Always Innovating’s new Smart Book device is so much of everything that’s it’s almost hard to describe.

Always Innovating call it the ‘”Swiss knife” of electronics and looking at the device breakdown image below you can certainly see why that description is apt! –Full_smartbook-exploded

“It’s a tablet. It’s a keyboard. It’s a MID (Mobile Internet Device). It’s a free VOIP phone. It’s a PC dual screen. It’s a USB keychain. It’s everything!”

In all the Smart Book is comprised of two main ‘devices’ with a further two ‘accessories’ complimenting the experience.

A tablet

The tablet is a fully functioning and independent (i.e. you don’t need anything else for it to run) device. It has a 8.9″ capacitive touchscreen with  integrated front webcam.

A touchscreen mobile internet device (‘minibook’)

Inside the back of the tablet sites a mobile-sized portable device. Like the tablet it is, in itself, both fully independent and functional on its own.

Runs Android 2.2 underneath a capacitive touchscreen, integrated webcam and dedicated battery.

A keyboard

The keyboard isn’t ‘just’ a keyboard either. It has an additional battery, Bluetooth connectivity and flush USB key port

The keyboard can connect to the tablet (or any computer for that matter) via Bluetooth, whilst the ‘netbook’ mode is created by plugging in to the bottom of the tablet.

A ‘dual screen’ USB-to-HDMI adapter

This little device, like everything else about the Smart Book is useful on its own;  Simply plug a USB cable from your PC (or in this case the Smart Book) and a HDMI cable to your TV and you’ve added a second monitor in an instant.


The following muscle powers the main bulk of the Smart Book: –

  • ARM Texas Instruments cortex-A8 with video and 3D acceleration
  • 512MB RAM + 256 MB NAND
  • 8GB microSD card
  • 1024×600 8.9″ capacitive touchscreen
  • Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth class 2.1
  • Video output HDMI 720p
  • 4 available USB 2.0 (2 internal, 2 external)
  • 3-dimensional accelerometer
  • 9.7″ x 7″ x 1.3″ for 3 lbs

Operating Systems. Yes, plural.

The Smart Book is stuffed full of OS choices, packing in are not one, not two – hell not even three but four dedicated operating systems: –

  • Ubuntu 10.10 (ARM)
  • AIOS – Always innovating Operating System (built on Ångström)
  • Android – (2.2 Froyo)
  • ChromiumOS – (Custom Build by AI)

“Tremendous work was necessary to adapt all these distributions to our devices, especially because of the need to optimize the support of our hardware (accelerometer, screen rotation, touchscreen, and more).

All OS are running on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, and got several optimizations to take benefits of the advanced instructions available in the chipset.”


The best part is the price. Unlike other devices such as the iPad and the Dell Duo the Smart Book costs – in its super duper everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-configuration price – a mere $549.

For that you’re not just getting a netbook, a tablet and a mobile touchscreen device but true innovation.

Order @

Thanks to Thomas

Android hardware smartbook