Toshiba AC100 Smartbook


The Toshiba AC100 is an extremely thin smartbook that runs Android 2.1 on a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 250 SoC which is built around a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor. The AC100 features a 32GB SSD, 512MB of DDR2 memory, and an HDMI jack beneath the 10.1in 1024x600 pixel display. Sounds like a normal run-off-the-mill netbook? Well, it should be, but why then did Toshiba dub it a mobile internet device (MID)? Well, read on to find out.

In all honesty, the first thing you will notice about the AC100 is how tiny it is. The AC100’s thickest point measures a mere 21mm, and the fact that the chassis is all so slim means that it weighs just 870g. The AC100 comes with a black body and yellow sides, which is unconventional in terms of color combinations in laptops.

However, the netbook’s real selling point is not its unusual exterior, but the software that is running internally. Instead of the tried-and-trusted Windows 7 OS that exists in almost all non-Mac machines, the AC100 comes with Android 2.1 – the same Android OS that is causing a stir in the smartphone arena. Does the irregular choice of a traditional optimized-for-touchscreen OS for a non-touchscreen device prove to be vindicated?

Well, performance on the AC100 is a mixed bag. Though the speedy processor ensures that actions on the netbook are pretty snappy, the implementation of the OS still needs some working due to some inconsistencies in the interface. In addition, Android 2.1 does not use flash natively, so you’ll face some road bumps while surfing the net.

Nonetheless, the open-source nature of Android offers a wide array of widgets and apps for all your needs. 

The battery life on the AC100 is a whopping 8 hours of moderate video playback and internet browsing, which reiterates Toshiba’s view of the netbook as a mobile internet device. Not only that, the AC100’s standby of 7 days before a recharge is truly amazing.

The Toshiba AC100 is a funny little thing; it combines all the features of a normal netbook with the added functions of a smartphone. Was the use of Android a home run? Yes and no. The Android 2.1 will obviously be updated in the near future, but the implementation of the OS onto a netbook must be reexamined. That said however, the AC100 is an intriguing proposition for those who are looking for a tiny netbook and are in love with the idea of Android on a bigger screen estate.


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