Always Innovating has hit on something very interesting with its Touch Book tablet, a sparingly-spec'd touchscreen device with a detachable keyboard, embedded Linux OS and impressively low $US300 price. But, oh god, they said it'd ship by now! Don't worry.
Always Innovating has published photos of a production device on their page, which looks exactly like the dummy shell we saw back in March. Accompanying these photos is something just above a promise, and just below an announcement:
We intend to start shipping the Touch Book next month, in July 2009. Our first batch of Touch Books is already in production.
At this point, the device's ship date come down to whenever the ODM finishes building the first batch, so they're effectively imminent.
Pre-orders are still open for those of you who thought you caught an early scent of vapor, and the $US300 ($400 with keyboard) price still holds. Best of all, they've held the course on hardware specs. Here's the final list:
* Texas Instruments OMAP3530 with Micron 256MB (RAM) + 256MB (NAND) Memory * 8.9 inches 1024x600 A+ screen * Main storage: 8GB SD card - we decided to change from Micro SD to standard SD, so that you can easily upgrade it * USB wifi 802.11 b/g/n dongle powered by a Ralink 3070 chipset * USB bluetooth class 2.1 * FCC, CE, UL-certified, 5V, 3.5A power adapter * 8.9 inches pressure sensitive touch screen * US Qwerty 24cm-large keyboard - around 95% of the size of a standard keyboard * Cirque Touchpad * Two Owolff high-quality internal stereo speakers * 3D accelerometer * Two internal batteries 6000 and 12000mAh - it can be replaced with a screw driver * 7 USB ports: three external, four internal, three of them may be reserved for wifi, bluetooth and keyboard * Bi-color silver/black case - see photos - with a beautiful dark-red back cover (we decided to go only for red for the first batch as it really jumps out, you won't regret it). * Secured attachment system of tablet into keyboard * Independent magnet system for the tablet - we don't want your Touch Book to un-magnetize all your credit cards while carrying it in your bag!
[Always Innovating—Thanks, Akos!]