Toshiba outs $1,100 dual-screen tablet

Toshiba has produced a dual-screen touch-controlled laptop called the W100 which will soon be available for around $1,000.

If you can't quite get your head around the concept, just imagine the bastard love child of an Apple iPad and a Nintendo DS.

The dual seven-inch multi-touch displays hinge like a traditional laptop and can be used in a laptop-like way with an onscreen keyboard flat on your desktop (or your lap) and the viewable screen sticking up. Or you can use it more like a book with the two screens standing up in portrait mode. Or flat on a table like a slate. Take your pick.

Unlike Microsoft's fabled Courier project, it seems that the W100 actually exists and has been shown to hacks from a number of sites including the folks at Laptop Mag.

All are reporting that the software, which has apparently been fudged somewhat in order to hide Windows 7's shortcomings when it comes to touch-screen functionality - is a bit buggy and feels incomplete. But we're sure all of these inconsistencies will be ironed out before it goes on sale at some as-yet-undisclosed date.

Both screens are capable of displaying 1024 x 600 pixels and the bottom screen can act as a six-mode keyboard with haptic feedback.

The W100 is powered by a 1.2GHz Pentium U5400 processor and runs Windows 7 Home Premium out of the box, but we can't help wondering if an Atom-powered version running Android might be in the offing in future.

Add 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 62GB SSD, an HD webcam, Wi-Fi, Blutooth, a single USB 2.0 port, a MicroSD slot and an eight-cell battery and you have a full overview of the 1.8-pound package.

But like many others, we can't help wondering whether this diminutive dual-screen notebook is really worth twice as much as an iPad. Maybe we should just buy two and gaffer tape them together.