NorthTec Gecko Surfboard

The often delayed ASUS Eee Keyboard is a concept that is fantastic getting everything about from a nettop into a QWERTY form-factor – but what in the event your computing ambitions are simple?

NorhTec reckon they have the product for you within the shape of the Gecko Surfboard, outwardly a QWERTY that is regular but actually packed with a 1GHz x86 system-on-chip (SoC), VGA and composite video outputs, 10/100 ethernet and optional WiFi b/g and even 3G. The concept is it is possible to hook it up to your TV or a monitor that is spare get online without the effort, bulk or cost of the regular nettop or PC.

The whole thing draws just 5W and can run Linux or Windows XP, and while NorhTec admit it is certainly swift enough to give you online that it’s not up to playing games.

It can do so virtually silently, too, as it’s fanless and can either be booted from an SD/SDHC card or an IDE hard-drive. RAM is 512MB and ports include two USB 2.0, serial and in/out that is audio.

Best of all could be the price: NorhTec expects the Linux based Gecko Surfboard to cost simply $99 and the or windows 7 version to be roughly $150 when they arrive this season January.

Not for everybody, no, but if you’re looking for a straightforward solution to get online and want a full-sized keyboard, the Gecko Surfboard appears like a possibility that is interesting.

The Eee Keyboard has been on our minds since Asus first announced it months upon months ago. We’ve heard a release that is few, so we’ve watched the times get by as delays set in. At the time of now, the device seems to have slipped from everyone that is most’s mind. We’re sure it will make a revived push for attention when Asus finally does get everything worked out for the masses, but until then, you may expect smaller names to jump at the opportunity to ride the revolution that has been already developed for it so it can produce it.

Just take NorhTec, for example. This option has already been known for producing lower-end, lower-cost goods that don’t do much else apart from spruce up a market that is already thriving but oftentimes it’s organizations such as this that end up making out after bigger firms have shelled out millions in order to make something get together. The Gecko Surfboard is a near-rip of the Asus Eee Keyboard, but there are two differences which are main. For beginners, this revolutionary product lacks a display screen that is built-in and secondly, it has a cost label of just $99.

A 2.5″ IDE hard drive, 512MB of RAM, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports, a serial socket, audio in/out jacks and VGA/composite outputs as you’d expect, a full Computer lies within the confines of the keyboard situation, with a 1GHz Central Processing Unit powering things and working alongside an SD/SDHC card slot. The board is expected to make a debut that is formal at CES 2010, with the Linux version to ship early the following year for $99 plus the Windows XP version for around $150. Anybody planning to snag one in order to tinker having a HTPC that is new setup?