It's not every day that Asus manages to outshine Apple, but we have to say that we find the new Eee Keyboard a far more exciting product than Apple's new 17in MacBook Pro. Asus has somehow managed to squeeze in an entire Eee PC and a 5in touch screen into a keyboard.
The 5in touch screen works both as an interactive screen, we presume somewhat similar to the Vista SideShow displays, but it's also meant to work as a touch pad and a display for the integrated PC. However, the idea is that you should use the Eee keyboard with an external display most of the time and to make this simple, Asus has gone and integrated wireless HDMI. This allows you to use it wirelessly with a wide range of high definition displays and even if your TV doesn't support wireless HDMI, you could get a wireless HDMI adapter for it which would connect to an HDMI port on your TV.
The Eee Keyboard also seems to feature a D-sub connector, an HDMI connector, at least two USB 2.0 ports, a network port, a memory card reader and a couple of audio jacks. The only downside we can see is that it seems to require to be plugged into the wall to work, although it looks as if Asus might have managed to squeeze in a battery somewhere too if you have a look at the pictures, since there's a battery icon showing on the display.
The prototype shown at an Asus even just ahead of CES is meant to be close to a final product and Asus is set to launch it later this year. We have a feeling that it features the updated Atom platform which is expected to be announced at Computex in early June. In combination with Windows 7, this might be the first really usable touch interface ever for Windows. Fingers crossed that this product will be as good as it looks when Asus decides to launch it.
You can find some pictures of the keyboard here
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