The last time we caught up with the Beam, Mobinova’s 8.9-inch smartbook that will be heading to AT&T, it was running Windows CE. But this Nvidia Tegra powered device has now made the jump to Android–though it still has some rough edges. The idea is that you’ll get the same slick carousel interface and HD video playback but an OS that can run more apps. We had a chance to do a quick hands on with the latest iteration of this device, and the design is mostly unchanged. The ports are still on the back behind a drop-down hinge–including HDMI for 1080p output–but the keyboard has been modified to include playback keys. CinemaNow will be on board for downloading premium videos.
As for apps, you won’t have access to the Android Market. However, Mobinova says it will be including games that leverage the Tegra chip’s multimedia prowess and that it is working on its own app store. Pricing and availability are still up in the air, but summer (after the iPad hype dies down a bit) sounds like a smart bet. We’re still not fans of the cramped keyboard. Still, assuming the price is right, the Beam could win over those primarily interested in entertainment and surfing the Web.