Just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company’s first modern laptop, Toshiba has unveiled a new version of its once-forgotten libretto notebook line, the W100. Formerly comprised of small ultraportable “subnotebooks” that touted full versions of the Windows operating systems, the libretto brand is back with the W100. In fact, this will be the first clamshell tablet with two 7-inch multitouch screens made available to consumers.
Yup. Unlike previous dual-touchscreen tablets from MSI and OLPC, this one could be yours very soon (Read our Q&A with Toshiba about this potential watershed device). The question is, at $1,100, whether this Windows 7 device is worth more than double the price of an entry-level iPad.
Read on for our impressions and check out our hands-on video and gallery.
The W100 weighs an airy 1.8-pounds and sports two 7-inch multitouch displays (1024 x 600 resolution). The specs include an Intel ultra-voltage processor (no Atom here), a 62GB solid-state drive, 2GB of RAM, and Windows 7 Home Premium. You’ll also find a tiny 1-megapixel HD webcam, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a microSD card slot, one USB 2.0 port, and an 8-cell battery. Sadly, there’s no talk of mobile broadband or any 3G connectivity whatsoever.
The libretto W100 packs in a range of software that’s designed to hide Windows 7 touch deficiencies, including an eReader app called Blio and Bulletin Board. Just as you’d use a cork board, this Toshiba program is designed as a one-stop portal to a calender, recently-opened documents and pictures, and frequently-used applications. The W100 also contains an accelerometer to change screen orientations quickly.
Remarkably, for touchscreen typing, Toshiba created six haptic keyboards: a standard full QWERTY keyboard with the function, numeric, and punctuation keys; a simplified QWERTY arrangement with fewer–but larger–buttons; two split-thumb keyboards for use with both hands; a cell phone-like alphanumeric keypad; and a numbers-only option.
The libretto W100 we played with wasn’t final and its software was buggy. The fan was also quite loud. However, we expect that Toshiba will refine this dual-screen device before it hits shelves later this summer in limited quantities. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the gallery and hands-on video below.