The Touch Book from Always Innovating is designed to blur the lines between netbooks and UMPCs. The machine has an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and a keyboard. But you can also remove the display and use it as a portable tablet.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of configuration. The original Elonex One netbook had a removable display. But it also had a small 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel screen and a huge bezel around the edges. The Touch Book looks much more attractive. The specs don’t look too shabby either, although I’d like to know more about the operating system and how it performs with that CPU:
- Dimensions: 9.4″ x 7″ x 1.4″
- Weight: 2 pounds (with keyboard)
- CPU: ARM Texas Instruments OMAP3
- Display: 8.9″ 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen
- Storage: 8GB micro SD card
- Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth
- Expansion: 6 USB ports (3 internal, 2 external, and 1 mini)
- Battery: Claimed 10 to 15 hours of battery life
The machine also has speakers, a mic and headphone jack, and an accelerometer, which I assume will reorient the screen when you rotate the display. The Touch Book comes preloaded with Fennec, which is the code name for Mozilla’s early version of Firefox for mobile devices.
Always Innovating expects to sell just the display for $299, or the display and keyboard together for $399. The company is showing the computer at the DEMO conference today.
Gizmodo has some hands-on photos of the Touch Book, including a look at its motherboard.
I’ve seen the freescale omap3 variant is a bit more appealing in that it can use DDR2 for these applications.
the OS is supposed to work very well with the processor. The OS is a modified version of Angstrom. It is going to be tailored specifically to the Hardware. also, Java and OpenOffice.org wont be available at launch. But a soon after release is in the works for both. And as far as the questions about the board. It IS a Beagle Board. Its just modified to fit the needs of the Touchbook.
looks very interesting. long battery life, tablet mode, arm processor. definitely will be following how this one turns out. does winxp even run on an arm? would prefer it with linux myself but a lot of folks want their winxp.
no it will not. Windows 7 will probably have an ARM port though. then we just would have to work on getting it to work off a MicroSD card.
I’ve been daydreaming about exactly this kind of form factor for years. Had no idea it was actually possible.
Pardon my brain-fart . . .
That is the Open Embedded project and their leading distribution:
Which does run on the OMAP3 process (with its DSP co-processor):
There is also a Debian port to the OMAP3:
The linked-to interview mentions that their custom OS is built on OpenEmbedded
project sources. My bad all around.
This is more like an UMPC that can be connected to a keyboard rather than a ‘keyboard’ that connects to a screen. Pretty nice, and I like that it uses an ARM processor, the same one that uses the Beagle Board/Pandora, which makes this device powerful but with too few software available. Hope M$ starts making something for those types of devices, althrough I’m rather going for some linux distro in those machines.
The fact that it comes with an ARM processor totally kills it for me.
Now this is where things get interesting!
Bring on the full reviews….
No idea here about the OS on that machine; but. . .
That is the same processor as the Beagle Board and
the Angstrom distribution of the openWRT project will build for it.
Meaning that if it comes with a manufacturer’s idea of an O.S. –
you should already have an alternative in that Linux distribution.
Bit concerned about the minimal RAM and possibly performance/wear issues from using microSD as primary storage, but otherwise… yes please.
Had to look in the article to find that it has 256MB ram.
This is pretty standard for a mobile DDR configuration.
From what I’ve seen the freescale omap3 variant is a bit more appealing in that it can use DDR2 for these applications.
I’d say this form factor is actually somewhat appealing.
I don’t see the reason to spend $100 more for just a stand and keyboard.
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