Asus is continuing its mission to cram pretty much everything including the kitchen sink into one model of an Eee PC or another. An Asus official tells DigiTimes that the company will be releasing a touchscreen version of the Eee PC during the first quarter of 2009.
Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Asus would be adding a touchscreen model to the Eee PC lineup. In fact, 9 months ago DigiTimes reported that touch panel makers had indicated that Asus was placing orders. But the rumor looks a bit more solid this time around, with word coming straight from Asus Eee PC general manager Samson Hu.
Personally, I don’t see much need for a touchscreen display on a clamshell style PC. It’s generally easier to use a mouse or trackpad than to pull your finger off the keyboard and tap on the display or even grab a stylus to make more precise taps. But if you can fold the screen all the way back over the keyboard Gigabyte M912-style so that the touchscreen is the primary form of input, then a touchscreen makes a lot more sense.
According DigiTimes, Samson Hu also says that Asus will begin shipping Eee PC models sporting a dual-core Intel Atom CPU as soon as Intel starts delivring the chip. Last time I checked it was unclear whether Intel would be releasing a dual-core version of the Atom processor for netbooks since the chip takes up a bit more space and uses more energy than the single core version. The company is certainly developing a dual core chip for low cost, low power desktop computers. So Hu’s comments either mean that Intel will be releasing a laptop version of the chip, or that Asus plans to figure out how to accomodate the larger, more power-hungry CPU in future netbook models.