Always Innovating Touch Book enters production

touch book imagesAlways Innovating has begun manufacturing the first batch of its Touch Book computers, and the company expects it to begin shipping in July.

The Touch Book is a mini-computer with two modes. You can use it as a laptop or as a touchscreen tablet. But unlike other convertible tablets including the Gigabyte Touch Note and Asus Eee PC T91, the Touch Book doesn’t have a swivel for folding the screen down over the keyboard. Instead, it has a detachable screen which can be used as a standalone device. When you want to use the keyboard, you just slide the screen into its keyboard dock.

The Touch Book has an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a TI OMAP3530 CPU with 256MB of RAM, and two internal batteries, a 6,000mAh and a 12,000 battery. There are 7 USB ports, including three external and four internal ports, with three of those internal ports reserved for the WiFi, Bluetooth, and Keyboard. The Touch Book uses an 8GB SD card for its primary storage and includes a USB 802.11b/g/n WiFi dongle. The keyboard is described as being 95% the size of a full keyboard, which is unusual for a machine with an 8.9 inch display.

Always Innovating says the machine’s Linux-based operating system is still a work in progress and that anyone who pre-ordered a Touch Book and receives one in July should expect to be working with beta software, although support and updates will be available.

The Touch Book tablet is available for pre-order for $299, while a tablet and keyboard will set you back $399.

via Engadget

  • DG

    Good to see they appear to have ditched their microSD plans for something at least a little bit better performance, capacity and value. Still not entirely convinced about using it for primary storage, but hey at least it will be dirt cheap to upgrade.

    Does the screen actually fold over the keyboard at all, even in a conventional laptop manner? Looking suspiciously like there may be no way to close the device and protect the screen.

  • DG

    Ah, 5th image on Engadget shows it half-folded, so no worries on the latter.

  • King Turnip

    I can't seem to find any benchmark comparisons between the TI processor and any other processor I am familiar with. With 256M of memory, I'm not convinced that this is anything more than a bulky iPhone without the cell service.

    How does the TI OMAP3530 rank next to Intel processors? I know they use radically different instruction sets, but I am curious about the performance from the POV of the end user. Also: a quarter gig of memory? Are ARM processors really that much more memory efficient?

  • DG

    The memory efficiency is more a parameter of the operating system chosen. Linux generally manages memory better than Windows, so the shortfall may not be as bad as it at first appears. Memory is so cheap these days that if the device needed more to run well it would have been a no-brainer to include it, so I'm reasonably confident 256MB is enough. But only reasonably……

  • V

    Just FYI the hardware they are using is the Beagleboard from http://www.beagleboard.org. The huge advantage to it is the fact that it's design is completely open source. You can find a plethora of hardware information on the eLinux wiki at http://elinux.org/BeagleBoard#Hardware

    Take a look around the wiki and you might be able to find some answers to your questions.

  • Mikez

    Google the BeagleBoard project.

  • King Turnip

    I found what I was looking for. As I was always told in school, if you have a question, others have the same.

    Intel Atom netbooks test in the mid-3800 Dhrystone MIPS, while the Beagleboard has a claimed 1200+. Dhrystone may not be a perfect comparison tool, but it does compare across architectures.

    Oh, and there are apparently rabid ARM fanboys. Who knew?

  • geep

    The price break seems rediculiously cheap for what is offered! I wonder what the build quality is like?
    Does the red cover come off so that it offers a flat magnetic surface to stick to the fridge?

  • geep

    they mention Skype or something similiar in the next OS upgrade….anyone see a camera in the detactable screen?

  • geep

    The price break seems rediculiously cheap for what is offered! I wonder what the build quality is like?
    Does the red cover come off so that it offers a flat magnetic surface to stick to the fridge?

  • geep

    they mention Skype or something similiar in the next OS upgrade….anyone see a camera in the detactable screen?