What’s this? An Asus laptop with built-in projector above the monitor? This curious computer was spotted plopped unceremoniously in a corner at Computex by PC Perspective. They report that the unlabeled machine’s camera — installed right at the top of the monitor bezel — rotates and that the projector’s performance is uncertain given the show’s bright conditions. If this is something other than a floor prototype, we’re awfully curious about battery life. Until then, we’ll just have to fantasize about portable PowerPoints of doom. Hit the read link to see a closeup.
Dell and MSI talk of their upcoming mini-notes
ASUS may have created the low-cost, mini-note category with its Eee PC 701 4G, but more and more companies are looking to jump in with their own entries. Over the past week, Dell confirmed the existence of its “Inspiron Mini” and MSI officially announced the Wind which will be available June 16.
Dell recently gave some in the media a chance to look at a pre-production Inspiron Mini that was decked out with a glossy black lid instead of the glossy red lid featured in the original press photos. The pre-production unit also had some minor difference in the keyboard lettering and Function modifiers.
Speaking of the keyboard, Dell Consumer Group Senior VP Alex Gruzen went on to discuss the missing feature that had many potential customers up in arms when the firsts images were revealed online: the lack of a top row of Function keys.
“This was a trade off so the rest of the keys could be bigger,” said Gruzen. “The reason we were later to the market is we’ve been working on getting the right keyboard.”
The keypad design accommodates as best as possible the best user experience for this class of products.”
Maybe Dell knows something that the rest of us don’t, but the lack of a top row of function keys could be a deal-breaker for some people in what looks to be an otherwise attractive machine. In its current iteration, the Function keys are eliminated due to the intrusion of the battery.
In other mini-note news, MSI is already talking about the next generation Wind. The current model, which was officially announced earlier this week, has seen rave reviews from around the web.
The 10″ notebook is already quite small, weighing only 2.2 pounds in its base configuration. MSI is not content, however, and wants to launch a thinner, lighter version during the first quarter of 2009. The new version would be targeted at business customers and will use the same processor/chipset as the current Wind.
MSI is also looking at yet another variant that would be even smaller and more in line with Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). The device is expected to have a screen of 7″ or smaller along with a slide-out keyboard.
We’re short on specifics, but MSI looks to be getting behind Intel’s upcoming 45nm Diamondville processor in a big way — a totally unsurprising turn of events. Diamondville is pretty much built from the ground up for powering low-cost ultraportables of the Eee PC’s ilk, so we’re sure to be seeing it in all sorts of cheap computers in the coming year or so, but MSI is one of the first to announce a budget laptop built around the platform. The chip is due to be formally unveiled in April, and MSI says the “when Diamondville is ready, our project will be ready.” That should be around July or August, and we can’t wait to see those design chops (pictured above) put to good use.
This one’s definitely not for anyone concerned with warranties and whatnot, but those looking to expand their Eee PC’s wireless capabilities without resorting any unsightly adapters may want to check out the latest how-to from jkmobile, which gives you the rundown on adding internal 3G HSDPA to the diminutive laptop. That, as you might have guessed, involves a fair bit of slicing and soldering, not to mention disassembling a standard 3G HSDPA modem (a ZadaCOM 3G+ HSDPA, in this case). The process is apparently further eased if you have just the right Eee PC model, as the 8G’s 8GB SSD drive takes up too much room, and the earlier 4G models require some additional cutting to squeeze the modem in. Hit up the read link below for pics of the whole process and a video of the hack in action.
[Thanks, C.K. Sample]