Japanese technology major NEC showed off a clamshell-hinged Android-powered device called LT-W Cloud Communicator at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, but is it really such a great device to sing and dance about?
LT-W has a dual screen touch panel terminal that looks and feels like a book (or a huge Nintendo DS, if you're a Nintendo fan). But don't confuse it for an e-reader or a digital notebook for students for it can do much more than that.
LT-W boasts of two 7-inch TFT LCD resistive touchscreens (the ideal size to read a paperback book), a touch panel that offers intuitive operability and many input methods including handwriting (it comes with a stylus pen too), hardware keys (home-menu-back buttons and 5-way key) for executing commands or turning pages, full size SDHC card slot for storing large amounts of data and switching easily between media, wide range of sensors (such as GPS) to provide positioning information and an accelerometer for dual view mode (landscape or portrait orientation).
The dual screen device features Arm Cortex A8 processor, 384MB RAM, 1024MB ROM, 3-MP autofocus camera, monaural speaker, 1 microUSB port, 1USB 2.0 port, 1 headphone jack, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G (as a built-in option) and battery that can keep the tablet powered up to 5 hours.
And, though there's no mention of what type of Android OS the tablet will be powered by, the Japanese company said users will have access to NEC's own Android application marketplace called andronavi.
LT-W measures 135x208x23mm (WxHxT) and weighs approx. 530 gm. No word on when the tablet will be available in the U.S. market or what will be its price.
NEC has called the tablet a cloud communicator because (we guess) the company thinks it would be a great device for generic cloud services. Or else, NEC couldn't decide whether to call it a tablet or an e-reader.
Overall, like Microsoft Courier concept, LT-W is good for e-reading, Web surfing and more as it gives the user more space to do things (e.g., watch movie on one screen and send an email on another).
However, it does lack in look appeal (it looks like a dual screen tablet from the 90s) and NEC would have been wiser to use a capacitive touchscreen instead of a (somewhat dated) resistive touchscreen.
In conclusion, LT-W is a good companion device but definitely not something to sing and dance about.