Asustek Reportedly Plans Eee PC With Touch Screen

The computer maker says it will showcase the updated mini-notebook at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Asustek reportedly plans to launch a mini-notebook with a touch screen early next year.

The computer maker has not released many details, but Samsun Hu, general manager of Asustek's Eee PC business, said the company would showcase the new product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, according to DigiTimes.

"The company has not yet decided details of the [Eee PC] models, which will be updated, but will reach a decision based on market demand," Hu reportedly said in Taipei, headquarters of the company.

In addition, Hu said the company would introduce a model of the Eee PC with an Intel dual-core Atom processor, as soon as suitable versions of the chips are released. Intel last month started shipping dual-core Atoms. The chips consume up to 8 watts, which is OK for small desktops, but too much for mini-notebooks.

Andy Tang, head of U.S. sales for Asustek rival Micro-Star International, told Laptop magazine that he didn't expect to see a mini-notebook version of the dual-core Atom until the second half of next year.

The popularity of Asustek's Eee PC jump-started the market for so-called "netbooks," which many analysts define as sub-$500 lightweight PCs with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Because of the computers' small keyboards, the devices are best suited as a second computer for e-mail and Web surfing on the road. They also are aimed at students looking for an inexpensive system.

The market for mini-notebooks is on track to reach shipments of 5.2 million units worldwide this year and 8 million units next year, according to market researcher Gartner. Manufacturers, which include Acer, Asustek, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, MSI, and Samsung, could ship as many as 50 million devices in 2012.

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