Tablets and Ereaders
Apple started – no more, no less – a revolution in the way we use computers, in their design and in digital media distribution when the company announced the iPad in 2010. Steve Jobs was absolutely certain that the original iPad size, 9.7 inches, was all that was ever needed. Well, Apple's new CEO Tim Cook has introduced the iPad mini with 7.9 inch multitouch display.
HP is a big supplier of personal computers both to consumers and enterprises. Even though tablets are currently primarily used by consumers, HP has designed its first Windows 8 tablet for enterprises. The ElitePad 900 tablet can be enhanced with dedicated Jackets that turn the tablet to a full-blown personal computer.
Sony has introduced an ereader with two vital features for ebook lovers: wireless Internet access and touch screen. Nothing new there, but the Sony PRS-T2 can be accessed by tapping the screen with fingers, drawing on the screen with stylus, or pushing control keys at the bottom of the frame. In addition, the list price for the product has been set at a level that makes it very attractive.
The most successful tablets in the market are products that are seamlessly integrated into a digital media content delivery system. The Apple iPad works perfectly with iTunes, App Store and iBookstore content stores, whereas Amazon Kindle Fire is tightly integrated with Amazon's media store. Google had many pieces of the media system in one form or another, but only now they have become one comprehensive system, when the Google Nexus 7 has been introduced.
No, not all tablets are made to compete against the Apple iPad. Not all 7-inch tablets are made to compete against the Amazon Kindle Fire either. There's plenty of room in the market for tablets that have more features than the Kindle Fire, but are not as powerful as the iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch tablet is one of them: an affordable media device that is rich in features.
Lenovo was one of the first PC manufacturers to enter the tablet market. The company has chosen the popular alternative platform to the Apple iPad - Android operating system - to power its tablet range. Since there are many competing vendors with multiple Android tablets in the market, the question is: how is Lenovo going to separate its products from the rest? Let's find out how the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 does it.
So, you already have a PC and a smartphone. You'd like to get a tablet as well, but you are not sure if you can justify the investment, because you are not sure what the new gadget is really for. Well, to make the decision easier, Asus has invented a solution that merges the smartphone and the tablet into one product. The Asus Padfone is a tablet and smartphone in one package.
This is amazing: how fast tablet products are developing into powerful media and computing devices. Only a few desktop PCs or laptops PCs (from the installed base) have high-definition displays for viewing Full HD videos and movies. Tablets have really been around for two years only, and here are the first full HD displays - and that's only a 10-inch frame. The Acer Iconia Tab A700 is one of the first Full HD tablets.
Motorola was one of the first hardware vendors that introduced a decent Android-powered tablet some time ago. Now the company has introduced its second generation tablet products. The products look fine, the specs are fine, but we are wondering what was wrong with the original branding for the tablets. The earlier brand, Xoom, was short and catchy, but Motorola insists the new tablets have to be called Xyboard. In any case, here are the Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1 tablets.
If you have seen videos on YouTube where an adorable child is using an Apple iPad like a pro, you might think that the iPad is the right choice for a small child. What do you think will happen when the iPad slips from those little fingers to the floor? It's not a pretty sight. A tablet specifically designed for small children that comes with applications designed for children is a better choice for small hands. The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer is an affordable tablet with hardware and software designed for children.
Anyone who ever thought that tablet business would be dominated by the Apple iPad alone, will have to think again the market dynamics in 2012. First, Amazon made a bold move with the low-price Kindle Fire media tablet, and then, the usual suspects introduced their affordable competitive products. The Acer Iconia Tab A200 is one of the hottest tablet products for people who want the latest Android 4.0 software in an affordable hardware package.
A couple of years ago, Asus kicked off the trend for a new category of computers - netbooks - that quickly became popular across the world. After the Apple iPad was launched, however, netbooks have lost a lot of sales to tablets. It makes sense: a typical netbook is 10 inches in size and a typical tablet is from 7 to 10 inches in size. Both are used for web surfing, video viewing, social media and messaging. It is not a huge surprise that Asus has decided to grab a piece of the fast-growing tablet market. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a super-powered tablet for those who want raw processing power on their mobile device.
The world's largest Internet store Amazon has introduced a tablet device for accessing digital media content products. The Amazon Fire comes with 7-inch touch screen that can display 16 million colors. The device connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi hotspot. The list price for the Fire is only $199, making it an attractive media tablet.
