So I was skimming through Laptop Magazine’s interview with Asus CEO Jerry Shen, and a few things jumped out at me. First, as we already suspected, Asus will begin selling Eee PC laptops with touchscreens in 2009. But for some reason, Shen says that touchscreens will add thickness to the machine, which is news to me. Last time I checked, you could cram a touchscreen in an existing Eee PC like a 701 without building a thicker case.
Perhaps what Shen meant by that remark is that Asus will be working on thinner Eee PC models like the Eee PC S101 and that it would be difficult to fit touchscreens into those devices, so you won’t see an S101 with a touchscreen anytime soon. But that’s just a guess.
Other interesting tidbits from the interview:
- The touchscreen devices could come in the form of convertable tablets, or Asus might just slap a touchscreen into an old fashioned clamshell-style notebook.
- Asus will soon begin releasing Windows XP machines with an “easy mode” interface much like the Xandros easy mode software that comes on Linux Eee PCs.
- Shen says there are no plans to put Windows Vista on any netbooks, but the company could release Windows 7 models as soona s mid-2009. I’m going to take that with a grain of salt since Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that the operating system will actually be available by then.
- There will be new Eee-branded products in Q1 and Q2 of 2009. So it sounds like we shouldn’t expect to see any radically new Eee PC models or new consumer electronics devices this year. But given Asus’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few new Eee PC netbooks pop up with incremental differences from existing models.