Faqs

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Find here the answers to the most common questions about the Always Innovating products such as the Touch Book, the Smart Book or the Mini Book.

Got trouble with your device? We're very sorry to hear that. You'd better read our troubleshooting guide.

Contents

General usage

What can I do with the Touch Book or the Smart Book in netbook mode?

Pretty much anything you can do with a standard netbook, including editing basic office documents, browsing the web and watching Hulu or Youtube videos.


What can I do with the Touch Book or the Smart Book in tablet mode?

Pretty much the same; the only difference is that the keyboard is a screen one (and let you type anything you need), and the mouse is your finger. That said, you can obviously surf the web, check your emails, watch videos, editing documents...


Can I replace my computer with a Touch Book or a Smart Book?

You could. Nevertheless, we don't see the Touch Book or the Smart Book as your primary machine, but rather as an additional, portable computer which can better fit your needs in various circumstances.


Is there a service associated with any of the Always Innovating products?

No.


How mature is the system?

The hardware is now final at shipment. Software is still in beta. You may want to read our roadmap.


How 'open' is your hardware design?

The Always Innovating strongly believes in and supports the recent open hardware efforts. The open hardware business model is very similar to the open source. Over time, we provide back to the community all of our efforts but if you have any interest to pay for a premium service, we will provide first-class support as well as early access to our software and hardware developments. Please check out our services page, or contact us for more detailed information.

Hardware

How many batteries are in the device?

  • in a Mini Book: one
  • in a Touch Book: two (one in the tablet, one in the keyboard)
  • in a Smart Book: three (one in the tablet, one in the keyboard, one in the Mini Book)


How long is the battery life?

Battery life really depends on usage. The standalone touchscreen should last between 3 and 5 hours. With the keyboard attached, the system should last around 10 hours.


I heard about internal USBs? What are they?

The innovative design includes internal USB plugs. We all hate having dongles hanging from our laptop - we often end up disconnecting them accidentally — so we opted to put the USB inside. If putting a USB device inside your Touch Book sounds hard - don't worry! We've designed the Touch Book so you can easily open it up to add and remove USB devices.


What is the size of the screen?

  • the main screen has a diagonal of 8.9 in, and the screen resolution is 1024 × 600 pixels.
  • the main screen has a diagonal of 3.5 in, and the screen resolution is 480 x 320 pixels.


Does the Touch Book or the Smart Book use a stylus?

There is no more stylus included in the package, as new units are now using a multi-touch capacitive touchscreen.


Can the Touch Book or the Smart Book be used with an external monitor?

Yes. All the Always Innovating products (including the Mini Book) now features an HDMI 720p output port.


What is the color of your products?

The Touch Book is black inside, silver on the sides, and with a beautiful red back pane. Please visit the gallery.

The Smart Book looks like the Touch Book, with an additional transparent area in the red back pane to allow one to see the Mini Book screen.

The Mini Book has a black screen, silver sides, and a discrete black back pane.


Can the 8GB SD card be replaced with a larger one?

Yes. SDHC cards are supported. Note that it will require some special formatting for the system to work. Detailed step-by-step information is available here.


Can I use any Bluetooth devices on the Touch Book or the Smart Book?

The Touch Book and the Smart Book comes with Bluetooth capabilities to let you connect your favorite third-party devices.


Can I get cellular / GSM access with the Touch Book, the Smart Book or the Mini Book?

None of our devices have built-in cellular / GSM access, but it supports some of the 3G USB dongles sold by carriers. Check out the tested accessories list for more details.


Will you be adding 3G or 4G in the future?

We can't comment on our future products :-)


Can I use any hard drive with the Touch Book or the Smart Book?

You can plug a USB hard drive into the Touch Book or the Smart Book.


Is there a built-in webcam in the Always Innovating devices?

Yes. There is a front built-in webcam in the tablet part of the Touch Book and the Smart Book. There is also a front built-in webcam in the Mini Book, to allow you to make video calls. That also means that in a Smart Book, there are two webcams: one in the tablet part, on in the Mini Book part.


