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Asus netbook includes optical drive

Apr 1, 2009 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Asus has announced a netbook that includes an integral optical disk drive. The Eee PC 1004DN (left) has an Intel Atom N280 processor, a 10-inch display, a 120GB hard disk drive, up to 2GB of RAM, and weighs 3.19 pounds with a six-cell battery, Asus says.

(Click here for a larger view of the Asus PC 1004DN)


Kohjinsha's SR8KPO6S, introduced a year ago
(Click image for further information)

At 10.9 x 7.55 x 1.33 inches, the PC 1004DN is not the smallest computer to include an integrated optical drive — we believe that honor may go to the Kohjinsha SR8KPO6S pictured at right, which measures 9.2 x 7 x 1.3 inches and includes a touchscreen that folds into tablet mode. However, the PC 1004DN is the first such device in Asus's EEE netbook line, according to the company.

The optical drive would certainly come in handy for easy loading of Linux distributions on the netbook. The company did not detail operating system support, but the Atom-based system should support both Linux and Windows.

Asus says the PC 1004DN's optical drive reads and writes data from and to standard CD/DVD media, allowing movie playback, data backup, and software installation. At the same time, the netbook's battery, packing six cells for a total of 5200mAh, provides up to five hours of operation, it's claimed.

In another novel move, the PC 1004DN incorporates not only Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU, but also the chipmaker's GN40 northbridge/southbridge combination. Earlier N280 netbooks, the Asus PC1000HE and the PC 1008HA, have apparently used Intel's 945GSE (945GCSE northbridge and 82801GBM southbridge), which typically accompanies the chipmaker's earlier Atom N270.


A roadmap showing Intel's future Atom CPUs
Source: HKPEC.com
(Click to enlarge)

Unlike the 945GSE, the GN40 allows devices to provide HD video, but bumps overall power consumption up to 16.5 Watts, according to a purported Intel roadmap (above) that was leaked on the HKEPC website and widely reproduced elsewhere. Intel still hasn't provided public details of the GN40, nor does Asus elucidate, though the manufacturer does say its PC 1004GN is capable of 720p playback, “for more vibrant and vivid visuals.”

According to Asus, the PC 1004DN also includes a fingerprint reader, visible at the right of the device's palm rest in the photo at the top of our story. The reader, a feature often found on corporate laptops, but not on netbooks, allows users to log on and encrypt/decrypt folders using ADSM (Asus data security system) software, the company says.

Other details cited for Asus's mini-notebook are more typical for the breed, including a keyboard “with a typing surface 92 percent of a conventional desktop,” a multi-touch keyboard, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. Unlike many netbooks, the PC 1004DN also has an Express Card expansion slot, compatible with USB 2.0- and PCI Express-based cards, the company says.

Features and specifications provided by Asus for the PC 1004DN include the following:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N280 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Memory — 1 SODIMM socket for up to 2GB of RAM
  • Display — 10-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution
  • Camera — 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • Storage — Up to 120GB PATA, 4200rpm hard disk drive, plus optical drive that reads/writes CDs and DVDs
  • Networking — n/s, but may include 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 2.1
    • Two “support antennas” (may be intended for future WiMAX and cellular options)

  • Other I/O — n/s
  • Expansion — Express Card slot
  • Battery type/life — 5200mAh, six-cell battery offers up to 5.9 hours of battery life
  • Dimensions — 10.9 x 7.55 x 1.33 inches
  • Weight — 3.19 pounds

Availability

Asus did not release information on pricing, availability, or operating system support for the Eee PC 1004DN.


 
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