The Toshiba AC100 smartbook is now shipping in Japan, and Peter from Netbook News got his hands on one and has posted an unboxing video and a second lengthy video showing off the hardware, software, and user interface.
Overall, the hardware seems pretty nice and the netbook is designed to get excellent battery life while still having enough power to handle 1080p HD video playback. The mini-laptop also weighs just 1.9 pounds.
The software is another story. While I’ve pointed out in the past that Windows XP and Windows 7 seem ill equipped for touchscreen tablets because those operating systems are clearly designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, Peter suggests that the Toshiba AC100 has the opposite problem. It is a laptop-style device which uses a keyboard and mouse or touchpad — but the operating system was clearly designed for touch. Unfortunately there’s no touchscreen display.
Instead, Toshiba has configured the operating system so that you can scroll and pan by clicking and dragging with a mouse. But it doesn’t look nearly as comfortable as tapping and dragging with a fingertip. The web browser and other apps, on the other hand, don’t take full advantage of the keyboard and mouse. For instance, when you’re entering text on a web page, you can’t move from one text area to the next with a Tab button. And if you want to scroll through a web page, you can’t use the scroll wheel on a mouse — that will only move from one link to the next. Instead you have to click a mouse button and drag up or down.
If you don’t expect the Toshiba AC100 to act like a typical laptop, I suspect you could probably get used to its quirks. But I still think it would have made sense to include a touchscreen on a netbook running Google Android — or better yet, a touchscreen display with a swivel that would allow you to use the smartbook in tablet mode. Of course, that would probably increase the price.
You can check out Peter’s unboxing and hands-on videos after the break.
You need to start testing these devices differently. Start hooking them to an HDTV and running video, but a keyboard and mouse on them. I would use them for a hotel lobby or even in the rooms. What would it be like.
Wow! So… Let me get this straight… We’re trying to put keyboard/mouse OS’s onto touch devices (Win7 on Tablets), and then touch OS’s onto laptops (Android/This thing)…
Here’s the thing Electronics Industry: You have to select the right part for the job! So put something like Jolicloud or Ubuntu Linux on this, and lets rock and roll. If you sold it inexpensively enough to get people over the ‘OMG ITS NOT WINDOWS’ hump, the form factor is more than compelling enough to get people in the door.
I think it would have made sense to put LINUX on it! I’m completely befuddled by the selection of Android when there are netbook-adapted variants of Linux readily available.
I agree, give me Ubuntu on it and I might be interested (Ubuntu is available for ARM based devices).
I would so love this with Linux on it.
Even if only as a dual boot option.
I’ve been waiting for an affordable lightweight
netbook without moving parts a long time, and
this comes *so* close. Just give us the choice
to run the software we want.
And to think there already is a Linux
running underneath that Android…
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