Asus Eee Top Looks Good for Kitchen Counters

Touchscreen PC's reasonable price makes it attractive for coordinating busy households

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Asus is readying a new touchscreen PC that looks promising for the kitchen counter. The all-in-one Asus Eee Top goes on sale soon for $600. Amazon started taking pre-orders today.

I've longed for a computer that can act as a family coordinator at the nerve center of the home. One with a touchscreen made sense, but options have been few. HP's TouchSmart line is too expensive starting at  $1,200 or so, and too much with its powerful processor and built-in TV tuner. It's also too big with screen sizes of 22 inches and up.

The Eee Top's screen is only 15.6 inches across. That's tiny for a conventional desktop but a nice fit beneath the cabinets.

One complaint is that the Top may be underpowered. The PC is basically an Eee netbook stuffed into an LCD. The Atom processor used in netbooks doesn't handle video well. But video is a lesser issue on a secondary computer with a different focus.

More important are note-taking, calendar and audio for messages and background music. The Top comes with software for those that looked promising in a short demo at CES in January.

Asus has high hopes for the Eee Top, with plans to pump up the processor and screen sizes in new models by summer. But even a lesser-powered Top looks to have the right recipe for my kitchen.