US start-up punts family friendly netbook appliance
Litl launches foldable Webbook
It's not a tablet, it's something new, claims manufactuer Litl, developer of the Webbook, a 12in machine designed to be used not only like a laptop but also be mounted on its side like a touch-operated all-on-one desktop.
Lilt's Webbook: 12in cloud appliance for all the family?
OK, so it's essentially a laptop you can fold the screen further than you can with other such machines, right round the back, in fact, but Litl also maintains the Webbook isn't a pure notebook computer.
For starters, it runs a home-grown operating system that maintains itself overnight, downloading updates and so forth when the machine's not in use, in true family-oriented appliance style.
The OS is widget based
Litl hasn't said what OS the Webbook uses, but it certainly has a Moblin look about it, with its presentation of website bookmarks, contacts, media files, social networking accounts and so on as on-screen widgets. It has true widgets too.
Litl has kept a little less mum about the hardware: the Webbook has a 1.6GHz Atom processor and a graphics core with enough oomph to "accelerate H.264 video and give you 720p on a large screen TV through HDMI". It's got 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, webcam, 1GB of memory, 2GB of Flash storage - Litl thinks you'll be using cloud-based storage mostly - and USB ports.
Use it in 'easel mode' or like a regular netbook
Another innovation: the Webbook's hinge contains a blue wheel you can use to scroll through webpages, pictures and widgets. It works in notebook mode but is especially handy when the Webbook's folded round in what Litl calls "easel mode".
The Webbook goes on sale today from Litl's website for $699 (£426/€474). An optional The compact IR remote that has a wheel of its own and a more traditional trackball for $19 (£12/€13). ®
Not for me
Unspecified OS + Remote uncontrolled single source updates.
You gotta be 'avin' a larf mate.
You better be offering more than that for the sort of money I would spend on a relatively decent laptop. Or half a macbook, oh wait I said decent didn't I!
Very nice to see a quite different take on the netbook concept. However, I'm not sure the easel mode is very practical - one of the good things about a notebook screen is its adjustability, and in easel mode, you can't make the screen vertical, or it would fall over. OTOH you can still adjust it in normal mode. A touch screen would have been nice - or maybe it's not stable enough for poking at it in easel configuration? Still, the remote, wheel, viewing angle, synchronisation, UI, HDMI port etc. really sound like fairly radical steps towards consumer-friendliness, although seemingly at the expense of custom apps. It will be interesting to see how it fares, and whether they'll come out with an SDK...
"designed to be used not only like a laptop but also be mounted on its side like a touch-operated all-on-one desktop."
unbelievably it hasn't actually got a touch-screen, so I'd say:
"designed to be used not only like a laptop but also be mounted on its side like a digital photo frame" would be more accurate.
How good is the browser?
...would it be happy with iplayer? What kind of browser is it?