According to an unconfirmed report, Asus will release an Eee PC with a touchscreen before the middle of this year.
Update (3/27/2008): Asus’ VP of Sales has confirmed this story. More information is available here: Asus Pre-Announces Next-Generation Eee PC with Touchscreen
Eee PC 900
Sources at touchscreen makers told DigiTimes that Asus is going to make a resistive touchscreen a part of its low-cost subnotebook in the near future.
The company has already announced the Eee PC 900, a version with a 9-inch display, up from the 7-inch one in in the original model. This is expected to debut next month for $500, but exactly when the touchscreen version will hit the market is not known.
A Design Change?
DigiTimes’ sources apparently didn’t say what size the touchscreen will be. However, this is not the first time the news site has reported that Asus plans to add a touchscreen to its subnotebook; in January, it said that this version would have a 9-inch display.
The additional hardware cost of adding this new feature to the device is supposed to be relatively small, but how much Asus will add to the selling price is unknown.
Something that might affect this is whether the touchscreen version will be redesigned to be a convertible model. This would allow the next generation Eee PC to be used as both a tablet and a regular laptop, and is fairly standard for notebooks with touchscreens.
The original version of the Eee PC has been a big hit for this company, and it seems committed to offering different versions to satisfy a variety of customers.