If you want to install a different browser you need the Camangi Market, a very limited subset of the Android market, and the only available source for new applications on the AC100. Don't bother searching for Firefox, it isn't there. The best you can do is the Dolphin Browser, which can be set to give access to the read/write version of Google Docs.
Alas, the Dolphin Browser seems to be aimed at touch screen devices - which the AC100 isn't - and in Dolphin the cursor keys jump you from button to button and don't navigate through the text. So you can certainly write into Google Docs. You just don't get a choice where you write, which makes editing pretty well impossible.
Nice hardware, shame about the software
I could go on with many more examples of a smartphone-centric OS frustrating the use of a device designed to be operated with a keyboard, but here's the bottom line: the Toshiba AC100 and the operating system described in the manual as "The Toshiba AC100 Operating System powered by Android" aren't at all comfortable together.
So the AC100 is a huge puzzle. The industrial designers have produced a slim, elegant and otherwise utterly desirable netbook, while the software team seems to have simply thrown Android 2.2 at it hoped it would stick. It hasn't.
The beautifully designed and executed hardware is very close to my ideal netbook, and it's hardly an exaggeration to say that I'm heart-broken by Toshiba's cocked-up Android implementation. The best one can hope for is a firmware rescue from the open source community, although I wonder if the product will stay around long enough in these tablet-obsessed times for that to happen. ®
More Netbook Reviews
Asus Eee PC
Toshiba AC100 Android smartbook
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.