's got a relatively small form factor (although, of course, there *are* smaller PCs). It's got HDMI out (I didn't really check what kind of video chip this has installed, but if it's got HDMI out, one would hope that it has a video chip that can handle decoding 1080p video). The little screen means, that, potentially, a media center software vendor can have a User Interface which runs on the small screen, so that your TV just con

  • So we are back in those times where the computer was the keyboard, or the keyboard was the computer? And we can look at it on the TV. I miss my 12'' Junosty brand russian B&W set I used with my ZX Spectrum and Commodore later on.

    There was a break-in a few years ago in a Hungarian computer lab, and the geniuses thought they were in that era by the way. So they stole all the computers ... well, that is what they thought while taking all the keyboards instead..

  • The Atari 800XL/130XE
    The Atari ST
    The Amiga 500
    The Commodore 64/128
    The Spectrum
    etc....etc....

    I actually kinda miss that sort of compact form factor for computers with everything integrated under the keyboard. It really does make good sense for a machine designed to be unexpandable. If this takes off I'm going to kick myself for not trying to market my similar hack with a mini-ITX board (no LCD however).

    If it's cheap enough, I'd buy one. My kids would love it.

  • "I'm baaaaack!!"

Line Printer paper is strongest at the perforations.

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