Unboxed – Asus Eee PC 1008HA Shell

With nothing better to do on a wintry Tuesday we thought we'd pop round Asus' house to have a closer look at its shiny new toys for 2009, including th

With nothing better to do on a wintry Tuesday we thought we'd pop round Asus' house to have a closer look at its shiny new toys for 2009, including the rather exciting new 'Shell' Eee PC.

The 10in Eee PC 1008HA as it likes to be known formally is certainly a step up from the entry-level Eees with a smart design that makes it look not unlike a budget MacBook Air.

Its keyboard is full-size – well, 92% if you're being picky – and there's also some interesting software on board called 'Arena'. This will give quick access to Asus' iTunes-like portal for music, games and movies, which is due to go live in the UK in June 2009.

You'll apparently get a decent 5 hours of play from the battery, and it comes with a 160GB hard-drive (no solid-state versions are planned yet).

There's no official pricing yet but 1008HA (with non-removeable battery) is expected to go for around £350, while the 1005HA (with removeable battery) will set you back about £320.

Eee Arena (below) will give you access to Asus' media store, while the Sharing function will let you control a friends' Eee PC:

Sitting close by was Asus' new touchscreen Networked Attached Storage (NAS) gizmo called, yep, the EeeNAS PC (see below). Little is known about this mysterious device but it will ship with 2TB storage (with the ability to store up to 3TB), has a front-loading DVD writer and, uniquely, sports a touchscreen interface on the front.

This screen was a little temperamental in our early play but we'll put this down to prototype nerves. It'll be available towards the end of the year.

Finally, we couldn't leave before shaking the leather hand of the latest Lamborghini gaming laptop, the 16in VX5.

You know how the Sony P Series' 128GB solid-state drive drives its price up to £1370? Well, this has a 1TB solid-state drive, and combines that with 4GB RAM, NVidia GeForce GT 130M graphics card and, natch, a Blu-ray drive. No word on pricing yet, but then if you need to ask...