Remember the UMPC? Ultra Mobile PC concept designed and marketed by Microsoft? A couple of years before the Apple iPad was introduced, there were a few UMPC devices in stores. Well, practically no one purchased UMPC devices and the whole thing silently disappeared. Now, the UMPC concept is back: the Binatone ReadMe Mobile tablet with keyboard.
Archos is one of the pioneers of MP3 music player and multimedia player product categories. Now that the multimedia tablet market is developing fast and strong, it is not surprising to find multiple products being introduced by Archos. The Archos G9 Android tablet is trying to attract customers who want lots of storage space but don't want to pay Apple's or Samsung's prices.
HP has designed and marketed tablet computers for many years. So far, HP has used Microsoft Windows for tablet PC products. The new TouchPad tablet is built on WebOS software, originally developed by Palm. How has HP managed to merge its extensive hardware experience with new WebOS software? Perhaps surprisingly, it seems that hardware has some room for improvement while WebOS software shows great potential already now.
Two operating systems, Apple iOS and Google Android, dominate the early tablet computer market. Microsoft is preparing a new version of Windows software that will be used by a number of PC manufacturers, but there is already another choice available: MeeGo software. MeeGo was born from tablet operating system Intel was developing and Maemo mobile device operating system Nokia had developed. PC and smartphone maker Acer has decided to build a tablet on MeeGo software, the Iconia M500.
So far, the emerging tablet market has been dominated by two vendors who have global reach: Apple and Samsung. Samsung has chosen not to rival the iPad with price, but with features and wider range of models. Now, Toshiba has decided to rival the iPad using both the price and features as weapons. Here's the Toshiba Thrive tablet.
Most ebook reader devices have been built on E-ink display technology that has been designed to resemble the experience of reading printed books. These devices are excellent for reading text-only books and documents, but they can not properly display images or videos. So, if you want both ebooks and videos, you might consider a tablet like the Apple iPad. There are, however, products available with smaller price tag. We tried out Sigmatek EBKT-101 ereader that comes with 7-inch color screen and video playback capability.
The Apple iPad has totally dominated the tablet market for more than a year. Now, the popular product gets its first serious competitor on a global level: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. In addition to the sleek hardware, Samsung's tablet is built on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) software that is more capable than iOS software that is powering the iPad.
Sony has managed to hold on its tradition of well-designed products as far as Vaio laptops are concerned. Despite reports of tablet computers eating the laptop PC market, Sony has decided to invest in its own line of tablet products. The company introduced the S1 tablet to compete in the same device category as the Apple iPad and the S2 to compete, well, in a segment of its own.
People who were keen to purchase the Apple iPad 2 queued up outside the stores for up to 24 hours. If you weren't in the line with hundreds of others like these dudes in London, you probably were left empty-handed. A better idea would have been to order the iPad 2 online and wait for the package to arrive. That's what we did. Here's our unboxing video of the white Apple iPad 2.
A couple of years ago, HTC developed a user interface software, called Sense, for Windows Phone and Android smartphones it manufactured and marketed. It didn't mean there was necessarily anything wrong with the original software packages, but HTC wanted to differentiate from other manufacturers. Since HTC has decided to jump into the tablet market as well, it can make use of the Sense software on tablets as well. One of the most useful features of the HTC Flyer is handwriting and drawing with a pen. Check out the video below.
The first person in line for the Apple iPad 2 in London at Regent Street Apple store knew what he was doing. He wasn't there for the first time. Waiting for the new tablet for more than 24 hours outside on the street requires patience and stamina. The reward: shiny new device wouldn't be enough. The first people in line knew they would get media attention once the store opened and they would purchase their Apple iPad 2 units.
The original Apple iPad, launched in early 2010, dominates the tablet computer markets across the world. A number of competitive tablets built on Google Android software are available but none of them has managed to become a hit product. When Apple introduced the improved iPad 2 with two video cameras and dual-core processor, competitive tablets may have to think new ways to differentiate from the iPad.
Google's Android operating system software became really, really popular in smartphones and tablets in 2010. The trend continues in 2011 and now, the first manufacturers have realized that it might be a good idea to do something different than competitors. HTC originally developed Sense user interface software for smartphones, but it looks beautiful on the HTC Flyer tablet as well.
