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After quite a bit of time I've finally managed to get my hand on the AI Touch Book I ordered somewhere around this time last year. The reason why I got it this late is mostly due to fact that the delivery and credit-card charge names (in my case) were not the same. I had to have the device delivered to France first (to my uncle), and then he was supposed to bring it over to me during winter holidays. Unfortunately, the poor device had a bit of a round-trip back to USA and then again to France once the shipping issue has been figured-out by AI and myself. The good thing was that AI had covered the costs of the second shipping.

I've ordered both the tablet and the keyboard.

Upon receiving the device, I went ahead and opened the box. The first thing I noticed when I took it into hands was that the quality was not at the level I'd like it to be, or at least not the entire device.

The keyboard part itself, which also sports a battery for the device (and that's actually the main feature of the keyboard if you ask me), felt quite sturdy on touch, which is a good thing itself. The part on the keyboard where you hook-up the tablet felt a bit less sturdy than the keyboard itself, but it still seems to be of decent quality. The keyboard itself felt a bit too hard for typing to me, but that's probably quite subjective (depending on who likes what). The size of the typing area is rather good for such a small device, and it spans across (width-wise) the keyboard itself almost from edge to edge. It gives a much nicer typing experience than the Asus Eee, for example.

The tablet itself felt a lot less sturdy than the keyboard. Particularly unpleasant was the sensation that the plastic is bending. This is particularly noticeable with the back cover of the tablet. While understandable up to a point (since you can take the cover off to (re)place internal USB devices), it still could be more useful to make the mechanism for opening it in such a way that it results in a sturdier cover.

The tablet itself was decently light-weighted, but when coupled with the keyboard it feels much heavier than some netbooks I've had in my hand.

There are three lock-hinges on the tablet itself. One is used for locking the back-cover, while the other two are used for securing the tablet when attached to the keyboard. Another issue I had was that when attached to the keyboard the tablet felt a bit too loose (moving the entire device up and down would cause the tablet to clap on the keyboard). Another issue with the keyboard is that it has stabilizers which are simply glued to it, which makes them a bit prone to breaking etc (in fact, this did happen to me where the left one just fell off from the device when I tried to open the device too much).

Although I've booted the device and tried it out a little bit, I'd like to refrain from commenting on the software-wise usability yet, since the versions of AIOS, Ubuntu and Android which came on top of the device at the time are a bit stale. There's one more usability note about the hardware, though, and that's that there's a small problem if you need to touch an icon or something similar if it happens to be by the edge of the screen, since the plastic which protects the screen is a bit hindering that (maybe a good idea should've been to leave at least a little bit of flat space around the edges of the touchscreen so that you could more easily use your fingers around the edges).


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