Asus Eee PC 1004DN (DVD Drive) in April, 1008HA in May

Asus Eee PC 1008HA
DigiTimes is reporting that retail sources are claiming that the Asus Eee PC 1004DN (or E1004DN) is going to be launched by Asustek sometime towards the middle of next month (April 2009).

It will be the first Eee PC to launch with an internal/built-in DVD drive (or Optical Disk Drive – ODD). It was announced back in January.

The 10.2″ ultraportable was originally thought to be shipping with an Intel Atom N270, but since then, a drop-in lower power upgrade, the N280, has become available. DigiTimes reports that the N280 will be coupled with an Intel GN40 chipset, along with a 120GB HDD, and a price of $531 – $590 USD. Availability in North America is unknown – initially it was thought that it wouldn’t be available outside of Asia and possible Europe.

The same sources report that the Eee PC 1008HA, aka the “Shell”, Asustek’s thinnest netbook, will be available sometime in May.

Read: DigiTimes

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Microsoft Talks Touch and Gestures in Windows 7

Windows 7 The Windows Touch Team at Microsoft has posted a very comprehensive look at touchscreen interfaces and interaction with Tablet PCs in regards to the upcoming . The post is their first on this subject, and it sounds like they will be discussing it much more in the upcoming weeks/months.

They plan on touch being a “ first-class way to interact with your PC alongside the mouse and keyboard“, instead of in the past, where it usually felt more like an add-on (or even an afterthought). They also plan on it not only being used to scroll through a web page or zoom in or out on a map or photo, but also finding its way into games.

They discuss how touch in Windows 7 has evolved and built upon the experience they’ve been gaining since the Tablet PC days of Windows XP. They also mention where they think touch is headed:

We think touch will become broadly available as the hardware evolves and while it might be the primary input for some form factors (such as a wall mounted display in a hospital, kiosk, or point of sale) it will also prove to richly augment many scenarios such as reading on a convertible laptop or a “kitchen PC”.

Among the gestures that will work with existing applications:
- Tap and drag
- Scroll
- Right-click
- Forward and back
- Zoom and rotate

There won’t be a totally seperate user interface/shell either – they are working on integrating it directly into Windows 7, with some of the UI elements being optimized for touch input (such as taskbar buttons, etc.).

It’s a very extensive article, and it’s pretty clear they are making touch a major focus of Windows 7.

Read: Engineering Windows 7

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Asus Eee PC 1002H Announced

Asus Eee PC 1002H We have yet another member of the Eee PC family. This time it’s the 10-inch Asus Eee PC 1002H and it’s powered by one of the new 1.66GHz Intel N280 Atom CPUs. It comes with a Lithium Polymer battery that Asustek claims will give it up to 5 hours of battery life. It will come in Pearl White, Pink, or Black.

From the specifications/features, it appears targeted towards the upper-end of netbook buyers and oriented towards businesses or video conferencing. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR plus 802.11n wireless appear to be a standard feature, along with a 1.3MP Webcam and a digital array microphone. If you are running Windows XP, it also features an “F9″ System Recovery key function.

In addition to the wireless connectivity and the video conferencing options, as well as the F9 recovery mode (handy if you’re on the road), the feature that jumps out to me, as far as making this a product aimed at business users, is the Dr Eee application. The Dr Eee application allows you to launch applications and control slide presentations by voice command. That is something definitely oriented towards the business market.

Features:
- 10GB Online Eee Storage
- 1.3MP Web Camera
- F9 one-key system recovery option
- Multi-touch Gesture Inpu Touchpad
- Dr Eee software application for voice control
- Chiclet-style keyboard

It’s just over 1″ (27.6mm) thick and weighs just over 2.6 pounds (1.2kg).

No word on pricing or availability.

Read: Asus.com
Thanks to Tim for sending the link

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Sony VAIO P Refresh – This Summer?

Sony VAIO P Sony Insider is reporting that the 8″ Intel Atom-based Sony VAIO P series could be undergoing a refresh in coming months.

Keep in mind that not all models currently available elsewhere, are available in the US – US VAIO P models are currently limited to 1.33GHz Atoms. While the built-in GPS, high resolution display (1600×768) and other features for the not-quite-a-netbook have impressed some, others in the US have wondered about the CPU speeds.

SonyInsider dug up some potential new model numbers – currently in the US, all of the models start with 5, aka as part of a 500 series ( VGN-P598E/Q, etc.), but they’ve produced model numbers that look to be part of a 700 series (which as they point out, keeps in line with Sony naming schemes).

Model numbers found:
- VGN-P710T/B
- VGN-P710T/R
- VGN-P710T/G
- VGN-P710T/W
- VGN-P730A/Q
- VGN-P730T/Q

The Q designations are interesting, because of the P730 instead of P710. I agree that they’ll probably be a different CPU, SSD option, or possibly Windows 7 variants, since companies are starting to make plans for Windows 7. Windows 7 is a natural fit, and it’s already been demonstrated on the VAIO P (albeit unofficially).

Read:
- SonyInsider
via SlashGear

Posted in Announcements, Intel Atom, LED Backlighting, Netbook, News, OS - Windows 7, Solid State Drives, Sony | Leave a comment

Lenovo Pocket Yoga (Pocket Notebook) Discussed

Lenovo Pocket Yoga There has been a lot of talk about Lenovo’s “Pocket Yoga”, which closely resembles the form factor of the Sony VAIO P series (or rather, the VAIO P resembles it). In the words of Lenovo, it’s the smallest pocket notebook. The photo(s) were from two years ago.

Over at Design Matters, one of Lenovo’s official blogs, Johnson Li, who is the Director of Lenovo’s Beijing Inovation Center, has spoken about the concept product from Lenovo that was leaked out.

Note: If you are curious to see several images from the Pocket Yoga concept design, Lenovo has posted photos on the Lenovo Photo Library at flickr. Yes, there is a photo of it in somebody’s back pocket.

Li mentions what created the hoopla:

Last week some buzz was created by a photograph that someone snuck out of our Beijing design studio. The picture was of a pocket-sized PC we developed about two years ago, well before the current netbook craze and the introduction of a similar form factor by one of our competitors. Since the design has been shown in public in the past and received some attention, I thought it might be of some interest to discuss the design inspiration and share some photos and drawings of the device.

We in Lenovo’s Beijing design center refer to this concept as the “Pocket Yoga,” an extension of an award winning design we’ve shown in public based on a folding concept inspired by the practice of yoga by one of our New Zealand-based designers. The full Yoga concept was a folding notebook with a detachable keyboard. The system unit was covered in leather.

The use of leather is interesting – Li says that it can “transform a cold, plastic or metal machine into something warm and considerate, transforming it into something friendlier and more like a trusted and valued possession. Always there, always waiting.

He also considered the “soft hinge” design that has three different modes, to be one of the major innovations. It allows the touchscreen display to rotate all the way over to lay flat, and turns the device into a Tablet PC.

Read: Design Matters (LenovoBlogs.com)

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