The Noahpad really surprised us at Computex this year. To say we’ve been overwhelmed by UMPCs this at this year’s show would be an understatement. We won’t get too into it but as you can tell from looking at the news, we were swamped with portable PCs and netbooks.
Most of these Netbooks and UMPCs look relatively the same save for a few variations on design here and there. The design of these machines was mentioned in another news piece with regard to the Gigabyte M912, which took a step away from the traditional theme as a tablet. Today we happened upon another completely surprising UMPC.
The company refers to it as “The classmate, roommate and travelmate”. Based on a VIA C7 platform and touting a 7” display, that’s not what makes the Noahpad special; what’s amazing is its keyboard. It’s made of two touchpads, with "keys" printed on. These touchpads are spring mounted so as to recreate the "typing" sensation.
The Noahpad touchpad can act as both a keyboard and a cursor controller. When used as a cursor, it provides a touchpad surface of up to 70x70mm. The system is also multitouch so you can use your giant tactile surface to pinch, flip and rotate, à la iPhone.
The screen on the notebook is also double hinged, so you can use it as a pigital photo frame, or as a ceiling mounted movie player in a car. It also has an impressively long battery life. The Noahpad website claims the external battery battery pack will last for 10 hours not to mention built in WiFi and Bluetooth and external 3.5G.
It’s not precise and it’s a bit noisy and flimsy, but the idea is great. The Noahpad is Versatile, but still needs a lot of development to make it really usable.