The AlwaysInnovating TouchBook is an ARM-based netbook that also has a removable keyboard base that contains a second battery. I was hoping that though one, I could experience what ARM hardware could bring to the traditional Intel-dominated netbook market. Today I received shipment of the AlwaysInnovating TouchBook. Here’s the unboxing and subsequent first-boot.
So far build quality seems good, and it’s battery life is working as advertised(although I haven’t had it for long enough to do a completely battery drain test. It comes with a stylus and 3 magnets for attaching to a refrigerator. The magnets are TOUGH to pull apart. I’d recommend using a butter knife or box cutter to wedge between them. According to my Kill-A-Watt, the entire laptop uses 14 watts with the backlight on and battery charging. With the base disconnected, the entire laptop uses 8 watts charging! That’s significantly below all of the Atom, and even Ultra-Low-Voltage Core 2 stuff I’ve seen. I’d estimate that the laptop would draw 4-6 watts without charging.
As advertised, the screen can be pulled apart from the base, and flipped around, then reinserted into tablet or book-end mode. The resistive touchscreen works well with the tablet-mode interface. The screen hinge allows full 180 degree use, so it is possible to lay both the laptop and keyboard flat on a surface.
The Linux distribution that it comes with seems stable enough, although does not support WPA in the current version. Two browsers are included, Fennec for tablet use, and Firefox for laptop use. The window manager looks like KDE with both XFCE and GNOME elements.
Leave comments if you have questions, I’ll try to answer all of them.