HP has introduced first products built on assets it received with the acquisition of Palm. One of the new products is the HP TouchPad, a tablet computer built on WebOS software. The TouchPad is exactly the same size as the Apple iPad - 9.7-inch screen - and it even looks very much like the iPad, but the TouchPad has way more features. For instance, webcam, capability to run Flash videos and apps, and multitasking operating system.
We can still vividly remember our first smartphone that had a slide-out keypad. It was an excellent innovation because the keypad was automatically locked when pushed under the screen. Although the device was slightly thicker than traditional device, the slide-out keypad saved space in the pocket. Tablets are touch screen computers without keyboard, right? Not anymore. The Samsung PC 7 Series tablet comes with slide-out keyboard.
Creative is a familiar brand for anyone who has tinkered with PC audio systems during the last 20 years. Many know the company from MP3 players and compact cameras as well. Now, Creative has taken a step into new business: media computers. Creative has introduced two tablets: the Ziio 10 and Ziio 7.
We know many people who desperately want to get a tablet, but at the same time, they are afraid of making the decision because they feel they won't survive without a keyboard. The more you type, the more you appreciate a physical keyboard. But could you have both - a keyboard and a tablet in compact laptop-like form factor? Yes, you can. One of the products comes from Dell that has designed an innovative flip-display product, the Inspiron Duo that is like a laptop but can be used like a tablet as well.
Most ebook reader devices are built on E-ink display technology. E-ink is perfect for ebooks because it has been designed with high contrast black-on-white text, flicker-free reading experience in mind. The technology doesn't emit light at all which makes it possible to read ebooks in direct sunlight and it also enables long battery life. However, one thing has been missing from E-ink displays until now: colors. Hanvon has introduced world's first ereader built on E-ink technology that can display colors.
Viewsonic has been a household brand in computer monitors for longer we can remember. Somehow, it doesn't feel surprising that the company has decided to expand into the new ereader and tablet markets. The Viewpad 7 and Viewpad 10 tablets have taken hardware design cues from the Apple iPad, but despite the resemblance the software and hardware features are attractive.
Sagem Wireless is a familiar brand for people in continental Europe for mobile phones and other electronics. Now, the company has decided to enter the new ereader device market. The Sagem Binder has a number of useful features, such as touch screen and wireless 3G mobile network connectivity and Wi-Fi that let readers download books directly to the device from a bookstore.
Whatever went wrong 10 years ago when tablet PCs were introduced for the first time by Microsoft's Bill Gates has been forgotten. The same PC manufacturers that quickly dropped tablets from their product range, are back again. This time, the Apple iPad has convinced the tech world that tablets are the real thing and practically every manufacturer will want to introduce an Android or Windows-based tablet of its own. Here's the HP Slate 500 Tablet PC.
RIM made a huge success with its classic Blackberry phones by designing them strictly for business users. Two features stood out: excellent, tiny qwerty keyboard for typing and slick, always-on email system. Now, RIM is taking a step into an unknown territory. The company has introduced PlayBook, a tablet computer without keyboard, but targeted at business users.
Archos is a pioneer of MP3 player and multimedia player product categories. It also had commercial tablet computers before the Apple iPad. Now, thanks to Apple, at least half of the world is excited about tablets. Archos has welcomed the increased awareness for tablets and introduced five new products. By far, the most exciting product is the Archos 101 Internet Tablet that can do more than the iPad - for less money.
Ten years ago, Microsoft's Bill Gates announced he had invented the future of personal computing. He introduced tablet PCs to the world. Hardware manufacturers had designed prototypes and were building production lines for the new product category. Software Development Kits were shipped to programmers and media was excited. Then, nothing happened. Until Steve Jobs announced his tablet and everyone was excited. Nonetheless, Microsoft has been developing further the tablet software. Now, Windows 7 tablet devices, like the Hanvon Touchpad B10 are available.
Even though ebook reader devices existed before the Amazon Kindle, it was the product that created the market for ebooks, newspaper and magazine downloads. Amazon has developed multiple generations of the device after the original Kindle. The latest generation comes with Wi-Fi, increased capacity, lighter weight and longer battery life. Since this is all about consumer electronics, the product price hasn't increased with new features but fallen considerably from the first edition. Here's Amazon Kindle in Graphite and white.
