For the first time, you'll be able to stick a DVD into your Eee PC on the go, rather than ripping your film first on another machine or sticking with downloads. The folks in Asus' marketing department have clearly been hitting the hyperbole pills a bit hard, naming the feature the 'Super-Multi optical disc drive'. That smacks of a non-English speaker dishing out the name, and thus tips over from 'lame' to 'awesome'. Or rather 'super-multi awesome'.
The 1004DN also includes an Atom N280 1.66GHz processor and a 120GB hard drive. There's an Express Card expansion slot for compatibility with USB 2.0 and PCI Express. The high-definition 720p screen measures 10 inches corner-to-corner and the keyboard is 92 per cent of a desktop. You also get a multi-touch trackpad, 1.3-megapixel camera and fingerprint scanner.
Asus claims a battery life of up to 5.9 hours, but it'll be interesting to see what spinning a platter does to that figure. Some would argue that a disk drive is a bridge too far to even still call this a netbook. What's next? Blu-ray? Carrying CDs and DVDs around with you does seem to be a departure from the netbook philosophy, but what the heck, the Eee range is nothing if not diverse.
Electric Pig is reporting -- with a pinch of scepticism -- that the Eee PC 1004DN may be available as soon as April, but we'll believe that when we see it. We'll give you the heads-up on prices when we know more. Sweeet. Super-multi-sweeet.