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ASUS CES 2009 Highlights
Date: Jan 14, 2009
Author: Dave Altavilla and Marco Chiappetta
Booth Video Tour, Eee PC S121, Asus Eee PC 1004DN

Though this year's CES was unusually quiet in terms of attendance, and even a few exhibitors pulling no-shows, Asus had a plethora of new high tech gadget goodness on display, true to their usual form. We stopped by the booth and spent some time on a tour with David Ray, Vivian Lien, Brian Jang and Peter Clark of Asus, who featured four spotlight products and also discussed the new Asus WePC program in detail.  If you've been tuning in regularly here, you would have noticed that HotHardware.com is a guest author on the WePC.com site, where you the reader can register and contribute your own ideas and creativity for your future ultimate notebook or netbook design and the kicker is, your concepts could very well end up in production with a new notebook product from Asus.

First we'll jump right into our video spotlight coverage and then you can pour through our image galleries below, along with some color commentary to help explain what you're looking at amongst this sea of new technology that Asus churns out like modern day Techno-Keebler Elves on a RedBull binge.

If there was a star of the show, other than the T91 Eee PC convertible tablet that David Ray covered in the video, it was the new S121 Eee PC.  It's a 12.1" LCD form-factor machine based on Intel's Atom E520 clocked at 1.33GHz.   The S121 is adorned with Swarovsky crytstals on each side of its hinges and has the option of up to a 500GB SSD for storage, so you know it's dialed for the higher end of the market.

Asus S121 Notebook

Perhaps more interesting is that the Asus S121 is also built on Intel's new US15W System Controller Hub, which is a low power chip that offers support for things like HD audio, but also offers full hardware acceleration of H.264, MPEG2, and VC1 HD video.  In short, though you wont be gaming much on the S121, you'll definitely be able to enjoy quality digital video content. And with a full-sized keyboard, you can actually type on this new notebook-quasi-netbook as well.

Asus Eee PC 1004DN

We then moved on to the Eee PC 1004DN which is the first Eee PC, a 10" variant, that actually sports a full DVD drive along with a full sized keyboard as well.  Unfortunately, the DVD ROM drive option probably won't be available in the US, unless you whine enough to your local Asus sales rep perhaps.

Eee PC 1000HE, Eee Keyboard, W90p Gaming Notebook

Seen both here on the Eee PC 1000H, and on the keyboard of the Eee PC on the previous page, you'll notice that Asus took user frustration to heart and actually moved the right shift key to its proper, traditional location. 

Asus Eee PC 1000HE

Thank god.  Personal Injury Lawyer Weasels were itching to sink their teeth into that one, with all the carpel tunnel syndrome going down out there.  Oh the humanity...  

Another huge buzz at the show was the upcoming (Fall '09) Eee Keyboard system, which is a full netbook system in a keyboard form-factor.

Asus Eee Keyboard - Full System - VGA, HDMI, and UW Wireless HDMI Output

Though details were limited, with the proper graphics support for HD video offload, this little machine would make for a great couch or coffee table addition, since it has Ultra Wide-Band Wireless HDMI support.  A little web surfing, HD video chilling all in keyboard form with your HD Television as the monitor...perhaps.  We'll see how the Eee Keyboard evolves up to its release but we're also hoping for replacement of that VGA connector in exchange for dual link DVI.

We then stepped up to some brute force notebook computing, with a tad less mobility and the Asus W90p gaming notebook. 

Asus W90p Gaming Notebook with Dual Radeon HD 4870s

Talk about no holds barred computing in a notebook footprint (barely), this machine is actually built on Intel's X38 desktop chipset and will support up to Core 2 Duo T9000 series CPUs and 6GB of DDR2-800 memory.  It's got an 18.4" widescreen LCD and driving it for serious gaming punch, is a Radeon HD 4870 X2 setup (Pay no attention to the specs card. GeForce 9800M is a typo).  You want 15K 3DMarks out of your notebook?  Look no further...

Lamboghini VX5, Eee Stick GMC-1, Graphics Cards

Ahh the Asus Lamborghini line, if you like your notebook with a sexy, racy edge, this machine is for you.  This time off the starting line, Asus is offering a 16" FHD panel, a Blue-ray drive option and a 2M pixel web cam. 



The VX5 is also built on Intel's new Centrino 2 platform for slightly better low-end gaming capability, but full HD video support.  It's a bit on the bulky side, but you've just got to love its style, build quality and sleek lines.  Next we spied the Eee Stick GMC-1.  We're not sure what makes this an "Eee" product but maybe it makes things Easy to work, play and learn, as the Eee moniker claims.  That's a tall order versus the venerable mouse or gamepad but the concept was interesting to say the least.

Finally, we finished off with a look at few more traditional Asus components...



On the top row we have the Intel X58-based Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard with their Triton 81 dual fan heatsink cooler installed., along side the AMD 790FX-based M4A79 Deluxe, ripe and ready for Phenom II.   On the bottom row is a more affordable P6T non-Deluxe variant without the SAS controller, followed by Asus Matrix 4800 series graphics cards (full performance evaluation coming shortly...) and the coveted P6T6 WS, with four fully connected X16 PCI Express slots.  We'll be taking a look at this board on the test bench in the near future as well.

That wraps up our CES 2009 coverage of all things Asus.  Be sure to stick around because we've got one more special treat courtesy of Microsoft coming your way in the next day or so.  Until that time, keep your geek on.

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