In a Smart Book, can we use the two webcams with the system?

Yes. When you are using the Smart Book in tablet or netbook mode, you have access to both front and back webcams.


Can we add memory on these devices?

You can't add more memory as it is directly shipped on the processor, but the current amount of RAM is designed to fully match the needs of the device.


How big are these devices?

Not too big, not too small: please check the physical dimensions page.


Can I use any CD/DVD drive with the Touch Book or the Smart Book?

You can plug an external USB CD/DVD drive into the Touch Book or Smart Book and watch your DVDs.


What about screen rotation capabilities?

The Touch Book includes an accelerometer so it can detect when you move the device around. You can use the Touch Book and Smart Book in landscape or portrait mode.


How much power is consumed by the Touch Book and the Smart Book?

The Touch Book and the Smart Book are powered by 5V @ 3.5A (17.5W). The minimum needed is probably 1.5A (7.5W). As the input is a low voltage, the Touch Book and the Smart Book can potentially be used in a car.


Are these devices RoHS compliant?

To the best of our knowledge, our devices are built only with RoHS components. As we don't have too much time, we have not certified them with EPEAT but we think that the device is certainly EPEAT silver and even perhaps at the gold level.

Do I need the Touch Book tablet to make the Mini Book work?

No. The Mini Book works on its own, so you don't need to have it plugged into a Touch Book Tablet.


In a Smart Book; does the tablet still function as a tablet, not just a screen, once the Mini Book is removed?

No. In a Smart Book, the core computation system is housed in the Mini Book part. That means that when you take the Mini Book out of the tablet, there is no more "brain" in the tablet.


Are there one or two CPUs in the Smart Book?

There is only one CPU for the full device, which makes the whole device very optimal, and allows us to sell it cheaper.


Do your devices come with a power adapter?

Yes. Every order, being a Mini Book, Touch Book, or Smart Book, comes with a power adapter in the package. You don't need to order one separately in our webstore.


Can you use any older keyboard with the Smart Book or Touch Book v2?

You can't swap a new keyboard with an old keyboard: a Touch Book v1 keyboard can not be plugged in a Smart Book Tablet or a Touch Book Tablet v2, and a Smart Book or Touch Book v2 keyboard can not be plugged into a Touch Book Tablet v1.

That said, as the Smart Book / Touch Book v2 keyboard features a USB mini port, you can still connect such a keyboard into a Touch Book Tablet v1 thanks to a USB cable.

Software

Which OS is installed on the Touch Book, Smart Book and Mini Book?

All our devices will ship with the Always Innovating OS + Ubuntu + Google Android by default; and soon Chromium OS. You will be then able to switch between these OSes, either at boot time, or run time. That means that when you have the keyboard plugged, you can enjoy the benefits of a netbook-friendly OS (such as Always Innovating OS or Ubuntu), and when in tablet mode or using the Mini Book only, switch to a more touch-friendly OS, such as Android or Chromium OS.

Can it run Windows XP/Vista/7?

XP and Vista: no. Microsoft is still debating what they will do for Windows 7 regarding their ARM support. You should drop them a line! ;-)


Can it run Mac OS X?

No.


What sort of video can I play on the system?

Up to HD video 720p. That's the best of what the hardware can do. Note that there is still some software work to do so as to fully leverage the hardware. In any case, 720p full screen is superior to the screen resolution of the device (1024×600). At least, 720p is a reference point that should give you an idea of what you can expect from the Touch Book or the Smart Book.


Which audio/video formats can these devices play?

Almost any. Linux is mature enough to read any audio/video format.


Can these devices run iPhone/iPad applications?

