Asus brings DVD drive to netbooks

Eee PC will feature an optical drive as netbooks drift ever closer to laptop brethren

Asus has unveiled the latest in its ever-expanding range of Eee PCs, this time featuring the previously banished optical drive.

The Eee PC 1004DN represents the latest step in Asus's apparent desire to blur the lines between netbook and ultraportable laptop.

Aside from the "super-multi" DVD drive - which is tray-based rather than slot loading - the latest Eee PC also features a bevy of features normally found only on fully-featured laptops, including a fingerprint scanner, ExpressCard slot, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, a multi-format card reader and D-sub connector.

Indeed, the only thing that's still recognisably netbook about the device is the 10in screen, 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor and GN40 chipset. RAM has yet to be confirmed though it will support up to 2GB, with a fairly standard 120GB of storage.

At 1.45kg it's quite heavy for a netbook, though Asus is pitching it at the "premium" end of the market.

Pricing and release date have yet to be confirmed.

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