Always Innovating announced a new tablet/netbook hybrid today at the DEMO conference. What’s unique about this tiny notebook is the detachable tablet screen that has a magnetic backing so you can stick it to a refrigerator and turn it into an instant wall computer. Both the tablet half and the keyboard half have their own battery which is being touted to last for 10-15 hours. It is designed to be always on just like a cell phone and with 10 hours in between charges, it will probably surpass my T-Mobile Dash. Unlike most other netbooks on the market today, the Touch Book uses an ARM chip instead of a “power-hungry” Intel Atom processor.
The included operating system will be a Linux derivative developed by Always Innovating featuring a unique 3D UI. But since the device is open source, according to their FAQ you could “install many OSes on the device, including Google Android, Ubuntu, Angstrom and Windows CE, though we would not recommend the latter.” If it can run the gorgeous looking Jolicloud OS from Netvibes founder Tariq Krim then I’m sold. Who needs an Apple netbook anyway?
I don’t believe any of the tech media has had a chance for a hands on review, but I’m anxious if this device lives up to it’s hype. Coming in at $399 for the tablet and keyboard or $299 for just the tablet, this little ultra portable really piques my interest. It is expected to ship in May or June of this year but is available for pre-order now.
Speaking of ultra-portables, I was at a Microcenter over the weekend and I happened to see a Fujitsu LifeBook U820. This thing was tiny! The dimensions are 6.73″ x 6.14″ with a 5.6″ screen. I had to squint to see my mouse cursor and the keyboard was just small enough for fat-finger mashing. Sometimes there is such a thing as “too small.” The scary thing is it runs Windows Vista Business. Pocketables.net has a good picture of it in use.
Other coverage of the Touch Book: