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Asus Takes Another Stab at Revolutionizing Netbook Market 162

Perhaps most well known for their netbook innovations with the Eee PC, Asus is at it again with their latest rollout at CeBIT Germany. The "Waveface Light," a new concept laptop, can be used as a conventional laptop or converted to a tablet by removing the keyboard and opening it to a completely flat position. Sounds like either a stroke of genius or a "small widget broke and now it's worthless" design issue.
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Asus Takes Another Stab at Revolutionizing Netbook Market

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  • by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @03:43PM (#31374610)
    Anything sufficiently different to be radical (in either a good or bad way) won't be considered a netbook.
    • Right now I read and browse mostly on an eeePC 1005. If they made a slim, really low power netbook with an e-Ink display on the outside of the lid I'd buy one right away.
      Keep it closed and you have an e-Ink based reader. Open it and you have a full fledged netbook.

  • Interesting... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wernercd ( 837757 )
    Thing looks remarkable. If it works as advertised, the main thing I'd want to know is what operating system runs on it?
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sammyF70 ( 1154563 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @03:53PM (#31374742) Homepage Journal

      First it will run with a completely user-unfriendly Linux distribution (Linpus, I'm looking at you!), then people will complain about it, Asus will increase the specs and the price massively and will only sell the Win7 edition. The few who bought the original edition will tell everybody that they tried Linux and that it's complete crap without trying some *real* distro, and websites around the world will laud the new win7 edition as much better, and a proof that Linux is not fit for the desktop. Apple will then show off their new product (the iBalls) which will have less feature than anything else, will be so locked it won't be of any use whatsoever, but will have shiny glossy metal, and everyone will announce the death of the Wave Light Devices.

      been there, done that

      • First it will run with a completely user-unfriendly Linux distribution

        My daughter's EEEpc runs Ubuntu just fine.

        • yeah, but did it have Ubuntu on it by default? (As a sidenote, I'm running Mint on my AA1 and very happy with it. The "original" distro was Linpus, which is one of the most aptly named distros I know of. The whole association with sickness and disease is very fitting.)
          • but did it have Ubuntu on it by default?

            My Mini9 did. Granted, it was a slightly modified version of Ubuntu (a few packages were missing from the package manager), but it worked well enough that it was several months before I decided to install the full-blown version of 9.10. Even then, I doubt that any users that don't already have a favorite Linux distro would miss the things (openSSH server, for one) that lead me to install the full version of Ubuntu.

          • Pfft, my netbook is a P2 366 Thinkpad running Mint.

        • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @04:33PM (#31375230) Homepage
          The original EEE PC ran Xandros, which was arguably a very bad decision...
      • and websites around the world will laud the new win7 edition as much better, and a proof that Linux is not fit for the desktop.

        The media, tech-oriented or otherwise, does not report that Windows is more user-friendly than Linux because they tried it and didn't like it... Oh no. They would happily report the exact opposite if some nice compelling, fluff-filled press release said it was so.

        Marketing and advertising exists to bend people into believing the narrative you want them to believe. If you're a hug

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @03:45PM (#31374632)

    The "Waveface Light," a new concept laptop can be used as a conventional laptop or converted to a tablet by removing the pc and opening it to a completely flat position.

    run that by me again

  • So they've ripped off the Always Innovating Tablet [] and are calling it their idea?

    And somehow I don't think the Always Innovating tablet was the first.

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      No, because the big difference is that the keyboard on this thing was sitting on top of the continuation of the screen, so when you remove it your screen real estate just doubled. Of course, it's a design concept anyway, and until affordable flexible displays are available it will remain so.

    • Umm, did you look at the pictures of this new "tablet/netbook"? Always Innovating has a nice-looking detachable screen, agreed, but the WaveFace is something... completely different.

