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!
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 AC100 Toshiba's AC100: smartbook And here …
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.
I'd give it a slightly higher score, since I still find it useful, but agree with most of this. You did miss the issue of standby not working - it comes back from standby after a few minutes, which means you have to power it off completely when not using it. The hardware is lovely though, and reminds me of my old Psion 7 (which is why I got it).
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??
...how capable a distro it is, and/or whether it could run usefully on this machine, is another matter. No doubt someone will try it out soon enough.
In general, though, I agree - if I found one of these babies for £100-£150 at Morgan or Laptops Direct in a year's time, I'd be on it faster than a starving squirrel on the last peanut on Earth ((C) Scott Adams)...
Android 2.2 and prior for smartphones.
Wait for Android 3.0 for tablets.
Mystery version of Android is for GoogleTV (unless someone knows what it is).
ChromeOS is for Netbooks/Smartbooks.
Running something other than Android and without the hacked keyboard... I think this could be a very interesting device. Maybe this could be a useful preview of what the ChromeOS smartbooks will/could look like.
Given that this is 'Reg Hardware', and you said the hardware was lovely, 10% seems a little harsh.
I'm quite certain that it'd be possible to slap linux on this. Android without a touch screen is largely pointless anyway, I'd prefer a full-fat OS. If I didn't already have a netbook I'd definitely give this a try.
50% is a humdrum clone, 10% for a broken heart seems understandable, and just the info I and Toshiba needed, thanks Chris. I've been watching this model since spring as a netbook entry, and will wait until next year to see if Toshiba can rescue it in version 3.0, but will not faff around with a home-brew OS.
Gees a 10 second Google already tells you that a ubuntu install on one of these devices is possible.
Apparently Toshiba are looking into an official port
Personally I love mine even with the quirks.
... but the hardware support is not quite done yet. I bought a EFIKA MX Smartbook last week. It seems to be pretty much the same thing as the AC100 but is a bit cheaper and weighs a bit more. It came running Ubuntu Maverick. Some stuff doesn't work (vid acceleration, suspend, battery life info, bluetooth) but it is otherwise pretty much as claimed. It turned out it shared an unfortunate feature with the AC100; a glossy screen. Efforts to provide full hardware support seem to be ongoing.
If it actually worked, I'd be up for buying one. I mean, it's so damned sexy and slim!
I reckon Android really is a phone/ tablet OS and so not suited to computers. I'm sure there are other, much better linux options they could have gone for instead of jumping on the "me too" android wagon.
A real shame.
Ubuntu runs on it with a few problems to be sorted, and other distros should do similarly. To their credit Toshiba have assigned someone to give people the info they need to get it running properly, although it remains to be seen whether there will be problems regarding closed drivers and firmware blobs.
Sounds like they really screwed up with the Android. Android per se isn't bad but there is no denying that version 3.0 seriously needs to address the burgeoning number of form factors that are turning up. I wonder if Chrome would have been a better choice to release with, or just a version of Linux such as the Ubuntu Netbook version running from flash.
I'm confused - the vital stats on page 2 list the OS as Android 2.1, while the end of the article says "the software team seems to have simply thrown Android 2.2 at it hoped it would stick".
Given the issues listed I doubt either version would make much difference, but which is it really?
I have one which I'm running Ubuntu on. It does a good job at that, and no doubt the few remaining issues will be resolved in due course. Dear El Reg, might you consider reviewing it running Ubuntu? Perhaps not quite immediately, but in a month or two.
So the strange thing is, since the crapness of Android is so obvious (and I think your 10% score is fair), why did they do it? Conspiracy theorists awake! I suspect that after the dismal failure of Linux on Atom netbooks, they have been scared off doing that again.
I really want to get something that checks just a few key points
1) It is inexpensive (which rules out apple products)
2) It is open (which rules out apple products)
3) It does not come pre-infected by Microsoft products (which rules out everything else)
4) Has battery life that can't be counted in a single digit (which rules out intel processors)
Why is it so fricking hard for manufacturers to provide such a product? Why does it seem that (apart from apple) not a single company in the world performs any real world usae testing before releasing stuff for sale? There seems to be a rule that says every thing you purchase must include at least one design flaw that makes you ask "WTF drugs were these guys on?"
A case in point, I just purchased a Sony car radio that has a ipod/usb drive "cavity" inside it. It gave me the opportunity to use my old 120Gb ipod that had fallen by the wayside as a storage device for music in my car. I normally don't buy Sony and I sure as hell didn't like the ADD inspired screen and control layout but it was cheapish so I thought WTH and bought it on impulse.
Now, what sort of unimaginative moron would simply rehash a UI that was cumbersome even in the bad old days of CD changers for use in a device that "allows" the user to select from hundreds of thousands of songs? Navigating to a specific Artist/Album can take minutes and there is no way you can do it while driving and even the worst traffic light intersection on my daily commute seems like a blink of an eye whilst I am trying to find Led Zeppelin IV on my head unit.
Honestly , sometimes I think that if apple would announce a car head unit I would buy it on pre-order. At least I'd know it would include a UI designed by a squad of retarded monkeys.
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So, what does it mean for the Toshiba Folio 100? At least the disconnect between an Android version made for touch-slabs and a keyboard will be gone.
Mobile sites appearing instead of full sites are nothing new. They do that all day for iPhone, and that's the problem: they're optimized for iPhone. Once upon a time webdevs believed browser-sniffing and browser targeting were bad things, but iPhone changed all that.
> If all you monkeys keep buying this tat WHILE IT'S STILL BROKEN -
> what is Toshiba going to think?
A few geeks buying things to plonk Linux on isn't enough to sustain a market, so this thing is going to be abandoned soon in any case. Buy one now while you still can! Better, buy two so you have a spare!
Windows XP is Intel only so it won't run on this machine. The only Windows that might work on it is CE. There are smartbooks out there that run on Windows CE, and they work a bit better than this machine, but you will still have problems with websites serving up the mobile version.
Why do they never just sit their mum and dad down in front of the kit and give them a list of simple tasks to do and watch/time them doing it. The mum and dad test should give you all the 'average joe' feedback you could need in 5 minutes.
From reading the review seems that would have been apparant its a total mess from the get go.
Did the autistic tech developers at Toshiba go "well we've gotten used to it over the 6 months we've bashed it together so everyone else should be fine!"
> "Essentially, a netbook is a device you work through rather than on."
> What a complete and utter load of tosh!
Just seen this. Gosh, Shades, so Microsoft's strategy worked that well for you, did it?
When netbooks first arrived and I did my series on them here on Reg Hardware the philosophy indeed was that they should be devices you work through, out into the Cloud. Broadband was widely enough available to make this feasible, encouraging small, lightweight, low-power devices that didn't need Windows.
Microsoft saw the danger and went into action to head this off. It did so by virtually giving away Windows XP to the netbook manufacturers and subverting the idea of a netbook. If the strategy worked, you would end up thinking of the netbook as just the same thing as a notebook, except smaller and rather unsatisfactorily powered.
And now here you are, shades, shouting it from the rooftops. Microsoft's spin seems to have worked a treat with you.
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