We heard the rumor now ASUS' CEO, Jerry Shen, confirms in an interview with Laptop that ASUS will slap a touchscreen and Windows 7 into a new Eee PC sometime in the second half of 2009. A statement likely to make a few project managers at Microsoft uncomfortable as that cuts into the official early 2010 padding built into their Win7 Gantt charts. The touch-enabled Eee PC model(s) could come in the form of a convertible tablet although Shen wouldn't specify -- he only promised more details in Q1, presumably at CES. Unsurprisingly, ASUS has no plans to put Vista onto Eee PCs at all. Also noteworthy is the introduction of "more exciting" Eee PC rigs in Q1 and Q2 in prices ranging from $250 (yes, $250) to $700. Steadily inching closer to that ellusive $199 Eee PC.

Other interesting points from the interview:

LG's KP500 gets handled, photographed