Yesterday, bit-tech.net got an early look at the upcoming 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC T91. The T91 breaks the conventional laptop form factor line that Asustek had established with their Eee PC line. It’s a convertible laptop/Tablet PC – the touchscreen display rotates on a swivel, allowing it to be used as either a normal laptop (with a touchscreen display) or with it folded flat, a Tablet PC.
The T91 could every well be the first convertible Atom-powered netbook/ultraportable available to mainstream consumers in North America. Right now, they are limited to using importers such as Dynamism to import such devices like the 8.9″ Gigabyte M912X .
bit-tech.net has posted a lot of good photos showing the various configurations of the display. Keep in mind it is a pre-production model. They also took a look at the size compared to other 8.9″ devices in this range, and surprising, it’s actually smaller than the Eee PC 900 and 901. There is a T101, a 10-inch version, that will be out later this year, for those who want something slightly bigger. A switch has been included allowing you to turn off the touchscreen functionality, and the power switch is a sliding-type of switch so that the power isn’t accidentally turned off when using the T91 in various modes.
One problem some may have, and this is probably because of engineering/technical issues, it does have a fixed battery, instead of one that can be easily swapped or replaced. Asustek points out that the Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz) does consume less power than the normal 1.6GHz N270 (20% less). The Intel US15W chipset also consumers less power than the 945/950 chipset found in most of these devices these days. The model they had access to had a 32GB Solid State Drive (SSD) which should lower power consumption a bit. Asus claims up to 5 hours, which as bit-tech points out, is probably up to 4 hours of normal usage.
bit-tech.net was given a tentative release date of April of this year for the UK .