Toshiba AC100 Android smartbook
Oh, Tosh, what went wrong?
Review Toshiba is a quarter-century-old notebook veteran, and of late has been known more for solid reliability than elegance or innovation. The AC100 comes as a surprise: a beautifully designed, ultra-lightweight netbook with a 10.1in screen you would be proud to be seen using.
Toshiba's AC100: smartbook
And here is the archetypal ARM-based "smartbook" so many of us have been waiting for for more than a year now. Other vendors' efforts stumbled at the first, iPad-shaped hurdle, but here we have, at last, an Android-running netbook.
Powered by Nvidia's Tegra system-on-a-chip, with a claimed "up to eight hours of battery life in constant use", the AC100 weighs in at just 870g. There's an HDMI port with 1080p output. Sure, there are hardware compromises: the tiny loudspeakers are, as you'd expect, tinny, but they're clean enough for listening to uncomplex music at a pinch, although the underlying audio circuitry certainly merits a decent pair of earphones.
Some users may find the key travel shallow, but the near full-sized keyboard is responsive and worth getting used to. Not bad for a device that tapers from 21mm - including its rubber feet - to just under 14mm.
Essentially, a netbook is a device you work through rather than on. But you need to be able to connect not just through to the Cloud, but also to other devices on your own network. Many early netbooks missed this point entirely, but the Tosh gets it, at least as far as multimedia is concerned.
Well, gets it conceptually. The Toshiba music player is able to detect UPnP servers on your LAN and makes an attempt to offer up their contents. It seems most at home when it finds a Twonky server, but loses the plot completely with other music servers like the Dane-Elec myDitto, when navigation goes completely haywire.
Next page: Unfamiliar territory
Sounds like it might be quite nice when it's finished....
... but In the meantime it still looks like a tasty piece of hardware at a decent price.
If anyone would like to chuck an Ubuntu installation at this then I for one will be awaiting the results with keen interest :-)
Well it looks nice. I guess its only hope is that the linux community figure out how to get a more suitable OS onto it!
So what are you reviewing?
Its a smartbook, and yet you compare it to a netbook, and not very accurately at that:
"Essentially, a netbook is a device you work through rather than on."
What a complete and utter load of tosh! (No pun intended) I can't remember who it was (someone from IBM perhaps?) who said many people were buying Netbooks (the later Windows versions) as a replacement computer... and this is certainly true for me and many others.
I've said this time and time again. Granted netbooks aren't any good at raw number crunching (so compressing an MP3 takes a few seconds longer... wooo!) but they ARE perfectly functioning FULL computers. My Netbook gets put through all sorts of things, image/video editing/creation, entertainment (720p no problem, 1080p in the right format), its even been used for the video screens in a £3m nightclub and controlling the lightrig, and DJing with a 4 channel USB soundcard/controller.
Anyhoo... I absolutely love the design of this, it looks absolutely awesome! Why can't they do that with Windows netbooks??
Let me guess for you - Debian
The choice when dealing with a Dead Badger is pretty much between Debian, Debian and Debian.
This looks like a cool addition to my collection of Dead Badgers. I have an original Lenovo S10e but it has been annoying me a bit lately so I mostly use a vintage Y2002 PowerPC TiBook (running Debian of course). I may actually consider replacing the Lenovo with this one.
Hmm... If they discount it after it flops during Xmas I will probably get myself one.
If it could run Ubuntu I'd buy one tomorrow.