Toshiba Announces Dual Screen Portable PC/Tablet
Toshiba has raised the curtains on its latest ultra-mobile PC using a design similar to the one found on the now shelved Microsoft Courier.
The Libretto W100 sports a pair of 7” 1024x600 multi-touch displays with haptic feedback giving a more natural tactile feel. The unique laptop is powered by a Pentium U5400 processor clocked at 1.2Ghz, 62GB SSD and 2GB of ram. As far as connectivity goes, we will find Bluetooth accompanied by 802.11b/g/n.
For an ultra-mobile PC, it has a slightly bulky body, measuring in at 7.95” x 4.84” x 1.2.” However, it is relatively light at only 1.8lbs, which not much more that an iPad and fairly impressive given its specs.
One draw back though is the choice of operating system used. As good as it is, Windows 7 Home Premium does not have the best touch user interface in the industry. However, Toshiba saw fit to implement some custom software to help in this department. “Toshiba Bulletin Board” is a touch friendly, widget based desktop replacement which can be used instead of the standard Windows theme.
Having two screens is the major selling point for the W100. It can be used as a conventional laptop by using the second display as a keyboard, which would fit Windows 7 perfectly. However that wouldn't justify buying the W100 over a normal laptop. The value of buying the W100 will lie in the extra functionality the second screen could potentially provide, such as holding the device like a book. Unfortunately Windows 7 lacks the software to make proper use of the second screen.
With a starting price of $1099, the W100 seems a bit on the expensive side, which may explain why it will be available in August in limited quantities. In the future, we may see ourselves buying one of these if the price falls and software more suited to the hardware, such as Android or even Meego, is installed.