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.
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