couldn't you clean it before taking the photo?
Sounds interesting though.
The smartbook is the great 'might have been' of mobile computing. Something thin and light, with solid-state storage, a keyboard, a day-long battery life and the ARM CPU that makes such a quality possible, and a price in keeping with the Small, Cheap Computer ethic. Killed by the iPad? Killed the absence of the right chips and …
Only way you're going to see Windows on one of these devices is through an emulator. Maybe in a couple of years when MS port Windows to ARM it's possible you'll see similar devices for that OS though there are so many unknowns of how it might work that it's not worth holding your breath.
A keyboard/pad isn't the only thing that puts me off the tablet idea. Its size seems to welcome frequent mobile use, as such I would want to actually use it mobilly. Will the battery be able to put up with full screen brightness while playing multiple Deep Space Nine episodes?
Also, how long does it take for fatigue to set in if I were to type some papers on it?
And on that note, is there any productivity software for Android?
It's got a USB port. Buy a mouse to connect at your desk when you're doing serious typing. Maybe a better keyboard and USB hub as well. The rest of the time, touch the screen.
I'm assuming Android supports a mouse and extra keyboard. Anyway, if I buy one, It'll be to run a Linux more like Ubuntu or Fedora. This is the design I've wanted for ages.
One has to wonder how most of the other tablets on the market - you know, the ones without the keyboard but otherwise the same- manage to be considerably more expensive.
And with that nice rubbery keyboard, you could put a Sinclair Spectrum emulator on it and really feel the nostalgia.
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It's the sort of thing that Psion would be making if:
a) they hadn't pissed about with Motorola then got stung
b) they hadn't pissed about generally for so long and got left behind after showing such early brilliance and design flair
c) Psion wasn't British! (or Finish or European for that matter!)
d) if David Potter had met Steve Jobs!
I like this. Tablets like the iPad just aren't productive enough - they're a chore for composing emails or editing code. After a couple of years with a smartphone, fondling the screen feels natural; to the point where I sometimes forget and tap links on my laptop's screen too. At that price I like even more. Not sure if Android covers all my use cases; but it should be easy enough to flash it with a Linux distro.
Finally, an ARM based portable device with a keyboard.
Best of everything: Portable, decent battery life, hardware acceleration, able to create as well as consume content (unlike the Ipads, thanks to the keyboard).
It feels like it's been an age to come. Remember when everyone was getting excited about the ARM based netbooks 2+ years ago? Yeah, they never turned up.
If the price is right I'll be picking up one of these for sure.
The thing is a bit thick because of the slider but for that you get a built in keyboard and don't have to haul around some crappy stand / keyboard attachment. Looks like a great design & very useful for folks who need to do some serious typing but benefit from the tablet the rest of the time.
I was working on $400 = £250 (at today's exchange rate) plus 20% VAT = £300. I asked the Asus PR if $400 was the likely to be the local US price or the equivalent Euro / Sterling, and he said the latter. How true that will turn out to be, well, your guess is as good as mine.
Be that as it may, I was expecting to be told the price would be more in the region of 500 Euro so it still sounds like a good deal.
As for the fingerprints, sorry about that - it was a scrum at the stand and trying to get any shots was hard work. Giving one of the devices a polish and getting all Lord Lichfield on it was a non-starter.
it's a Psion Series7!!!!
god i loved my Series5
but that was because it would fit in my jacket pocket and was very easy to type and navigate both while holding in the hands and lying on a table.
I'm pretty sure the Series7 didn't work because it was too big to work well as a hand held unit, just not portable enough.
and i wonder if that will be the same problem with this Asus. Just too big to be a portable tablet, so why not just get a netbook instead, and have the easy of a full OS and a mouse pointer?
I don't give a proverbial about the price, I just want one. Actually, two.
Mind you, if you can root it and either replace Android with the OS of your choosing (some work may be required), or dual boot boot it, the cat will have to make a new noise, as this will be its meow!
And this is exactly why separating "tablets" and "netbooks" into different markets makes no sense (other than to make Apple look better than they are).
It was obvious that we'd get devices like this - they run Android and have a touchscreen, but also have a physical keyboard, and can be positioned with the screen angled like a netbook.
With Windows 8, I suspect we'll also see more touchscreen netbooks (I believe some do already exist). I also *hope* we'll have some netbooks that finally give a higher resolution (more than 600 depth) - possibly with a physically taller screen, but even at the same size, a higher resolution would be good.
And just to add more to the netbook/tablet confusion, you can already get Android netbooks.
Nor is it clear why ARM versus Intel makes a difference. Android runs on x86; and there's no reason why you couldn't have an Intel Atom tablet.
I find it increasingly hard to understand why someone would take a piece of consumer electronics which is almost certainly going to have some combination of custom hardware, and try to shoe-horn Linux into it. This isn't a server - you're only going to be running a browser, an editor or two and a few media widgets. So why make your life miserable trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot when there's an OS already optimised to run on that hardware?
Surely the answer is to have your server (at home/work/in the cloud) set up with your hardcore dev tools that you cannot live without, and use a device like this as a terminal, browser and code-editor. These are jobs it would be good at, which won't require constant fiddling with Linux releases, obscure badly supported drivers and would allow you to get on with your job....
