Whereas Acer's dual-core netbooks will offer Android and Windows 7, Augen's Gentouch Espresso Doppio will be the first device to dual-boot the two Linux-based operating systems, the Florida company says. Users will be able to select either Android 2.2 or Ubuntu when turning on the tablet, which is designed to offer the full functionality of a laptop with email, social networking, business applications and printing capabilities.
The Doppio's form factor comprises a detachable 10.2-inch tablet with an enhanced-brightness and high-resolution 1024-by-768 Multi-Touch Capacitive Screen; its base, meanwhile, includes a QWERTY chocolate-style LED backlit keyboard. Both components contain an independent lithium 6000 mAh battery capable of offering 10 hours of usage individually; when docked together, the devices provide a combined battery life of up to 15 hours.
Priced at $599.99, the Espresso Doppio is powered by a 1GHz processor with 512MB Mobile SD RAM, a 4:3 aspect ratio for multimedia viewing, a 3-megapixel DSC front-facing camera for video conferencing, a 3 axis accelerometer/compass, a multi-touch track pad, WiFi-802.11(a/b/g/n) support, 2 USB OTG/Ports, and a 2.5-inch SATA IDE HDD 160GB hard drive.
A World of Choice
Among the other five tablets on the way from Augen this fall is the $349.99 dual-core, Froyo-powered Espresso Firma tablet, which comes with a wand pen that allows the user to write on standard paper while simultaneously transmitting the hand-written notes digitally to the 7-inch tablet.
The $429.99 Espresso Dolce, meanwhile, is similar to the Doppio but without the dock and dual-boot capability; it runs Froyo alone. So, too, does the $349.99 Espresso--which features a 7-inch display and 800-by-600 resolution--as well as the $249.99 Latte Grande and the 13-ounce $199.99 Latte version. All are due from Augen by the end of the year.
Dual-booting seems to be a growing trend, and no wonder: Consumers are tired of being limited to one way of doing things. Apple will always have die-hard fans who love living in its walled garden, but for the rest of the mobile world, it's increasingly about choice.
That, in turn, is where Linux excels. Whether it's the hardware, the interface, the apps, the carrier or the operating system, choices abound in the Linux world, and that's undeniably a good thing. Expect to see more hardware makers take the open road and let users get what they really want.
Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.