Even if you are absolutely sure you will only read ebooks that don't have graphics or have very few pictures, ereader devices with color screens are tempting. They are even more attractive if they let you access the Internet via Wi-Fi. The downside, not as sharp and high-contrast display as in ereaders built on E-ink display technology, has to be accepted if you want colors. Price is always a factor as well, especially when the affordable Augen The Book ereader comes with color screen.
Low-cost ebook readers are useful little devices for reading, but that's it - there's not much you can do with them. Full-featured tablet-PCs, like the Apple iPad let you do practically anything, but they cost as much as laptops and are as large as netbooks. Perhaps a product positioned just between these two categories would be the perfect tablet/ereader? Let's find out what the Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet can do.
Textbooks tend to be large, heavy and may have plenty of illustration. Although ebooks and ereader devices are increasingly popular, it is relatively difficult to study textbooks from a compact 6 or 8-inch black-and-white screen. A new enterprise, Kno, has decided to do something about it. The Kno tablet comes with two color touch screens that allow viewing and annotating textbooks.
Here's a modern day problem: you desire the Apple iPad tablet PC, because it has touch-sensitive color screen, but it is too large to be carried everywhere you want to go. You'd like to have something as compact as an ereader device that's slightly larger than a paperback, but they don't typically have color screens. Here's a device that's small and comes with touch-sensitive color screen: Let's take a look at the 7-inch Pandigital Novel tablet.
Many people who are big fans of large-screen smartphones are wondering who needs tablet PCs at all? On the other hand, if a slim tablet PC can wirelessly connect to the Internet and to a mobile phone network, why people rave about smartphones so much? Nonetheless, Dell has created a product that is trying to be both a smartphone and a tablet. Or is it? What on earth the Dell Streak is?
It is possible that the Apple iPad tablet is changing the way we use PCs just like the iPhone is changing the way we use mobile phones. The iPad, however, is a closed platform tightly controlled by Apple. The company controls which applications can be loaded to the iPad and whose content can be viewed on the device. Nonetheless, the iPad is so attractive product and there are so many add-ons available that most people don't care about the restrictions. Those who care, require alternatives, such as the WeTab.
For more than ten years, many industry experts have anticipated the breakthrough of tablet computers. Tablet PCs are ideal for viewing web pages, checking out social networks, viewing videos and perhaps making phone calls via Skype. Since tablet PCs lack physical keyboard, typing a novel is easier on a laptop or desktop PC than on a slate. Unless the tablet PC can be turned into a laptop, like the Toshiba Portege M780.
It is exciting to witness a new product category emerging. Whereas a manufacturer designs a simple and plain low-cost device, another manufacturer trusts in features, colors and glamor without worrying about the cost. Ebook reader devices are going through the first phases of their emergence right now. Will a simple device, like the Cybook Opus, a respected brand like the Apple iPad win, or maybe the winner is a product that's somewhere in between. We took a look at the Samsung eReader.
Many e-book readers are simple devices that require you to download e-books to a PC and then transfer them to the ereader. On the other hand, systems like Amazon Kindle can deliver e-books directly from the store to the ereader. The downside is that, for instance, Amazon's system is closed. What's in the device, stays in the device. Kobo Ereader is an e-book delivery system that's somewhere between simple ereaders and comprehensive closed systems.
It is remarkable to discover that not all ebook reader devices turned out be like the Amazon Kindle. An ereader with large keyboard is definitely not for us. On the other hand, early signs indicate that the Apple iPad will be mostly used as a an ereader, even though it is a tablet computer that can do whatever a PC can do. Perhaps a device that is more capable than a basic ereader, but less capable than the iPad would be just the right thing? That's what Spring Design believes. Let's take a look at the company's Alex ereader.
Pretty soon, practically every ebook reader device will have touch screen and wireless Internet access. Otherwise, ereaders simply won't have a future. Tablet devices, like the Apple iPad will be competing from ebook buyers' attention and they come with similar connectivity options than PCs. New brand, Copia, has identified a key element that has been missing from ereaders until now - social networking.
Digital picture frames are exceptional products in consumer electronics because most of them have been designed with grandma in mind. Products have to be so easy to use that even grandmas can cope with them. While touch screen photo frames with wireless Internet access are becoming more common, tablet PCs are becoming affordable and popular as well. So what's the difference between them? Not much, especially, when we take a look at the Archos 8 Home Tablet.
