Toshiba dual-screen Libretto: A tablet? Laptop?

The dual-screen Toshiba Libretto W100, which has gone on sale in Japan, straddles the laptop and tablet categories.

A new video shows the dual-screen Toshiba Libretto W100 strutting its stuff in uncharted territory somewhere between a tablet and a traditional clamshell laptop.

What is the Libretto W100? It's a small 1.5-pound, 7-inch Windows 7 clamshell device that sports two capacitive LCD screens: one for viewing, one for typing. The typing screen is much like the virtual keyboard on the Apple iPad. Of course, the W100 can also function as a dual-screen tablet, which--in this respect at least--trumps the iPad.

That said, it needs to be stated up front that the Libretto W100 won't be cheap, roughly twice the cost of the cheaper iPad models. You do get two screens, however, and two batteries and a dual-core processor. (More specs are provided on the Libretto W100 Web page.)

The haptic keyboard provides decent feedback (a slight vibration), according to the review. One of the advantages of a virtual keyboard is the ability to switch keyboard styles as needed. For example, it can also be converted into a thumb keyboard when you're on the move, which the reviewer states is one of its handiest features.

Dual-screen Toshiba Libretto W100 has no physical keyboard but offers a variety of virtual keyboards
Dual-screen Toshiba Libretto W100 has no physical keyboard but offers a variety of virtual keyboards

The video reviewer also seems to reveal his preference for Intel processors over those from the ARM camp. "They canned the ARM processor and went to a full, real CPU. It's an Intel dual-core 1.2GHz processor," he says. That comment may raise some eyebrows (or some hairs on the neck) at the ARM camp of processor suppliers like Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. (And it should be noted that Toshiba also lists a dynabook AZ on its Japanese Web site that uses an Nvidia Tegra 250 processor.)

Generally speaking, the W100 can do pretty much what any Windows laptop can do and that includes printing, viewing Adobe Flash, and running productivity apps like Word and Excel.

And note that the reviewer says the unit gets hot. Because of this, Toshiba has put the electronics on the top, so it doesn't "burn" your lap, in the words of the reviewer.

[Via Gizmodo via Liliputing.]

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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