Asus has just released the first certified standalone Skype videophone which will make it easier for novice users to speak and see each other.
The device, called the EEE AiGuru SV-1 Videophone, is the first non PC product of Asus's popular EEE family. The 1.6Kg videoconferencing tool comes with a 7-inch 800x480 LCD screen, an integrated VGA low-light webcam, a speaker and a microphone.
And according to UK website, The Register, the AiGuru is closer to a netbook than most would think. There's an AMD processor, RAM, a video module and embedded Flash storage as well.
The AiGuru comes with a rather well designed icon-based user interface that should make things easy enough for everyone. It uses an embedded Linux-based operating system and comes with a WiFi and a wired connection.
It is available from Amazon and Skype's online shop for a rather ludicrous £220. For that princely sum, you won't be able to host a conference, type a text message or open a file attachment. Furthermore, it is not as portable as a mobile phone and has a talking time of only 20 minutes, needing a staggering 2 hours to recharge.
We don't know whether the device is upgradable via firmware but it does support Skypeout and SkypeIn calls.
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We guess that Asus has released the EEE Videophone to show how good its own EEE netbook could be. Asus's own PC900A costs £10 less than the AiGuru videophone but is a fully fledged netbook with a bigger screen, a 150 minutes battery life and infinitely more features while weighing roughly 500g less.
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