Asus to launch netbook with a tablet twist

Asus Eee PC T91

Asus has confirmed that it is bringing out a tablet style netbook to the UK for a mid-June launch, adding to the company's ever expanding range of Eee PC netbook machines.

The T91 unique selling point will be an 8.9in rotating touch-screen display. This can be swivelled round and then laid flat turning the netbook into a tablet-style portable.

An Asus spokeswoman told IT PRO that the machine would cost 449 including VAT, making it the most expensive netbook on the market, but that the price could turn out to be lower depending on the exchange rate.

Asus said that it was aiming the machine at early adopting consumers and at the education market, with interest from teachers who liked the idea of a lightweight portable touch-screen machine for use in the classroom.

The machine will ship initially with Windows XP, and will come equipped with a stylus, but Asus said that it was currently in discussions with Microsoft as to whether customers would receive a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out. Windows 7 features touch technology built in.

In the meantime, Asus is shipping its own software, which it said will give users a better touch computing experience than Windows XP. The rest of T91's spec includes a Z520 Atom processor, 1GB or memory, a 32GB SSD hard disk, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

A TV Tuner, GPS and integrated HSUPA will be available as an option. With the latter, Asus told IT PRO that it was currently in discussion with Orange to offer the T91 as a bundle with a SIM card on an 18-month contract. Customers would not pay up front for the netbook, but that the cost would be subsumed into the price of the contract.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.