Always Innovating’s Touch Book is scheduled to begin shipping this month. This little computer is a combo netbook/tablet. But instead of folding the touchscreen display down over the keyboard for use in tablet mode as you would with most tablet computers, you can actually remove the screen from the keyboard and use it as a standalone device. Heck, you can even save $100 and purchase the display for $299 without the keyboard at all.
The device was first introduced at the DEMO conference a few months ago, where it made a bit of a splash. But for some reason nobody ever brought the DEMO demo video to my attention… until today. UMPC Portal tracked down a video of the presentation Always Innovating Made, showing that the Touch Book has a touch-friendly Linux-based OS, an accelerometer to adjust the screen when you rotate the machine, and 3D acceleration.
A few other things I learned:
- The Touch Book is designed to run for 10 to 15 hours on a battery charge
- The case is magnetic and, at least in theory, you should be able to stick it on your fridge
- It’s fanless
The prototype was running the Fennec web browser, which is an early build of a mobile version of Firefox. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the final build ran a full version of Firefox. I already knew that the Touch Book featured a few internal USB ports. What I didn’t realize until I saw this video is just how much room there is on the inside of the case. You can literally take a USB flash drive, 3G adapter, or other dongle and just stick it into an internal port if you don’t expect to unplug it very often.
You can check out the demo video after the break.
…A Very nice piece! But only three comments? Is there any fish available? It may be Friday but this is just inexcusable!
I’ll speak for the thousands AWOL and say that this netbook is a serious step in the right direction!
The guts inside are weak but the magnetic attachment is just brilliant! ….I could see it becoming a standard but am not convinced that the magnets have to be permanently built in!
I may not be the toughest guy to visit Liliputing but there is something very discomforting about the thought of a magnetized tablet sitting on my lap for hours on end! ….I would rather have kids first before I witness the effects and deliver a mutant!
Always Innovating should know, also, that 8.9 inch screens are on the way to their death! I’d prefer an 11.6 inch.
more comments at: https://www.liliputing.com/2009/06/always-innovating-touch-book-enters-production.html
I think a 10″ would have been more appropriate, plus the $ factor must be small with all the 10″ screens out there
And still more comments _here_ and more information at the Always Innovating site.
And even more comments here at Brad’s post way back on 2 Mar 09.
Also, a photo of this netbook was featured on the cover of the May Laptop magazine to represent their “Year’s Most Innovative Gear Mobile Maverick Awards” article.
Looks more interesting the more I see of it. My only major remaining concern is one of physical balance, given that most of the gubbins is in the screen portion – though I believe there’s a secondary battery pack in the keyboard (part justifying the $100 premium) that I guess might just about stop it toppling over. Still to be fully convinced about use of SD for primary storage, though at least it’s an improvement on the microSD used in the original prototypes, and a Linux-based OS should generally place fewer performance-critical demands on the storage anyway.
Love the internal USB ports.
For my money, this is the most interesting netbook device on the horizon.
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