Toshiba's Android Netbook thin, fast

Toshiba's Android Netbook compares favorably with Windows-Intel Netbooks, though the operating system has a few drawbacks, according to NetbookNews.

Toshiba's Android Netbook compares favorably with Intel-based Netbooks on thickness--and performance isn't bad either, according to NetbookNews.

Toshiba AC100 (dynabook AZ) is lighter than most Intel-based Netbooks, runs Android 2.1 on top of an Nvidia dual-core chip.
The Toshiba AC100 (dynabook AZ) is lighter than most Intel-based Netbooks. It runs Android 2.1 on top of an Nvidia dual-core chip. Toshiba

Netbooks to date have been an exclusive Windows-Intel club but Toshiba is trying to change that. The Japanese company's new AC100 Netbook (to be sold as the dynabook AZ in Japan) has neither Windows nor Intel. Instead, it comes with Google's Android operating system and a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 250 processor.

NetbookNews, which just got its hands on an AC100, was duly impressed at the hardware. "The AC100 has great hardware...with Nvidia Tegra 2 onboard," the site said in a "first impressions" writeup, adding that "it's incredibly thin and makes current netbooks feel like bricks."

NetbookNews found Android 2.1--typically a smartphone OS--a bit wanting in some respects for Netbooks and said the default browser lacks Flash, though the mobile version of Opera browser is preinstalled with Flash support and "some tweaks to make mouse usage pleasant." YouTube video quality was somewhat compromised, however, according to NetbookNews.

Toshiba dynabook AZ, available as the AC100 in Europe:

  • Operating system: Android 2.1 (with 2.2 coming)
  • Processor: Nvidia dual-core Tegra 250
  • Memory: 512MB
  • Storage: 16GB flash
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce graphics
  • Screen: 10.1-inch
  • Ports/connections: SD card slot; USB 2.0; Web camera
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n
  • 3G: Optional
  • Battery life: Rated at seven hours
  • Weight: 870 grams or about 1.9 pounds
  • Price: Not disclosed, but product in Japan will be priced at, or under, $500

And Netbooks aren't the only Toshiba Android products coming. Notebook Italia has leaked a Toshiba Android tablet with similar hardware specifications, including an Nvidia processor and 16GB of memory. The "smartpad" also sports Android 2.2 and a 10.1-inch multitouch screen, and weighs about 1.67 pounds.

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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