Inside the Asus EEE Keyboard

asuseeekeyboard

It seems that our french friends over at BlogEEE.net have gotten their hands on a prototype of the Asus EEE Keyboard all-in-one keyboard computer. After plugging it in and messing around it a little bit, they decided to take it apart. Although BlogEEE.net is in French, we were able to learn several things about this prototype. According to the site, the PCB in their EEE keyboard is marked as Revision 1, meaning that it is very possible that this could be the finalized version of the PCB that will be seen in retail units. Also, they mention the presence of a Silicon Image sil1392cnu, a chip responsible for sending HD graphics via the EEE’s onboard HDMI port, supporting resolutions anywhere from 480i to 1080p. Perhaps one of the most impressing details uncovered was that when weighed the EEE keyboard clocked in at an impressive 2.1 pounds, lighter than most keyboards that don’t have an onboard CPU or display. While we’ve learned a lot about the Asus EEE Keyboard so far, there is still no information available regarding its release date.

[via Gizmodo]

37 thoughts on “Inside the Asus EEE Keyboard

  1. “…an impressive 2.1 pounds, lighter than most keyboards that don’t have an onboard CPU or display”

    I take it you use an IBM Model M?

    Most standard cheapo keyboards these days are a couple ounces at most. Other than this M I’m typing on, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 2+ pound keyboard.

  2. And a featherweight keyboard is cool and all, but a bit hard to use without a nice heavy external display to lug around. I see this more as an office/home desktop alternative kind of thing then a portable solution. Still cool, but my Commodore 64 had many of the same tricks. And played cartridges!

  3. What is the screen on the side for ? It’s not usable alone (apart from a few gimmicks), and becomes useless once an LCD panel is plugged in. Replace it by a keypad and you’ve got a much better device, in my opinion. Maybe I could fit it inside my 20 years old Atari ST ;)

  4. @ bob
    I’m using a Microsoft reculsa keyboard, this thing is a beast of a keyboard, it feels like it weighs more than 3lbs, but i don’t know for sure. Also, I totally agree with you about the standard keyboards, other than this one and the occasional one in the basement, they are all one fall away from breaking.

  5. Well my Logitech G15 is a solid 3 pounds at least, probably more.

    What this reminds me of is a device called Dana by Alphasmart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphasmart), which is essentially a full-sized keyboard with a 560*180 screen on top. It runs PalmOS for applications, and really it functions as a typewriter for students. Obviously not nearly as advanced by this, as it came out in 2002 and has being barely upgraded since, but its good for what it does, and the 24-hour battery life, SD card, and USB ports are nice.

    Anyways, this that’s what it reminded me of, but this is different. As somebody above mentioned, the screen on the side is pretty much useless. Put it on top where you can easily see it, and it would be good for taking notes and things like that, but where it is you can really only use it like an uber-sized extremely awkward PDA. Neat, but I think it needs work.

  6. So in other words, what you have is a PC that has the same desk footprint as an iMac, but with less power and less flashiness?

    it needs a built-in projector to get rid of the monitor…

  7. The goldtouch keyboards weigh a tonne and the G5 Mac keyboards arn’t exactly light – hell, if you want something less high brow, one of the keyboards I rescued from my high school only four years ago had a frelling steel plate in it!

    A cheep keyboard is near impossible to use for any length of time, even my ‘cheep’ genius keyboard died of a U shaped spacebar after less than a year :(

  8. badspyro:
    Steel plates are common in high-end keyboards. Those that have keyswitch modules use them as the mounting point while those keyboards using the normal rubber dome + membrane technology use them as stiffening. They’re still widely used today – the last compact keyboard I bought (£45) had one.

    Also, there’s cheap and there’s cheap. Genius, trust and other makes you get at a supermarket are going to fall apart but you shouldn’t have to spend much to get a reliable keyboard. My Microsoft Internet Keyboard lasted eight years and was still going strong when I swapped it out for a mechanical keyboard (the best mass produced keyboard ever, the Dell AT102W) but I don’t know what microsoft’s current keyboards are like. If you’re in Europe then Cherry’s Cymotion Expert is certainly popular in some corners and should last some time. I know cherry aren’t that popular in America though, but Aparently newegg does a 45USD deal on the ABS M1 from time to time which is a mechanical keyboard complete with metal plate that should last you a good few years (specifically it’s uses Strongman-type Simplified Alps keyswitches). Or you could always grab a Dell AT101/AT101W from ebay as you should be able to find new boxed ones fairly cheaply (which uses the original, and some feel better, Alps design keyswitches), they also have a steel plate.

    A model M eeeboard would be interesting, if you used the guts of an M mini inside a full sized M case then you might be able to get away with no work except wiring the screen into the numpad hole. M minis are expensive though, unless you can bag one with missing keys and cannibalise the full size M.

    And yeah, while most keyboards might not weight more than this there are a lot that do, and 900g is pretty impressive considering my eee 701 weights slightly more and contains almost the same components.

  9. tandy model 100/102.
    Best keyboard+computer together combo. Ever.

    20+ hours of battery life on 4 aas, too, don’t get that anymore. And a rocking 24kb of storage!

  10. hmm. i’d prefer a wireless touchscreen built into my wireless keyboard than an actual low powered computer in there.

  11. I for one Cannot wait for the EEE Keyboard PC to be released!
    Since reading about it a few weeks ago i have wanted one so bad, still not able to find that much information about the Keyboard PC
    Hopefully they do release it in August, and not put it off for longer.

    Also i have written a ASUS EEE Keyboard PC Review (Pre-Release Review, my thoughts on the ASUS EEE Keyboard PC).

    MrB

  12. i just bought an Asus Eee pc. i was surprised about how lightweight this gadget is. the features are pretty basic for a netbook but it is sufficient for my application.

  13. I have the remains of an early keyboard PC in my storage room. It had a motherboard with some manner of pentium-grade Cyrix CPU, and could accommodate a single expansion card. It had a slimline floppy drive. Pretty damned hefty though. It was a really well-built keyboard already, but then the bottom half of the shell was steel. ;o

    It was some weird chinese brand.

    I like this idea, but not as much as I liked that MSI machine that could bolt to the mounting plate on the back of your LCD and turn it into an all-in-one.

  14. Almost looks like we got bombed by those guys that say they’re reviewing the product, when in reality they work for the company.

    Mine probably weighs a pound and a half, though it’s loud and clanky.

    Anybody got any advice for a super-quiet keyboard that is also ergonomic?

  15. When I open your site in your browser, Safari 4 in Mac OS X, some elements of the page and off to the side and the text is broken: ( Please help me How can I remove the problem?

  16. Asus Eee is not only portable, it is also one of the most affordable netbooks you can buy. Asus is also a good brand which means quality and reliabilty.

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