Last week I reported on the Ubook, a new dual screen laptop that was going to be unveiled at CES. It was indeed there, but I didn't get the chance to use it. The one they had on display was the engineering sample, not a production unit, and they really didn't want anyone to touch it.
But it looks neat, none the less.
Unlike most dual screen devices, this is going to be a full blown laptop running Windows 7. It's going to have a 2.5GHz quad core CPU with 6GB of RAM, several hard drive options including solid state drives, 5MP camera, Wifi, Bluetooth, and it will have the requisite ports and slots found on a power laptop.
The production unit will have a 13.3" screen, and in place of the keyboard it will have a second 12" touchscreen. That screen will support both capacitive multi-touch as will as pen input. It's expected to hit the market in Q3 2012, and the retail will be between $900 and $1200.
Some might object to the lack of feedback of a touchscreen keyboard, but not me. I've never been a fan of on screen typing, but that was mainly because I didn't like typing on the surface I was reading. It was awkward to read and type. The Ubook fixes that problem, and it opens up some interesting possibilities.
The Ubook is going to come with a number of alternate keyboards, and depending on the options this could be a very capable device. Imagine a custom keyboard layout for video or image editing, or perhaps a design that let you use multiple character sets (without typing in the unicode shortcuts). The Ubook could do that, when it is released.
Now, I'm not entirely sold on the concept, but it's one of those things I have to try before I know it won't work. It's different enough from what I'm used to that I am withholding judgement.
I cannot wait to see it.
edit: the keyboard images are by Brad Linder of Liliuting who had better luck photographing the Ubook.