Fujitsu took the opportunity at the IFA to announce their latest entrant in the netbook segment — a netbook with 4-Finger multitouch. This is the LifeBook T580 that is also a convertible netbook. This netbook is expected to beat slate devices thanks tot he multitouch capabilities and the convertible form factor. However, there’s a catch.
This 10.1 inch netbook actually seems to be using a dual-input capacitive touchscreen with a digitizer. The Lifebook T580 in fact does feature a full stylus that can be stowed away in the body itself. This makes it impossible for it to be anywhere near the usual netbook pricing. So get ready for some serious sticker shock when this thing does come out. But, given the netbook form factor the component options are actually pretty damn good.
You have the option of going up to a Core i5 with the T580 and also the options for 3G and GPS capabilities. Also, Fujitsu promises 8 hours of battery life with the model. They have also implemented some good business-centric security features with the model to make it more conducive to their corporate clients.
The company has released the video demo that you can see above. Check it out to see the digitizer in action. It shows the four finger multitouch capabilities. However, Fujitsu fails to mention the digitizer or highlight it in the press copy. May be they thought that that was old news and the 4-finger multitouch is the latest in thing to be mentioned.
At the end, no matter how much this form factor tries to adapt to the latest developments — it remains an old and tired form factor that is getting exceedingly bulky when compared with the rest of the market. Hence, I do not see them continuing much farther in to the future.
Viliv’s S10 Blade appeared late last year and then quickly disappeared in the tidal flow of new gadgets in the first two months of 2010. But its back now, thanks to the folks over at UMPC. Chippy at UMPC has managed to get hands on time with a production sample and so far it shows nothing that is really outstanding.
The Viliv S10 Blade is what some people are calling netvertibles. These are the convertible netbooks. They are much like convertible laptops but with all the features (and signs) of a netbook. The first one that hit the market in a major way was the Asus Eee PC T91, followed quickly by the T91MT.
This one from Viliv uses a multitouch resistive touchscreen along with keyboard. The display is 10.1 inch diagonal and the there is a removable lithium-polymer that will supposedly last for 10 hours. There is also an 1.8″ access panel for storage. The device that was reviewed had an Intel Atom Z530 which is clocked at 1.66GHz.
In the review, the S10 is put through tests that show its response to 3point touch as well as onscreen typing. There were some issues with palm rejection, which means you could accidentally trigger something or ruin your finger painting with palm smudges. Zooming in and out of webpages and handwriting input were also tested.
It does look pretty good in person and what we can see in the review is apparently 98% complete, so all the major components are in place with only a few tweaks left to go. It will be available form Dynamism very soon and you will have several choices of customization before your buy your S10. The website mentions that you can have a 2.0GHz processor as well.
The sleek design and the convertible aspect of it might win it a few loyalists but this form factor has always been a bit of novelty and not much of a functionality oriented device for the masses. Niche uses are many though.
Malata is a company based in China and is known for making cheaper versions of popular devices like Eee PCs and Vaio P. But this time they have really gained our attention by introducing cheap tablet netbook convertibles that run Windows 7.
Netbook convertibles are like convertible notebooks, only smaller. They have a touch sensitive display that can be swiveled and turned around to attain a tablet like state where the back of the screen lies flat against the keyboard after being folded.
Typically, notebooks like these cost upwards of $1500 and the good ones have been known to cost twice as much. Asus was arguably the first mainstream company to dare to bring out the same functionality in a netbook format and bring down the price to around $500. The T91 was a typical netbook that was coupled with a touchscreen display. That was towards the middle of this year.
Recently, Asus brought out the upgraded version of the T91 – called the T91MT. It now has multitouch enabled. And this is the model that the Malata R108T fully undercuts.
The R108T features a 10” touchscreen display that has a native resolution of 1024×600. It runs on an Intel Atom 1.8GHz (N270) processor, has 1GB of RAM and 160GB of storage space. But at about the equivalent of $435, you are still getting a lot for the price. The original 8.9” T91 is now about $473 on places like Amazon.
Connectivity is pretty standard on the R108T. You get 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 VGA port, standard audio ports and a card reader. On top of everything else, you get the netbook in four colors – red, black, coffee and champagne.
Rumors have been flying around a lot lately that Acer’s Timeline series of CULV toting ultraportables are going to have a convertible tablet amongst their ranks very soon. So far, we have had images of such a device from various sources but so far they have all seemed like a normal Timeline device.
However, there were the images of a device with a swiveling screen that suggested the existence of such a device but no live images were available of the device.
This status quo has now changed, thanks to an active Italian blog. They have managed to go hands on with the device and put it through the paces. It is understandable that such an opportunity had to have been brief but they still managed to glean quite a bit of information out of the device.
The device itself is quite powerful and slim, when compared to the Atom-powered netbooks. The Acer Timline 1820PT is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CULV processor, humming away at 1.20GHz with 3MB cache. There’s 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM and Intel GMA X4500M HD graphics. Price is of course not available but from the looks of it, you can easily expect it to be at least around $550 and most probably around $600.
But that is mainly because it has a multitouch 11.6” screen and a 1366×768 resolution. The (comparatively) powerful components also warrant for some of the extra cost.
However, this is not the first time that someone has tried to make a tablet out of a netbook device. The Asus Eee PC T91 was the first such device but it wasn’t multitouch. It was only last week when Asus announced a new and upgraded version of the T91 called the T91MT. Whether this trend catches on is yet to be seen.