There’s a story over at Mashable.com with the headline that Toshiba’s W100 dual-screen tablet notebook announced yesterday is a “dual-screen challenge” to Apple’s iPad.
We certainly wouldn’t argue if it was but in reality, while two screens does give the W100 the potential to out-do the iPad and Nintendo’s DS in one hit, it’s unlikely to have the same impact as the iPad.
And the single greatest reason for that is battery life.
Toshiba’s European office in its release yesterday said little about battery life except a brief entry in its specs, saying “up to three hours”.
Toshiba’s Japanese head office gave a little more detail about battery life – going to the extent that the W100 will actually have two battery options. With the standard battery pack, the W100 will weigh just under 700grams but only deliver two hours’ battery life. An extended battery back will be available that boosts weight to the 819 grams mentioned in the European release but push battery life to four hours.
Whether the power consumption issues are the two LCD screens, the Intel processor or the use of Windows 7 remains to be seen. In the end, it doesn’t matter because it unfortunately doesn’t come close to the 10 hours’ rated battery life of the iPad.
Certainly, driving 2048×1200-pixels is going to take some processing and given how small the unit actually is (what we don’t know is whether the promotional pics of the W100 are just with the standard battery – most likely, they are), it’s not surprising battery life is as low as it is.
Battery life is one of the rumours behind HP’s decision to postpone its Slate device. It was originally running Windows 7 but with HP’s purchase of Palm a couple of months ago, it’s very likely Slate is being retooled to handle Palm’s leaner webOS operating system.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter which device does what – a key feature every device will need to master is battery life.
And at the moment, Toshiba’s W100 doesn’t look like it’s going to come close to the iPad on that score.