F&S International is distributing a netbook-like device with a 7 inch display and a 400MHz ARM-based CPU that runs Windows CE 5.0. I’m always a little reluctant to call Windows CE-powered devices netbooks, since they generally don’t run full desktop software like Firefox 3 or MS Office/OpenOffice.org. But if you’re looking for a device with a full keyboard and instant on/off feautres, the Tinybook could be all you need.

The machine has an 800 x 480 pixel display, 64MB of RAM (that might not sound like a lot, but it’s plenty for a Windows CE device), and 1GB of flash storage. There’s also a memory card reader that accepts SD cards up to 4G.

The Tinybook supports 802.11b/g WiFi, has an ethernet jack, and an odd assortment of USB ports (1 full USB 2.0 port, 1 slower USB port for the mouse, and 1 mini-B USB port). It comes preloaded with Office Mobile, Skype, and TCPMP, a popular media player for Windows Mobile PDAs and cellphones. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a device that actually came with TCPMP preloaded before, so good on them.

The machine weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 8.3″ x 5.8″x 1.1″ and has a 2600mAh, 3.7V battery which will provide up to 5 hours of battery life. No word on pricing or availability.

via Asus Eee Hacks

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15 replies on “Tinybook blurs the netbook/PDA line”

  1. This laptop sucks!!! I bought this and I couldn’t watch videos, play games or do anything I needed to. It came with a 1999 version of macromedia flash player, and wanna-be versions of word, powerpoint, excel, and skype, all of which were outdated. Also, I couldn’t even download adobe flash player, which is essential for every computer device. If you’re really thinking about buying this laptop, then think again, cause it is NOT, I repeat NOT worth it!

  2. I can vouch for the usefulness of having a netbook-sized, instant-on device, but in my case I’m using a Celio Redfly in conjunction with my WM 6 cell phone. Prior to getting a PDA phone, I made extensive use of an Intermec 6651, a netbook-sized clamshell PDA which runs HPC 2000 (an older version of WIndows CE). It even streamed video vis MS Portrait.

    Too bad the Intermec appears to have been several years ahead of its time, if this rise of netbook-sized WIndows CE devices like TInyBook and Cuol Book is any indication. I hope the Redfly’s longevity is better, as it’s a great little device. It’s giving me the Intermec’s screen and keyboard size with the capabilities of my PDA phone. Best of both worlds!

  3. John,

    I agree that a TrackPoint would be an awesome addition.

    As for needing a penguin and more memory, I bet it won’t be hard to get Angstrom (a distro designed for small ARM system) up and running as is — plus or minus device drivers — and Angstrom has decent support for some 32MB Zauruses, so 64MB should be just fine, if not ideal.

    At the right price, this would be great. Anything over $199 is a nonstarter, but ideally it would hit in the vicinity of $129, as BoloMKXXVIII mentioned. It has the touchscreen, and ARM systems seem to be a little spendier than ones with MIPS processors, so they’ve probably overshot that mark.

  4. Nice attempt but I’d like two changes, assuming the price is on target.

    1. Add a pointing device. Put a eraser head in the keyboard. There appears to be room for the buttons already since they have the keyboard hang down on the right for the arrow keys they could have it hang out a little in the middle for buttons.

    2. Offer a version with more ram and a Penguin inside. CE is pretty useless for anything other than notetaking. Since they include WiFi I’d rather a real web browser vs the lite stuff CE had to use to runin a 64MB ram environment.

  5. Has it even got a touchscreen? I don’t think that such a device could get a good interface without a trackpad or a touchscreen.

  6. I had a couple devices like this back in the 90’s when laptops were crazy expensive. The never became quite as main stream as netbooks have, but they had their place. They were great for taking notes in class, etc.

    I wouldn’t give up my Aspire One, but these devices have their place too.

  7. Nice looking keyboard. If F&S International can add a row of arrow keys to keep from fouling up the key arrangement on a small, probably inexpensive, device like this, I have to wonder why most netbook makers can’t manage to do the same.

  8. I know in the past there have been discussions on what should and should not be covered on Liliputing, but I like to hear about devices that stray either side of the “netbook” zone.

    The CE devices have their place and I would definitely be tempted to pick one up if the price was right. I wonder what became of the sub-$100 devices that were appearing at trade shows earlier in the year.

  9. Funny how I brought this up last night, and today we see a small computer like I described.

  10. For $129 it would be a decent deal. Somehow I doubt it will be that cheap.

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