Archos has been a visionary company in mobile devices. It launched a portable MP3 player three years before the Apple iPod saw the light of day and portable multimedia tablets way before the Apple iPad was announced. Now, Archos has decided to enhance its tablet product range by introducing a handheld 7-inch tablet for home use.
IBM was one of the earliest innovators of touch screen computing. Back in 1990, Big Blue designed its first touch screen tablet and named it ThinkPad. Later, Lenovo bought IBM's personal computer business. Finally, Lenovo has updated the tablet PC product range IBM started 20 years ago.
When the company name is OpenPeak and the product name is OpenTablet7, the vision behind the product must have something to do with open technologies, way of conducting business, or open source. The product is a tablet computer that, inevitably, will have to compete against the Apple iPad. Since Apple likes to lock down everything it can and tends to prevent technologies it doesn't like from running on its products, even the fact that the OpenTablet7 can run Flash applications can be an advantage.
Once you have traveled with a netbook PC, you'll never want to carry a full-size laptop PC with you anymore. There are even people who try to do all their computing tasks on a smartphone in order to avoid carrying any extra weight. If a netbook PC is too much for you, but you are not ready to trust in your smartphone alone, the Sagemcom Spiga handheld PC could be the solution for you.
Even Apple fans have to admit that the company rarely can get the first version of a new product exactly right. The iPad tablet proves the point - it is missing some key features that many ebook reader devices, like the new Bebook Neo, already have. Maybe it is because the Neo is already BeBook's third generation ebook reader product.
Bill Gates must be excited over the Apple iPad. About 10 years ago, Mr Gates loudly and clearly announced that the PC of the future is a tablet that you hold in hand and tap with your finger. Microsoft even created a special version of Windows software for hardware manufacturers to make tablet PCs. Some products were introduced, but no one wanted them. Now, Apple's Steve Jobs has announced exactly the same concept - a tablet PC. It's called the Apple iPad.
It seems inevitable. Tablet computers, ebook readers, netbooks and other smaller than laptop PC-size devices are breaking through to mass markets. Ten years ago, Bill Gates tried to convince the world that tablet PCs are the way for the future. Nothing happened. Only after touch screen technology had matured, hardware prices dropped and Linux and Windows operating systems evolved, the evolution began. One of the most exciting tablet computers that can be used as an ebook reader, web slate or as a wireless photo frame computer is called the Camangi Webstation.
Some experts are convinced that dedicated, single-purpose electronic devices are the most convenient products to use and carry along. Others claim that it is not possible to have a separate device for every task because we would have to carry way too many devices with us. We tend to agree with the second opinion and favor multi-purpose devices. Of course, electronic products that can do many things are more difficult to design. For instance, the Lenovo Ideapad U1 netbook PC that can be turned into a tablet requires two central processing units (CPUs).
Altough ebook reader devices have been available for a relatively short time, three product categories are already emerging. First, book-size devices were introduced. Then, electronics and e-ink displays got smaller for pocket-size ereaders. Now, large-screen devices about the size of a netbook or small laptop PC have been introduced. One of the most exciting large ebook reader devices is the Que from Plastic Logic.
Many types of devices have tried to claim the space between laptop PCs and smartphones. You know, a mobile device about the size of a book that would let you surf the net, view photos and videos, read e-books, and check out how friends are doing on Facebook. Some experts believe in tablet (or slate) PCs, others in netbook PCs, whereas many trust ebook readers. Sony has introduced the Dash, a device that's meant to be your personal web viewer.
The world has taken yet another step towards truly mobile computing. One of the major PC manufacturers, Acer, has designed a mini-laptop, which is about the size of a mass-market book. Yet, it has a qwerty keyboard and 8.9-inch screen. The Acer Aspire One also comes with Wi-Fi, 3G, hard disk or flash memory for storage, and Linux or Windows operating system.
Anyone who regularly carries a laptop PC from home to work or school, will appreciate small size and light weight when the gravity draws the bag or briefcase towards the ground. Often, a tiny laptop that doesn't sacrifice the features of a modern PC is the optimal solution for businessmen and students alike. The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC comes with 8.9-inch screen, full keyboard, Wi-Fi, and a choice of operating system between Windows Vista and Suse Linux.
