Asus Eee PC Flare netbook photos surface ahead of CES

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There’s still more than a week left until the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway in Sin City but that typically doesn’t stop some of the top vendors from getting a head start with press coverage. Asus is one the first to do so with some teaser photos of their upcoming netbook lineup, dubbed the Eee PC Flare.

The Flare is based on designs that Asus previewed at Computex 2011, borrowing styling cues from the emerging ultrabook market, according to NotebookItalia. These include an overall slim design with low-profile hinges as well as now-popular chiclet keyboards. As evident by the photo below, the Taiwanese company will offer the Flare in multiple color options.

Asus hopes the design is ultimately more trendy and pragmatic than previous netbook offerings thanks to an even distribution of I/O ports on both the left and right side of the unit.

With the Flare, consumers will have the option to select either an AMD Fusion-based netbook (1125B) or one powered by Intel’s Cedar Trail (1225C).The Flare will replace the current line of Asus Seashell netbooks.

Many analysts and consumers alike have been forecasting a rapid decline for the netbook starting as early as late 2010. CES 2011 kicked off what was arguably the year of the tablet with countless manufacturers introducing devices with the majority running Google’s Android operating system. Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC recently debuted inside the Asus Transformer Prime and with tablet versions of Ice Cream Sandwich just around the corner, we can expect a whole new generation of tablets to surface next week.

It remains to be seen if 2012 will mark the proverbial nail in the coffin for the netbook or if it will somehow make a comeback.

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