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Toshiba’s AC100

Toshiba’s just announced their first netbook running the Android operating system – dubbed the Toshiba AC100 that we first saw in a very small and modest product listing not too long ago – and we’re a little more than highly impressed. It’s running Android 2.1, it has 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 8GB of NAND flash memory with more optional space coming from the SD/MMC card reader. It also has a 1.3MP webcam built in with an accompanying microphone  and some nice hardware to use with Fring’s video chatting features……..

You’ll want to squint at this picture, because you’re looking at one of the more tempting netbooks we’ve seen of late.  According to Blogeee’s source, this is the Toshiba AC100-114, a 10.1-inch netbook with NVIDIA’s Tegra T20 GPU and an HDMI port.  However, rather than Windows 7 or XP, the Toshiba AC100-114 runs Google’s Android 2.1 OS.

We wouldn’t fault you for thinking that’s a first generation ASUS Eee PC what with that iconic fingertip pose and all. But Toshiba’s AC100 is a very modern take on the ol’ Atom-based netbook idea. For starters, this super slim smartbook runs Android 2.1 on a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 250 SoC (built around a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor) capable of about 8 hours of browsing and video playback (and 7 days standby) before needing a recharge. It’s also packing a 32GB SSD, 512MB of DDR2 memory, 802.11n WiFi, optional 3G data, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and an HDMI jack beneath that 10.1-inch 1,024 x 600 pixel display.

The Toshiba AC100 is the ultimate device for simple, instant and efficient web use. Designed to be used whenever, wherever you are, the AC100 is instantly ready for action, offering up to seven days standby under mixed use, with a rapid start-up time of less than a second. In constant use the AC100 can provide up to eight hours of battery life, which combines with the intuitive full-size keyboard and compact clamshell form factor to offer a truly stunning mobile device.

Toshiba has made a few interesting choices with this smartbook. First, there’s no touchscreen display, which is unusual for an Android device. And while it’s running Google Android 2.1, the Toshiba AC100 comes with the Opera Mobile web browser in place of the default Webkit-based Android browser. The machine also comes with Documents To Go and Fring preloaded for office, chat, and VoIP functionality.

Ultra-slim AC100 combines smartphone functionality with netbook usability AndroidTM platform makes browsing, networking and editing easy Up to seven days battery life in standby with instant-on capability.

Like most Android devices, SlashGear also points out that while you can plug in a USB mouse, keyboard, or hard drive, you’re not going to have any luck plugging in a printer or digital camera. That’s not really a problem on a smartphone-sized device, but when you present customers with something that looks like a laptop, they may expect it to function more like one.

The AC100 runs on the AndroidTM platform, enabling users to customise their device to suit their computing habits. Depending on location or what the AC100 is running, AndroidTM can automatically switch to a prefigured home screen to best suit the user. For example, users can set shortcuts for work-related applications, widgets and ‘live-files’ to appear when working in the office, or personal applications and widgets to appear when the AC100 detects they are at home. Users can also manually switch between home screens as they wish – allowing them to access all of their content, wherever they are.

As for software, the AC100 ships with Documents to Go for editing MS Office docs, an email client with POP3, IMAP, and Exchange support, an Opera Mobile browser, and a Tosh media player which should support HD 1080p video playback if it’s taking full advantage of that Tegra 2 silicon. Too bad Toshiba is being quiet about the pricing and availability ’cause this little guy has us intrigued.

The intuitive user interface also offers the possibility for users to further personalise the device by downloading a range of applications and widgets on-demand. A number of applications are also pre-installed for immediate use out-of-the-box, including Documents to Go for viewing and editing Microsoft Office files, a POP3 email client, IMAP and Exchange support, a messaging client, Opera Mobile for browsing the web, and the Toshiba Media Player for playing and viewing video, music and pictures.

The latest NVIDIA® TegraTM processing technology provides fast internet browsing speeds, with super-quick load times and instant rendering of complex pages. Advanced mobile graphics technology provides enhanced playback of multimedia content including video and mobile games, offering the perfect platform for enjoying entertainment on the move.

As expected, Toshiba’s first ARM-based smartbook will be called the Toshiba AC100. Here’s a brief rundown of the specs:

Display: 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels (Not a touchscreen).
OS: Google Android 2.1.
Chipset: 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra TM250.
Storage: 8GB to 32GB flash storage.
Memory: 512MB.
Battery: 8 hours run time, or 180 hours in standby.
I/O: HDMI, USB, mini USB, mic, audio, SD card slot.
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth and optional 3G.
Camera: 1.3MP.
Dimensions: 10.3″ x 7.5″ x 0.8″.
Weight: 1.9 pounds.

Netbooked got its hands on with the Japanse Dynabook AZ twin and received confirmation that it’ll ship in Japan in August for between ¥40,000 and ¥50,000 (about $438 to $548).

Resources :liliputing.com,zdnet.com,phandroid.com,engadget.com

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