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Is it a laptop or a tablet? Meet Toshiba’s Libretto

Toshiba Libretto W100

Above: Toshiba’s new dual-screen tablet computer that folds in half like a paperback is out to beat the Apple iPad.

Toshiba Libretto W100

Right: The W100 Libretto runs Windows 7.

A NEW dual screen computer that folds in half like a paperback is out to beat the iPad.

Toshiba’s Libretto W100 is touted as the first of an entirely new type of portable touch screen device.

Its designers claim it combines the best features of a laptop with the simplicity of Apple’s iPad.

The Windows 7-powered Libretto arrives among many devices set to capitalise on the public’s love affair with interactive screens on computers and mobile phones.

They include the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Android-powered DreamBook ePad N7 and Hanvon B10 TouchPad.

But the Libretto appears to have broken new ground.

When held in landscape mode, users can type on a virtual keyboard displayed on the bottom screen while their document is displayed above.

Hold the device open like a book and two keyboards appear on both screens.

Users can also cycle through and select video clips on one screen while watching them in full size on the other.

The Libretto impresses with its compact size and screen resolution, however it is more than double the price of the iPad at $1595.

Being able to hold it like a book is a plus, though it is on the heavy side.

Unlike the iPad, users can’t use their fingers to pinch and zoom content on screen.

This makes it very difficult to navigate the quite small text using your fingers alone.

Toshiba spokesman Anthony Geronimo said: “It’s very much in its own category.

“I think it’s the natural evolution of the slate (computing) category.”

While touchscreen slate-style computers have been around for a decade, it was the huge success of first the iPhone, followed by the iPad, that gave the concept mass appeal.

Apple is rumored to be working on a smaller 7″ version of the iPad, designed to counter designs from rival companies.

Dick Smith merchandise manager Michah Gamman said there were now so many options available, customers really needed to do their homework before walking into a store.

“From day one there was so much hype around it (iPad) and it has absolutely sparked interest across all our computer products,” he said.

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