      The screen covers both the top and bottom halves of the clamshell, and it's one continuous flexible screen. If you want to use it as a tablet, you lay it out flat then lift out the keyboard, resulting in a tablet that's more than double the size of Always Innovating's offering (which is, after all, just a netbook you can unplu

    • I don't think your looking hard enough, it's quite a bit different then that "always innovating" tablet.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Oh give me a break. That looks like a ThinkPad from 1995. That Waveface project has a detachable keyboard that covers a flexible touchscreen panel. You can roll it up if you want! From the tech demos, it also seems much larger than 8.9".
    • AFAIK, the Compaq TC1000 [] (followed by the HP Compaq TC1100 []) was the first.

    • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
      I would gladly clarify this for you, but the link provided in TFA, is a big mess, and I have no clue what belongs to what. There are some interesting concepts on the pictures though. But really, I didn't understand, they even have some pictures of their tablet T91 I think.
  • I'm waiting for the "convertible" laptop / netbook that has the electronics package behind the screen and all that's in the keyboard part is the keyboard and maybe an optical drive or two. With the two pieces together it'd be just like what we have now - or you could detach the screen and use it as a fully featured tablet. Best of both worlds - but there's some engineering to do before this can become a real product.
  • My question is what is the price point for this machine?
  • !new (Score:3, Informative)

    by lkcl ( 517947 ) <> on Friday March 05, 2010 @04:20PM (#31375064) Homepage

    it's an innovative "new" concept, that has been shipping for several months, in the form of the [] touchbook

    • The innovation is that in this case, the screen is twice the size, but half of it is covered by the keyboard when it's attached. The screen itself is flexible -- you fold the entire thing in half, with no hinge.
  • by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @04:36PM (#31375260)
    Though no screen under the keyboard (if I understood the ASUS article right). []
  • OK, a couple of things in the article and the youtube videos referenced in comments above imply (or directly state) that at least one of these objects has a flexible screen.

    Anybody seen anything flex here? In the video it's all static and under glass so that people can't touch it, and the photos are completely static of course.

    Are they touting a new tech or did I miss a big announcement of commonly available flexible displays?

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      It's a concept, the things they are showing are mockups. Do you think concept cars actually work?

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Unless they're utterly lying, you can see in one of the videos given by this poster [] a wrist-attached smartphone that's both shown on the wrist and deployed flat. I'm unsure whether they have the actual technology figured out or if this is still at the concept stage, but it is most likely that at the very least they plan on having a flexible and somehow "lockable" smartphone available some time in the future (I say lockable because it should stay attached to your wrist once there, so it might be possible to
  • don't you hate the phrase 'design concept', almost as much as people who believe that they will look like the production version, if they ever get to production.

    • by 6Yankee ( 597075 )

      You should probably stay away from my work, then. There's a poster up in the coffee lounge with the heading - I kid you not - "CONCEPT MASTERPLAN VISION".

      It's been up for several years and, as far as I can tell, is no closer to reality. The architects' drawings are ooh shiny, though.

  • I really don't see the point of detachable screen, detachable keyboard thing.
    The swivel lid tablet laptops seem to work fine if you just want the screen and If weight is the issue I wouldn't want to leave the keyboard at home and then regret it later.

    What did impress me was the DR-900 reader [].
    I've been waiting for a paperback replacement for a while and this seems like it for me.
    The specs I found are 10,000 pages turns, 1024 x 768 resolution, 4GB internal storage plus an SD slot,PDF/TXT/ePUB/HTML.
    Now if they

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      10,000 pages turns for the battery or the life of the display?

      If that is display life then it sucks, battery not too bad.

  • Too cool. I think this might be the kitchen computer I've been waiting for! If I could prop it up in lots of different configurations based on where I need to use it (hang it on the wall over the oven, make a ^ and prop it up next to my cooking, lay it flat on the counter).

    Then if I could roll it up and take it into the living room as universal remote...

  • ...on ASUSsebook reader [] featured on the same page. Looks great, and if it's offered at a reasonable price (like most ASUS offerings are) it could well ignite the ebook market just as the Eee Pc did with the netbook one.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard