Asus has confirmed its plans to release a new Eee PC in Q2 of 2009, taking advantage of the touch screen capabilities of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.
While Asus is happy with sales (4 million units) of the 7, 9 and 10-inch models currently available in the market, it seems to skip the Windows Vista and plan to offer new Eee PCs running Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7.
"Some of the (Eee PC) models will have this function (multi-touch) next year, but not all models, Asus CEO Jerry Shen said in an interview with Laptop
. "The touch function has its advantage but also some disadvantages. The machine will have to be thicker if it has touch and we want to have slim machines still," he added.
The Taiwanese-based company also plans to provide new Eee PC models next year with prices to start from $250.
"We will provide more exciting products next year and the price range will be from $250 to $700. We will announce a model in Q1 and in Q2 of 2009," Shen said.
Asus will remain in track in keeping the Eee PCs' display size below the 10 inches, while it will make sure to offer portable devices with long battery life, fast boot times and quiet performance. This means that the company may not offer an Eee PC based on the upcoming dual-core Atom CPUs by Intel, which would consume more power than the current Atom chips.
Other interesting parts of the interview include the introduction of the "Eee Top" all-in-one PC at the end of this month, the EeeStick (and compatible games) to be released soon as both an Eee PC bundle and as a separate accessory priced somewhere between $50 and $100.
January's CES trade show in Las Vegas is expected to be the place for Asus' new announcements for new "Eee products".
Worldwide PC sales have grown thanks to the introduction and popularity of netbooks. According to reports, PC shipments during the last quarter grew by 15% as compared to the sales in the same quarter last year.