CES does not officially open its doors until Thursday, but already many people are in Las Vegas, and the meetings have begun. One area where we've already noticed a difference from previous years is in the availability of hotel rooms. Yes, the economic slump is rearing its ugly head once again, and several people we've talked to commented on the availability of rooms in downtown Las Vegas, even in late December. Not only are the rooms available, but pricing on hotel suites is down anywhere from 20% to 50% compared to previous years! Not that we're complaining about the prices, but it will be interesting to see how much of an impact the economy has had on the show itself.

Several of us from AnandTech arrived on Tuesday, in time for the ASUS press conference.  There is no doubt that ASUS has seen a lot of success with the Eee brand over the past year (Eee stands for Excellent, Exciting, Easy -- or Easy to Learn, Easy to Work and Easy to Play depending on which slide you're looking at), and with success comes repetition.  The Eee PC and netbooks in general are new and interesting, true, and there are plenty of uses for such devices.  However, we do like to see innovations in other areas of the industry.  Certainly ASUS isn't focusing solely on Eee brand hardware, but you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise after the media event. 

With over $22B in sales for 2007, ASUS is huge. Around 40% of all desktop motherboards shipped worldwide come from ASUS. But growth in the mobile space is just ridiculous thanks to ASUS’ Eee line of netbooks. Total ASUS mobile shipments increased 166% in Q3 2008 compared to Q3 2007 thanks to the Eee line. The 40 minute presentation by ASUS chairman Jonney Shih introduced several new concepts for the Eee Family.  Most of the changes seem to focus on adding more features and options into various netbooks.

The Eee PC T91 and T101H were both introduced (8.9" and 10.2" chassis, respectively), with one of the major additions being a touch sensitive interface.  These models also feature a tablet PC display, so you can rotate it in fold flat against the keyboard if you prefer.  ASUS provided some demos of new interface ideas, but if you've ever seen a tablet PC you have a good idea of what to expect -- only in a netbook rather than a tablet PC.  Pricing on these devices on the other hand will be very interesting, considering tablet PCs have formerly cost significantly more than competing ultraportables.  The new touchscreen devices in the Eee Family will also support multi-touch, which could open the doors for some innovative ideas.


The T91


The T101H


The T101H in tablet mode

An optional TV Tuner and GPS will be available for the Eee PC touch models.

An Affordable iMac: The Eee Top
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  • AldrichHall - Sunday, August 30, 2009 - link

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  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, January 08, 2009 - link

    I hate glossy bodied laptops bad enough, but glossy screened too == auto avoid Reply
  • mathew7 - Thursday, January 08, 2009 - link

    I like the N10Jc very much and I intend(ed) to buy one, but if they bring it in a 12" package, that is a "must buy" for me. So N10 will have to wait. Reply
  • Jynx980 - Thursday, January 08, 2009 - link

    I don't know about you, but when I saw the pics of the origami inspired notebook, first thing I thought was: "You sunk my battleship!" Reply
  • zshift - Thursday, January 08, 2009 - link

    wow, that's quite the assortment of new products there. I have to say, I definitely love the laptop with an LCD touch pad, being able to watch videos and such for 12hrs. and the Eee keyboard is amazing, so long as battery life would be ok.

    All in all, Asus is about to make a crap load more money in the coming years, especially if they can keep the prices down on their products. Also, did anyone else notice their huge focus on "touch" technology? with this and the new BFG phobos desktop, seems like ever since the iPhone came out people are raving about touch technology. w00t for new tech!
    Reply
  • Devo2007 - Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - link

    I see ASUS still hasn't figured out where the right SHIFT key goes on the T91 - that one is a deal-breaker for me sadly. Reply
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - link

    Being a left-handed person their odd location of right shift key does not bother me at all. I just use the left shift key most of the time anyway.

    I guess that's one plus for being a lefty, amongst the tons of negatives(e.g., virtually no lefty desk in college lecture halls)
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - link

    I like the concept of that "origami inspired" laptop. Reply
  • Zak - Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - link

    So... maybe now Asus can afford better web hosting? Or maybe even have a server in USA??? So it would be actually possible to download drivers in some reasonable time. I might consider then buying their products again.

    Z.
    Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, January 11, 2009 - link

    You just end up downloading the drivers directly from the manufacturer of each respective device or chip any way. Since they can't offer any support maybe they should just pay the manufacturers to directly support their hardware and link to them instead. That way at least one would get the latest drivers. Most OEMs (or system builders) are extremely bad too, I don't get it why they just don't package and auto-update the drivers properly instead. Reply

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