IT Pro: Toshiba's Android netbook

If any Android netbook is going to succeed, it will be the AC100 but there’s still a question of whether Android is ready for the netbook form factor or whether Windows 7 will hold its own the way Windows XP did against the original Linux netbooks.
Read my first take at IT Pro whether I think Android is going to oust Windows 7 from ultraportables

What's MeeGo for?

I've always said that the main reason Intel develops Moblin is to scare Microsoft; any time Redmond isn't playing ball, Intel holds up Moblin (I can't bring myself to call it MeeGo every time) like a scary hand puppet and waves it around until the 'softies cave in. Perhaps they haven't caved recently (or perhaps my utter speculation about Windows 8 on ARM is near to the bone), but Intel spokesperson James Reinders made some remarkably candid comments about Microsoft and Windows performance on Atom (twice, so it wasn't mis-speaking).

Personally I'm very happy with Windows 7 on Atom (in as much as I'm happy about Atom at all - I like the battery life but tend to hate the tiny keyboards), and I'm grateful that Windows VP Steven Sinosfky went through what must have been the pain of using a netbook as his main PC for months to make sure Windows 7 would make me happy (oh, and all you other Atom users too), but it did remind me that Origami died a death. Of course now that I know that Microsoft worked with Toshiba to create the nice, simple Media Controller interface on the JOURN.E Touch and that they brainstormed the 'three screens plus cloud' mantra together I'm wondering what we might see on the Windows 7 tablets that HP and, I think I can say, Toshiba will bring out this summer. 

Reinders also talked about Atom and embedded Atom in a way that made me think that Intel is trying to use Moblin/MeeGo as a scary puppet to wave at Google as well; Intel thinks embedded devices - smartphones, MIDs, what Qualcomm calls SmartBooks even though that's a trademark in Europe,in-car systems and all the other devices that are going Android and Chrome (or maybe RIM or - very successfully for Ford - Windows CE or, of course, iPhone and iPad) - need a better operating system. I'm inclined to agree - though of course I personally think it should be some variation of Windows 8 (I do seem to have a theme this week) rather than Moblin/MeeGo. But what I mostly think is that if Intel is using the same puppet to wave at both Google and Microsoft, then they are certainly wearing what an old friend of ours calls the Brave Trousers.

A tablet you can buy now, that does Flash

One of the reasons we went to Barcelona in the first place was to see what Toshiba was launching. There were TVs with Windows 7 logos (they do DLNA so you can send videos from Windwos 7 to your TV screen by right-clicking). There was a laptop with Intel's Wireless Display technology that sends your whole PC screen to a TV with a NETGEAR adapter. There were TVs with built-in YouTube players. There were some shiny new laptops. And then there was the final version of the JOURN.E Touch tablet that we played with when it wasn't ready, looking much easier to use and much more useful. Toshiba's very happy with it: it's half the price of the iPad, does Flash, has expandable memory - in short, they say 'The things the iPad doesn't do, we do'
The tablet-based, pre-iPad, post-iPad future, according to Toshiba

It's hard to tell Toshiba's new Tecra and Satellite Pro models apart; that's actually quite deliberate. But it's the Reel Time document history you get on the notebooks that could be the most interesting feature. Find out why in my first take over on ZDNet UK...
The quickest way to get traffic is to talk about the Apple 'tablet' - which can be the perfect device of your dreams, at least as long as nobody knows what it is, and possibly even when it's announced (Fake Steve says it so well: "True fanpersons are always ready to buy whatever we make, without question, because they know the object will give meaning to their lives.") The CrunchPad fiasco and the Joo Joo bait and switch (they're making pre-sales and sending out review units without having the actual product they're going to sell even designed yet) are also good headline fodder. But Toshiba are actually out there shipping a tablet (I'm ignoring the fact that tablet PCs have been around for years and that I've been using one since 2002, because this is part of the current interest in things that aren't PCs, in the (I think) mistaken belief that a less powerful operating system will automatically be less complicated, but I will note that I've seen all this before when Web pads launched and failed a few years back (Tulip anyone?)).

The JournE Touch has a 7" screen. It has Facebook. It has YouTube and Flickr and IM and a browser... But as I say on TechRadar, I don't think Toshiba is quite sure yet who or what it's for.

TG: Toshiba Portege R600 first look

Like just about every other computer maker, Toshibahas a netbook on the way. But its new premium ultraportable Portégé R600, announced this week, is the real lightweight. Read my first look at Tom's Hardware - with a photo of the truly tiny motherboard.

This is the successor to the tiny R500 that Steve Ballmer taunted Guy Kawasaki with at MIX this year. With the SSD and without the 75g DVD drive it's so light you can't quite believe it's a PC. It's lighter than the NB100, Toshiba's netbook, which looks like a Portege that's shrunk in the wash. I weighed the battery: 305 out of the 770 grams (add a hard drive and the DVD drive and you might crack 850g). It's almost enough to make me give up on tablets (I really do waver back and forth between HP and Toshiba as my favourite supplier and they're going in very different directions).



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