.... oh, hold on, I see what you did there.
Anyway, personally this looks like a cracking bit of kit. And, @Spencer - ARM based portable devices with keypads are very old history.. The Psion 5 came out ~13 years ago and was a great device.
Android is Linux, just not GNU/Linux.
"These are jobs it would be good at, which won't require constant fiddling with Linux releases, obscure badly supported drivers and would allow you to get on with your job.... The Psion 5 came out ~13 years ago and was a great device."
Around the time you last looked at Linux with its supposed "constant fiddling", I imagine.
I thought that might touch a nerve.
I have a handful of machines running recent linux distributions, a couple of Macs, a few net/laptops running various flavours of Windows, and sitting on my desk are two blackberries, a couple of iPhones, and an Android tablet. Of all of them, the ones that best and most consistently support the hardware they run on are NOT GNU/Linux unless they are bare metal servers that have standard commodity IO. In fact, I'll quote the other Anonymous Coward (or was it you) who said: "nVidia's linux support for tegra2 has been significantly worse than for their GPUs".
Don't get me wrong, I like Linux. I just don't see the point of taking _consumer_ electronics and putting a different and slightly incompatible O/S on it.
My phone runs Debian. Sorry, Maemo, but come on, it's Debian. Why is that awesome, pray tell? Well, aside from the obvious bonus of not having an arbitrary abstraction layer keeping me away from my own hardware and sucking resources in the process, it means I don't have to do anything half-arsed.
I don't have to download some God-awful SSH client from the Market that will forget everything it was doing the minute I try to check my e-mail at the same time, and doesn't support landscape mode. I just hold a couple of buttons and up pops Bash, with ssh, grep, tail etc all ready to go. (Trying to do remote server admin on any portable device that isn't Linux-based is just PAINFUL, and potentially costly.)
I don't have to piss around with Opera Mini and Firefox Home, when Opera Mobile and Fennec are available.
I don't have to pay over the odds to get overly expensive shitty touchscreen remakes of games I never liked. My phone runs DOSbox!
I can edit code on my device without feeling like I've lost several fingers and my colour perception. What's Android got? SilverEdit? Give me a bloody break.
I can dick about with my device as much as I like, binding PS3 controllers to it and playing Mario World on the projector at work in my lunchbreak, and no-one will tell me I'm not allowed to, nor do I have to re-flash the device to pull that off.
*That's* why you put Linux on the device. Not because it's supposedly not as polished, not because it takes some tweaks to get working, but because it means you can do more with the device, with less interference, for no cash.
The first person I showed this article to came out with "nice machine, but if I can't get Android off it, then knackers to it." Personally I'd love to have this thing dual boot a Linux distro and MeeGo Tablet, just for a laugh.
Because, as someone has pointed out, you can then use "proper" tools and also the applicaitons you are familiar with. I had to install Linux Mint on my netbook because the default OS was too much of a hassle to learn when I already use Debian on my PC, for example. If I could have debian on a device like this, or a phone, I would be happy as it means less time pissing around learning how everything is laid out and finding out which tools do which job and more time working and playing.
Now that looks all manner of useful. What battery life are they claiming? Or would it be best to buy two, and use the spare when the first runs out of juice? ;)
Sorry, but even if they DO use the standard £=$ conversion technique, it'd still be tempting. At £300 it's a done deal.
This is Deffo a replacement for my old Psion Series 7 (yes I was one of the few), but it's expensive compared to many netbooks even at the $/£ questionable 300quid mark.
Good netbooks start at about £220, have proper keyboards and decent hard discs that you can partition and put proper OSs on
How much extra? How come it isn't standard? Then again, I don't mind so much. There are other ways to get a 3G connection.
My problem is with ASUS and their support. They started off the netbook craze and then failed to support the OS in anyway. Luckily a netbook community was formed and covered all the areas that ASUS should have. I hope they will work with Android better than they did with Xandros. I suspect though that another linux community will develop to really extend the use of this hardware.
Count me interested in one of these.
Posted from my original eeepc 701 running puppy 5.
I've got an old EEEPC 701, an N10 as my main(!) travelling CAD workstation (!!) - both run Debian in various flavours, the N10 dual-boots Win7.
Get the idea? I like customizable, portable, well-made netbooks.
Bugger the iPad(n+1), if this does Debian, I'm buying one!
Actually two - my wife will want one too.
So this thing is even bigger and heavier than an iPad? The iPad is alrady too big and heavy to be the magic solution to all problems that some people expect a tablet to be - it won't fit in a pocket so is inconvenient to carry, and it's too heavy and has the wrong shape to hold comfortably for any extended time.
Asus netbooks I thought were generally considered to be very good.
"Since its launch in October 2007, the Eee PC netbook has garnered numerous awards, including Forbes Asia’s Product of the Year, Stuff Magazine’s Gadget of the Year and Computer of the Year, NBC.com’s Best Travel Gadget, Computer Shopper's Best Netbook of 2008, PC Pro's Hardware of the Year, PC World's Best Netbook, and DIME magazine’s 2008 Trend Award Winner."
(Quoted from Wikipeidia, but still.....)
The reg seems to quite like Asus netbooks as well, if you were to have a look a the reviews...
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