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Summary:

Toshiba is resurrecting the Libretto for its 25th anniversary, in a dual screen model that lacks a physical keyboard. Libretto W100 is only a prototype, but will be sold in limited numbers to enthusiasts wanting to see “what the future of mobile computing” could be.

toshiba_libretto_2

Toshiba pushed the mobile device envelope years ago with its Libretto line of mini-laptops. The line was popular in Japan and even made it to the U.S. in limited numbers. The Libretto was roughly the size of a paperback book, yet packed a full Windows notebook in the little package. The company is resurrecting the Libretto for its 25th anniversary, but in a dual screen model that lacks a physical keyboard. The Libretto W100 is only a prototype, but Toshiba intends to sell it in limited numbers to enthusiasts wanting to see “what the future of mobile computing” could be.

The W100 has two 7-inch touchscreens that can be used in a number of configurations. Closed it looks much like a netbook, and is about an inch thick. Opening the lid exposes two screens that can be utilitized in different fashions depending on the desired task. The clamshell configuration uses the top display for the active program, and the bottom display becomes a full QWERTY touch keyboard. The keyboard can be changed to a number of modes depending on individual preference.

The LIbretto W100 can be used in an open slate mode that puts both displays into a tablet configuration for use like the iPad. The spine of the W100 separates the two screens in this open mode. Toshiba will make a limited number of the W100 available this summer for 120,000 Yen ($1,100) from select retailers and its own web site.

The W100 is running Windows 7, not the best choice for a cutting edge tablet device. Take a look at the hands-on demo of the Libretto and notice how hard it is to touch things on the screen. That doesn’t bode well for Toshiba.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Can Anyone Compete With the iPad?

  1. I have quite a soft spot for the Libretto and I still have a Libretto 50 tucked away in a box somewhere in the dungeon.

    This was my first adventure into the truly mobile computing world, and I have been hooked since then.

    But not matter, I will not be hovering on Dynamism.com hoping to order this version.
    Apple have spoiled us with the touch interface, and nothing less thn that will compete in the future

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    1. Although… I do like that split keyboard option for thumb typing… I wonder if there is an App for that!

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  2. Richard Garrett Monday, June 21, 2010

    Very cool concept and idea on how to push it to the earliest of adopters. I wonder, will it have WiFi? If so, I might be tempted….

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  3. thats damn cool & has alot of interesting concept idea’s like the virtual trackpad. its ashame alot of mainstream websites will trash it because they have no “vision” to think outside the box. they are all riding the Apple/Android bandwagon because thats whats popular now … until the next big think.

    but thats the difference between visionaries & journalists or athletes & reporters, only a few can do it the rest just have to talk about it.

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  4. i found out from a little birdy at a design company that this was actually the Courier concept device that MS canned but built on top of W7 (also why it has a beefy CPU over Atom). in fact if you dig deep in the halls of youtube you will find several videos showing off alternate UI’s, program flicking, vertical viewing, etc.

    its also no coincidence that Toshiba was the rumored design partner all those months back, its dual screened, & 7″s. Toshiba essentially retro fitted it as the new Libretto after MS canned the project.

    it’s perfect really, im surprised most gadget sites havent picked up on this especially places like Engadget. the guy who told me works in PR & said that this isnt exactly a secret anymore because NDA’s were canceled. but apparently Toshiba wont publicly talk about it because they want to sale it as the new Libretto.

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    1. Brett, i was skeptical when I 1st saw it but that pretty much makes perfect sense. I also found a few videos that shows it doing all sorts of non-Windows type activities. I have a feeling in the next few days the big tech sites will do some digging into Tosh & find out that this is the half-baked Courier reborn.

      I know MSI had a dual screen “netbook” in the works but wasnt it 10″? the fact that this is 7″ (NOBODY does 7″ since UMPC days) & has fancy UI software that isnt in these videos is what convinced me.

      I cant believe MS was actually going to build on top of W7 yet again, no wonder they canned the project.

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  5. No Wacom, no sale.

    Which is a shame, given that Toshiba has already made traditional Tablet PCs and continues to do so.

    I mean, this + Wacom + OneNote = about as close to the Courier as we’re ever going to get…

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