Google's smart-phone market. But it's also appeared on other devices, such as tablets, and netbooks. It's now putting in an appearance on the Toshiba AC100, a netbook that runs on smart-phone-style components. Our configuration, the Toshiba AC100-10U offers 3G connectivity and costs around £290. If you can do without 3G, the AC100-10Z is available for around £240.operating system has spent the past two years making a name for itself in the
Netbooks trade on portability. In this respect, the AC100 is probably the most impressive machine we've seen so far. It weighs about 870g, and measures 262mm wide by 190mm deep. It's only 14mm thick at its thinnest point and 21mm thick at its fattest point. That makes the AC100 ideal for slinging into a bag and taking on your jolly jaunts.
The whole chassis is a rather dull charcoal colour, with yellow accents on the trackpad, keys and the sides only slightly brightening things up. It puts us in mind of an angry bee. Overall, the AC100 isn't much of a looker.
The AC100 does, however, have a wide keyboard that's comfortable to type on and surprisingly sturdy for such a thin and light device. Although the trackpad is very small, it's not too cramped or uncomfortable to use.
The 10.1-inch display is nothing to write home about. It has a maximum resolution of 1,024x600 pixels, which is bog-standard netbook fare. It's quite bright, but colours aren't particularly vivid. Still, if all you're doing is cruising the Web, it'll suit you just fine. The horizontal and vertical viewing angles are also satisfactory.
Around the sides of the AC100 are a single USB port, a mini-USB port, a 3.5mm headphone and mic socket, a multi-format card reader, and an HDMI port. The HDMI port will certainly come in handy for outputting video to your telly, but we think another USB port would probably have proved more useful in the long run. An Ethernet port is also notably absent, although both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supported.
The AC100 packs 8GB of solid-sate storage. That may not sound like much, because it isn't. You'll quickly need to expand the storage via SD cards and the like.
The AC100-10U has a slot for a SIM card, so you can get a 3G connection while you're out and about, but then you'll have to pay for a contract, which will increase the overall cost of purchasing the device.
The netbook runs version 2.1 of Google's Android mobile operating system, rather than Windows 7, which is now the netbook standard. For anyone who doesn't religiously follow developments in the world of mobile operating systems, is a platform designed for use on touchscreen phones, such as the . Latterly, it's made appearances on other portable devices as well.
Unfortunately, because the AC100 doesn't have a touchscreen, slapping Android onto it has resulted in a slightly frustrating user experience. For example, Android offers several different home screens, which you can tack widgets or app shortcuts onto. Essentially, it's like having several desktops. To navigate them on a touchscreen phone, you just swipe your finger across the screen. But to navigate them on the AC100, you have to hold down the left-click button and drag the display left or right using the trackpad.