By Evan Ackerman
The first thing I learned at the Asus press conference is that it’s pronounced “Ay-zoose,” not “Ay-zuss.” Oops. Moving on, we were introduced to the S121 notebook, which has a 512 gig SSD (!) inside. You wouldn’t think a drive that size would fit inside the 1 inch thick 3 pound chassis, but it also manages to incorporate an 8 hour battery. The S121 is Atom based, but uses a proprietary Asus HD controller that gives a 20% performance boost. The drive itself is also 2x faster than other SSDs, and 3x faster than HDs. The Asus S121 should be available at the end of this month for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1649.
Also in the 1 inch thick category is the Eee PC T91, an updated version of the first netbook ever. Weighing in at 2 pounds, it’s Atom based, and has an 8.9″ LED backlit touch panel that swivels around to turn the computer into a tablet. If that’s not cool enough, it also has an integrated TV tuner and GPS. No price or release date as of yet, but it’s expected to be competitive with other netbooks.
See what this is (and more cool stuff) after the jump.
If you like the small screen of netbooks but hate the small keyboard, you might like the Asus Eee keyboard. It’s an entire computer crammed into a full-size QWERTY keyboard, with a little touchscreen one one side. The way it’s supposed to work is that you carry the keyboard around, and it’s able to wirelessly access whatever displays you might be next to via ultra wideband wireless HDMI. I’m not sure how many displays actually have that at the moment, but it would be good for a media center type thing, and Asus is planning on definitely putting this into production.
The Asus N20 is much more in the prototype category. It’s a concept that Asus calls “dual-mode computing,” and there are actually two computers here, in the same case using the same battery. Both screens are multi-touch, and the smaller 4.3″ one is capable of controlling the primary screen. The idea is that you can do stuff like chat and email and basic internet on the small screen (which is instant-on), using a minimum of battery. If you want to then play a movie, the little computer can stick it on the bigger screen. And you’ve always got the other full size computer there if you want more capability. Asus estimates that you’d be looking at 12+ hours of battery life with the N20.
This last computer may look like a concept, but it’s actually a functioning prototype of a folding computer. Yes, most laptops fold, but this is designed to be folded up with other computers to allow for sharing and collaboration:
In order for this to work, the screen has to be semi-transparent, and sure enough, it is:
Pretty cool, right? No idea when or if this thing might happen, but at least they have one that works, and that makes me all tingly and stuff.