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Always Innovating Touch Book Priced

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Back at the beginning of March we wrote about Always Innovating’s Touch Book, the netbook with a super cool design and a battery life of a whopping 15 hours. Today it looks like we’re getting closer to seeing that baby on e-shelves.

According to Engadget the tablet/netbook, complete with removable keyboard recently cropped up on Always Innovating’s under construction X-Cart powered online store. The site lists four entries, two each for the Touch Book tablet and the keyboard, both available in gray and red. Prices, which were previously unannounced were set at $299 for the unit itself and $99 for keyboard. From the looks of things you can buy them separately but I can’t imagine you’d want it without the keyboard anyway. No word on an actual ship date from the site but it certainly looks like it won’t be long.

Just to refresh your memory, the ARM powered Touch Book boasted the following specs: a 1024x600 display, 8GB micro SD card, Wifi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth, 3-dimensional accelerometer, speakers, mic and headphone jack, 6 USB 2.0 (3 internal, 2 external, 1 mini) and 10 to 15 hours of battery life. It measures in at 9.4-inch x 7-inch x 1.4" and 2 lb. Always Innovating also went ahead and developed its own Linux-based OS.

So what’s the verdict, now that we have some indication that it’ll be here soon and a price, who’s interested? I’d be wary of the OS, particularly because this thing likely wouldn’t be able to handle Windows XP but it’s a sweet looking piece of kit with a decent price tag.

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  • 7 Hide
    JMS3096 , April 15, 2009 8:39 PM
    Of course it can't handle Windows XP, it's ARM based! Why would anyone choose an insecure, obsolete, 7-year old operating system over a modern, optimised Linux distro anyway?
  • 0 Hide
    JMS3096 , April 15, 2009 8:41 PM
    Of course it can't run Windows XP! It's ARM-based, which is how it can manage a 15-hour battery life in the first place! But seriously, why would ANYONE choose an insecure, obsolete, power-hungry OS like XP over a modern, optimised Linux distro?
  • 0 Hide
    JMS3096 , April 15, 2009 8:42 PM
    Sorry about the double.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , April 15, 2009 9:05 PM
    oh god yes finally a reason for me to buy a netbook for only 400 bucks and its touch screen. now the question should i buy this or wait for one supporting the ion platform, hope the latter isnt too expensive.
  • 1 Hide
    sublifer , April 15, 2009 9:06 PM
    Least you said something different the 2nd time.

    Might make a nice toy but I want to see an ION powered netbook :) 
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , April 15, 2009 9:33 PM
    Maybe with ARM processors, and simple OSs like Android, we will actually be able to separate a low-cost internet device from a cheap, underpowered notebook some company just wants to make some extra money off of by calling it a "netbook".

    Seriously, so many people complain about netbooks being too small and underpowered, when what they really want is a cheap notebook. Sorry, sometimes you actually have to pay for what you get. For those of us who don't mind the small keyboard and screen because we meant to buy a small computer used only for the internet, this seems like a smart move.
  • 1 Hide
    Niva , April 15, 2009 9:56 PM
    The real question is, what kind of touch capabilities this thing has. Does it come with a stylus that is pressure sensitive? If I can make sketches in GIMP with a pressure sensitive stylus on this thing I'm sold!
  • 1 Hide
    random1283 , April 15, 2009 11:36 PM
    Hmmm its supposedly atom so I don't see why it can't handle xp
  • 0 Hide
    random1283 , April 15, 2009 11:51 PM
    my bad sorry got it confused with this other toch netbook that just got released recently
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 1:40 AM
    absolutely ugly design (the two sticks under the screen)!
    Battery life will most certainly be less

    Otherwise yet another EeePc variant!

    But I'm happy ARM processors find an entry in these type of machines!
    I hope ARM might challenge Intel more in the Atom,and low-powered CPU section.
  • 3 Hide
    zhaknafein , April 16, 2009 8:02 AM
    i think the two sticks are just the hinges for plugging in the keyboard to the touchscreen...they probably hide inside the latter
  • 0 Hide
    outacontrolpimp , April 16, 2009 11:41 AM
    ProDigit80absolutely ugly design (the two sticks under the screen)!

    lol!!! you are hella dum =] those are you show you that the keyboard is detachable. it actualy looks quite beautiful. at least the keyboard does anyways. i wish the sides of the screen were smaller. it looks bulky with all the black around the screen. anyways the bottom keyboard looks like a mac laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 11:34 PM
    I still think I'd go with the pandora. It is great fun if you love emulators.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , April 17, 2009 2:28 AM
    When my bro and I went shopping last year for a computer, we were blown away by the feature-set of the Acer Aspire One. 100+gb hard drive, 1 gb of RAM, a very good webcam, a nice sized keyboard, multiple SD card slots, and the kicker... Windows XP. It ran XP, which means he could install old games, and they would work. He could install Office if he wanted to, and it would work (yes, we know about Star Office, and use it when we can't get MS Office, but it isn't quite the same).

    We were sold, and he is very very happy with it. When he upgraded to Windows 7 beta, he was even more happy with it. He gave the Linux version a shot, but just didn't like it.

    If it had better battery life, and a writable screen, and sold for under 500 with a Windows OS, I would be all over it. I would ditch my TX2500Z in a heartbeat. But until that happens, my bro is sticking with his x86 based netbook, and I with my x64 based tablet.

    ARM without a mainstream OS is little more than a gimmick, much like Apple OS was before they switched over to Intel, which allowed XP/Vista to be installed in a pinch, and made it a viable competitor to other computer manufacturers.
  • 0 Hide
    gsfnop , April 25, 2009 2:42 PM

    I don't know what the "touchbook OS" is all about, but it doesn't matter because they say you can install Ubuntu on it. If it'll run KDE and Ubuntu, that's fine for me. Windows is for games, and you aren't going to be doing serious 3D gaming on a device like this because it doesn't have enough power to do it.

    For anything else, these days it just doesn't matter much what CPU you have. Almost nothing is written in assembly any more, it's all C, C++ or some scripted language and totally portable. You only have to point to the right repositories for your CPU, and away you go. The days of the CPU architecture mattering to the end user ended back in the 1990s. Anyway ARM is lower power than x86 and it is the future of netbooks.

    If I can get 10-15 hrs of battery life from this thing, I'm there. I only wish it had a higher res screen :-/