When a new exciting device with an advanced operating system is introduced, users typically want to quickly get as many applications as possible for the product. When another, maybe aging, but popular device platform has tons of tried and tested applications available, it might a good idea to put the two together. That's exactly what Access has done. Old Palm OS applications can now be installed and enjoyed on Nokia's handheld Linux tablets.
Who needs a tiny laptop computer that's smaller than a traditional notebook PC, but much larger than a smartphone or PDA? Many people would like to have an ultra-light PC for short trips that don't justify dragging a full-sized laptop PC along. If a mini laptop with full keyboard and decent display was available, many shoulders and backs would feel a lot healthier. The Fujitsu Lifebook U810 is one of the first mini notebook computers powered by Windows Vista that can be used as a tablet PC as well.
Yet another portable media player with a small screen may not excite too many people anymore. But when the same product can be used a pocket-size Linux computer, things get more exciting. Wizpy is a tiny handheld media player that transforms into a Linux machine when it is attached to a PC.
While designing smart hardware for a new game console is a wonderful achievement by itself, convincing game designers to create fascinating applications for a new device is even bigger achievement. The GP2X handheld game console aims to make it by letting open source software developers tweak the system, port classic games, and create brand new games for the console.
A long, long time ago, powerful server computers were called mainframes. Men in white coats operated them in air-conditioned computer centers. Those fortunate individuals who were granted access to the central computer, used a device called terminal to do their job. Users could only access software applications that were running on the mainframe, but never run anything locally. It was a dream for people who were managing the computers, but an extremely restrictive setup for creative people. Koolu Linux computer designed as a Thin Client is like a terminal – it only does what the central computer allows it to do. In many cases, a thin client device is exactly what organizations need.
As electronic devices get smaller, they should get more expensive, right? Tiny components cost more and hardware design becomes more complex, not to mention the challenges in manufacturing. Small, low-cost Linux computers don't seem to follow this logic. The Compulab Fit-PC is a handheld-size product that comes with Linux, 40GB hard disk, and network and USB interfaces for using it as a PC or as a networking device.
We love our grandma. Still, the mere possibility that we would have to provide technical support for her Windows PC causes us to panic. We can envision hours of work finding lost emails, documents, icons, and mice escaped from her PC. We don't mind the occasional educational sessions with her, but we would like someone else to ensure that her computer boots daily and safely saves her photos and messages on a back-up storage media. Zonbu, a low-cost Linux computer, is trying to achieve just that. Zonbu is purchased with a service that automatically manages data backups and system updates.
Have you ever wondered why is it necessary to sacrifice a whole PC when you simply want to share some resources on your home network? Or, why does it take another computer to run a Web server that makes your pages available to the Internet? The solution for both of these needs might be here. The Square One Personal Internet Server is a small, low-cost Linux computer that comes ready with all the necessary software and hardware for sharing network resources and for maintaining a Web server on the Internet.
The two most attractive features of the Asus Eee PC 701 laptop computer are its price, around $200, and its size, about the size of an ordinary book. Yet, it is a laptop computer with a 7-inch color screen and full keyboard that can be hooked up to the Internet via Wi-Fi or by plugging an Ethernet cable to its network port. Even though the Asus Eee PC is not a powerful computer, and its storage space is limited, the product will make many potential buyers of ultra-mobile laptops, UMPCs or Internet tablets seriously think of the value they get from each product.
We have our laptop PCs for serious work, smartphones for phone calls, messaging and photos, and Web tablets for viewing Web pages and videos. Some people are also using UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) computers because they like to tap a touch screen. What would make the world want yet another type of mobile computer? Maybe a new product from Palm. The small and slim Palm Foleo laptop device comes with a 10-inch screen, qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi connectivity, and flash memory cards for storage. It has been designed for wireless email and syncing data with a smartphone, not as a laptop replacement.
Linutop is a different kind of personal computer. The device is about the size of a CD case, it doesn't have any moving parts, not even a hard drive, and it lacks keyboard and screen. But when an external monitor and keyboard is attached to the Linutop, it becomes a full Linux computer. It can be used it for Web browsing, writing or reading documents, or for special applications in libraries, schools, and information kiosks. The number of USB ports should also make the device suitable for always-on monitoring and resource sharing applications, such as Web cameras.