posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 19:17 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
IconWe have found the device of your dreams. Make no mistake: this is what OSNews readers have always wanted. You are going to buy this device, in droves. Trust me, as far as geekness goes, this is pretty much the best it'll ever get. Fully open source (from hardware to software), easily servicable, runs Linux, has an ARM processor, accelerometer, powerful 3D capabilities, 10-15 hours of battery life, touchscreen, and internal USB ports. And you know what? I didn't even mention the best part: the keyboard of the Touch Book netbook is detachable, leaving you with a 8.9" tablet. And all that for USD 299!

Yes, you guessed it, I'm pretty enthusiastic about the Touch Book. At such a low price, you're getting every geek's desire, and because of the total openness of the hard and software, the community will easily pick up on this one and improve it. Even if you don't care about the geeky nonsense, this is still an insanely cool device. It runs completely fanless and is instant-on. Let's round up the specifications:

  • 9.4" x 7" x 1.4" for 2 lbs (with keyboard)
  • ARM Texas Instruments OMAP3 chip
  • 1024x600 8.9" screen
  • Storage: 8GB micro SD card
  • Wifi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth
  • 3-dimensional accelerometer
  • Speakers, micro and headphone
  • 6 USB 2.0 (3 internal, 2 external, 1 mini)
  • 10h to 15 hours of battery life

Usually these devices-by-and-for-geeks look ugly, but the Touch Book defies that general rule and actually looks pretty decent, with the design coming from Fred Bould. The Touch Book was demonstrated at Demo, and there's a video of it.

The make/break point here is of course the software. While Linux itself won't pose much of a problem, the question is whether or not the custom touch interface that's included will actually be any good. Looking at the few shots of it in the video I have my reservations about it, but it is important to note that it might not be ready yet, and that of course I haven't tried it myself yet.

At a price of only USD 299, this is an absolute bargain. It will become available in May or June 2009. Now, pre-order this thing, but please note that so far you may only pre-order in the United States (boo! Hiss! We Europeans want it too!).

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