We’ve seen more than a few convertible tablet PCs in our day, but the thing that makes the Touch Book so different is that the display can actually be completely detached from the rest of the computer. In effect, you have yourself a modular netbook.
Created by a company called Always Innovating (how appropriate), the Touch Book takes on the form factor of a regular netbook, rocking an 8.9-inch 1024×600 display. It’s thin and light with nothing too out of the ordinary in terms of eccentric design cues. That is, until you discover that the screen can slide right off and operate on its own.
In this way, you’ve got to assume that most of the computing guts are located in the display’s half, rather in the base where you’d normally find things like the motherboard and memory. The other possibility is that two halves can communicate with one another over some sort of wireless standard.
Another notable difference with the Always Innovating Touch Book is that you don’t find a VIA or an Intel Atom processor pushing this thing along. Instead, it’s an ARM processor running the show. Other noted specs include a 10-15 hour battery life, dual batteries, six USB ports, and a custom Touch Book OS (though you can install anything else on it). There are no fans and there is no disk drive. Storage comes by way of an 8GB microSDHC card.
Look for the Touch Book to launch in May or June of this year. The tablet only version will retail for $299, whereas the netbook-style one with the keyboard is $399.