There are a couple of 7-inch ultraportables rocking the convertible tablet PC form-factor – Kohjinsha’s SC3 being the most recent – but it’s less usual to find them in the budget aisles. That’s what Aware Electronics are promising in the shape of the A-Book : a bargain netbook with a 7-inch swivelling touchscreen display, WiFi, Bluetooth and an Aday5G 800MHz X86 processor with 512MB RAM. All that, in fact, for just $300.
Storage is courtesy of 4GB of NAND flash, there’s also an integrated webcam, two USB ports, an ethernet port, VGA and MMC/SD slot. Aware are also saying 3G and GPS will be optional extras.
The OS is the LINOS 2.6.21 Linux distro, and there’s an estimated 4hrs battery life from the 7.4V 3400mAh pack. Shouldn’t take up to much space in your bag, either; despite the presumably reinforced hinge section, it only measures 225 x 165 x 40mm and weighs a mere 870g.
Color me sceptical at $300; you’ll pay almost $1k for a Kohjinsha SC3, albeit with an Intel Atom processor and more capacious hard-drive. If Aware can manage it, and keep up with demand, I reckon – given the regular reviews that critique UMPCs for not having full keyboards – they’ll have a hit on their hands.