Toshiba intros dual-screen, keyboard-less netbook
Mini laptop meets Nintendo DS
Hands On Toshiba thinks it has trumped the Apple iPad with a compact micro laptop that comes across as the mutant offspring of a netbook and a Nintendo DS.
The launch also sees the revival of Toshiba's long ignored palmtop PC brand: Libretto.
So, we have the Libretto W100, a clamshell mini machine sporting not one 7in, 1024 x 600 touchscreen but two, one where the keyboard usually goes.
The 840g gadget runs Windows 7 on a Pentium U5400, an ultra-low voltage dual-core part running at 1.2GHz. It has 2GB of 1066MHz DDR 3 memory and a 62GB SSD.
Toshiba's notion is that you can use the W100 as a netbook-style gadget - the lower touchscreen can present a range of virtual keyboards, including two different Qwerty layouts - one with big keys, one with small - numbers and a split-down-the-middle job for thumb typing.
The keyboard has haptic feedback, but on the sample unit I tried, it was weak and made little difference.
Get rid of the keyboard and open out the W100 to its fullest, flat extent and you have a sort of iPad wannabe spoiled only by the inch-thick hinge unit running across the middle. Rotate it through 90°, however, and you do have a nice book-style e-book reader.
The W100's dimensions a 202mm wide by 246mm, with the top and bottom sections both 123mm. The problem is the device's thickness - Toshiba cannily didn't say what this measurement is, but it's well over an inch.
This is a very chunk palmtop. That, and the two small screens in place of a single, big, tablet-sized one, gives the W100 as anachronistic feel, the sort of thing OQO or FlipStart might have come up with five years ago - and priced well beyond what mere mortals can afford, no doubt.
Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that Toshiba wouldn't say how much the W100 will cost when it goes on sale next month. ®
A bit bigger than Psion S5...
...but I like the idea.
Size is more like a Series7/NetBook...
Price will kill it
Apparently closer to £900. I'd love a dual screen ebook reader, as it would truly mimic the convenince of the real thing, but I haven't come across a reader of any desciprtion yet that can do the job at any price, far less one that will justify it's price in terms of convenience.
Too busy trying to sell the bloody things on wow factor. Sadly the idiots who are interested in style rather then function don't have much use for reading of any description.
And another thing, what happened to illuminated manuscripts.......
Got first attempt
Version 2.0 will have a smaller hinge, be slimmer, run on ARM and use Android or a Windows CE derivative.
If so, then I'll be buying one...
I kinda like it
If the price isn't too ridiculous nor the battery-life too shabby, I reckon I'd go for one of these over a Jobsian fondle-slab any day. The clamshell approach makes it just about [largish] pocket-sized, and the spec is pretty reasonable, though I've never heard of that CPU - I thought the Pentium name was retired by now. Also Toshiba usually manage a quite decent build quality. Weight-wise, I dunno - is 840g heavy for a 7in netbook? Also, what are the connectivity specs?
Just a shame it's Windows, and looks like the lower touchscreen UI will probably be Windows-dependent. Looks tempting to me though; if they can bring it in at less than £400 (fat chance) I'd be interested.
looks like it could do with going on a diet, and a smaller central divider. Tentatively I shall say it's too expensive for a netbook.
How versatile is the lower screen? do we have the ability to create custom keyboards? does it always display a keyboard or can we have a pop up keyboard (android style) and usefull widgets otherwise? Is the onboard graphics (intel GMA?) snappy enough in use?