At the dawn of the computer age, futurists predicted it. In 2009, ASUS delivered it.
I’m referring to the Eee Top ET1602, a countertop computer with a touch screen interface that makes the included keyboard and mouse optional.
Here’s what I’m most excited about:
- Built-in WiFi (802.11b/g/n) means I can set this bad boy up anywhere in the house. Recipes and shopping lists with Internet radio in the kitchen? Done. Media center in the living room controlling access to hours of video and audio content from the Web? Done. Google calendar on my refrigerator? Done!
- Gobs of USB ports means I can hook up any external devices I want, whether it’s the Drobo for loads of external storage, an external DVD drive, or the TV tuner and capture device that could power my homebrew DVR machine.
- Its small size and carrying handle mean I can pick it up and move it wherever I can find power for it. I’m not stuck with it in one location simply because it’s too bulky to move.
- Its 15.9 inch LCD screen means that, while it may not replace the monster LCD or plasma TV in the living room, it could easily serve as a smaller, more intimate entertainment device for the coffee table (it actually seems to lack video output, which could be a handy feature if you wanted to show those YouTube videos on that monster TV).
Available in black or white, it retails for $599. This makes it an inexpensive way to offload some of the tasks you’re using your more robust systems for. Don’t expect to do serious work on it, but for entertainment and information, this is perfect.
I am buying this machine simply because the idea of having an Internet-based calendar easily accessible in the home for the whole family, and this calendar can do so much more. Now if we could just perfect that wireless power idea…