NorhTec, a company known for producing tiny, relatively inexpensive computers and related devices has just taken the wraps off of a new competitor to the (almost fabled by this point) EeeKeyboard, which stuffs a computer into the same shape as a slightly thick keyboard. Everyone seems to be calling this an EeeKeyboard competitor…but it’s not. Not really.
The EeeKeyboard uses an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz and includes a five inch touchscreen display, built into the unit itself. It’s also rumored to offer up some kind of wireless HDMI video transmission, but chances are good we’ll see that taken out long before the product hits shelves. By comparison, the NorhTec Surfboard has no display. It’s bigger and thicker and let’s be honest – isn’t as attractive. Still, it does bring to the table something ASUS can’t afford to beat: a $99 price point. Internally the system usings a 1GHz Xcore86, drinking up 5 watts of electricity. This will be a nettop in a true sense of the word, since you won’t be able to do muych more than that. VGA and composite out take care of display options, and networking is done via 10/100 Ethernet or 802.11b/g wireless networking.
The system will come with either Linux or Windows XP, either of which it boots using an SD card or, interestingly enough, a 2.5-inch IDE hard drive. Going open source will save you fifty bucks here, as the Windows XP addition will add fifty dollars to the product price.