Skytone Alpha debut at CeBIT marks the first Android convertible tablet


MAG Digital has done a bit of a first at CeBIT this week, revealing the Skytone Alpha convertible tablet running Google Android. With the deluge of Android tablets we have been seeing for longer than I can remember, it's refreshing to see something a bit different in a form factor that has been extremely popular in previous UMPCs such as the Fujitsu U810/U820 and Viliv S7. Like those devices, the Skytone Alpha features a clamshell design with a full keyboard, trackpad, and a touch screen (this one is 7" like the S7) that can swivel 180 degrees and be folded down over the keyboard, so users have a choice of using the device as a tablet or laptop.

As for other specifications, there isn't much available but we do know it has an ARM11-based processor, WiFi, around 2 hours of battery life, and runs Android 1.6. Also spotted on the device are two USB ports, SD card slot, microphone in, headphone out, and TV output. Some other observations include the small trackpad being used to control a cursor in Android and the addition of a small d-pad and controller buttons on either side of the screen intended for playing games.

MAG Digital has just launched the Skytone Alpha and is currently working with potential distributors to bring it to market in about a month, but we're not sure exactly when and where we can expect to see it on shelves. As for price, the MAG representative has quoted a rough number of between $200 to $250. Check out the video by Charbax below for a closer look.

It's a pleasant surprise to see an Android tablet with a convertible form factor, as it's a design that I feel is very versatile and usable. With the Skytone Alpha, MAG seems to have done a decent job of making a unique Android tablet, but I would prefer if it had a faster processor and much longer battery life. Hopefully, this is the first of more Android convertible tablets in the future.

[Alltouchtablet via Ubergizmo]
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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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