Here's what Always Innovating founder Grégoire Gentil has to say about the subject: "That's a very tricky question both technically and legally. Technically, there are some mechanisms to do that, nevertheless, it all depends of what Apple will do. When it comes to iPod/iTunes, for example, most people agree the company has effectively locked up their system. Legally, I have not seen anything that would impede it, but I'm not a lawyer. Bottom-line, we will ship at least one best-selling iPhone games with our devices. However, I would discourage you from buying a Touch Book if your primary reason is to run a specific iPhone or iPad application. We cannot guarantee the position of all actors on this subject. We are not interested in picking a fight against a company we all respect. It is just that the Touch Book team believes in openness, open source, and will continue to create and advocate for open systems."


Can these devices run Android third-party applications?

Yes. As Google Android is Linux-based, it's definitely easier to have external applications run on the device. As long as you legally have the right of use, you can install any Android package on the system.


Which applications are available on the Touch Book or the Smart Book?

You can find the list of all the applications installed on the device on this wiki. It is updated for each OS release. Nevertheless, you'll be able to install any Linux application, so even if the application you want isn't available by default, you'll be able to install it yourself.


Can it run drawing and sketching applications? Does the touchscreen handle multi-touch for these applications?

Yes and yes. There are a few applications installed on the Touch Book and Smart Book to do that. The capacitive touch screen also comes with multi-touch support.

Which ebook formats can read these devices?

Our products can read most of the ebook formats, especially all those that are not DRM-protected.

Does the system handle handwriting recognition?

There are several installed applications on the system, like qwo.


What about Java support?

Java is supported on the Touch Book.


Can I easily use the Touch Book or the Smart Book without the keyboard?

Yes and it's getting better and better. The best option in terms of UI is probably to switch to Google Android when in tablet mode.


Can I open, modify and save Microsoft Office documents?

Yes and it's getting better and better. OpenOffice is available and offers better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. There are also cloud-based tools, such as the Zoho Office websuite, that allows you to create / modify / save documents on the web.


Can I use Instant Messaging on the system, like MSN, Yahoo or GTalk?

Yes. With the Messenger (Pidgin) application, you can connect to any chat network.


Can I make audio or video calls?

Yes, both. All our devices come with a front-end webcam, backed by a Skype-based software to allow you make audio and video calls on your system. All you will need is to have a working Wi-Fi connection.

Am I protected from viruses on these devices?

All our devices come with a Linux-based operating system, which is known to be much more resistant to virus than the proprietary Microsoft Windows OSes. Based on open source, everybody can review the source code and see that there is no harm virus in the operating system.


Support and sales

What kind of support should I expect?

Unlimited online, forums, mailing list and email incidents.


What is the warranty of the device?

The Touch Book comes with a 12 month limited warranty. Some components due to excessive usage or deterioration will not be covered by the warranty. Read the terms for more information.


When can I buy the Smart Book, Touch Book or Mini Book?

All our products can be pre-ordered online. We are still finalizing our production batch. Please check out our announcements on our website, forums or twitter feed for more information over the coming weeks.

What are the countries you are selling the devices?

We are selling our products to the following countries: AAland Islands, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestinian Territory, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Spain, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom (Great Britain), and the United States. We may add countries to that list later on, but we don't have a timetable yet.


What is the shipping cost?

For full devices, expect between $15 and $20 for the US, and around $40 for international destinations. There is no handling charge.


What fees or taxes apply for US orders in addition to the shipping cost?

If your shipping address is in Caifornia, the California sales tax will apply. For other states, we don't collect any sales tax.

For all US orders, we also charge a 2.5% recycling fee, in order to cover costs related to all the green taxes currently being introduced at a state level. The principles and rates vary from state to state, but to keep it simple for everyone, we apply the same low rate to each order.


What fees or taxes apply for international orders in addition to the shipping cost?

No US taxes apply on international orders. However, you certainly will have to pay VAT to your customs in your country (they usually directly contact you). The amount of import taxes depends on each country policy; please check with your local authorities.


What will be the return policy?

Fifteen days from shipment date if the device is returned in its original condition. There is a $50 restocking fee in any case. Please read our warranty and return policy for more information.


Do you ship internationally?

Yes. We have not yet figured out the multi-language keyboard production, but you can already order a Smart Book, Touch Book or Mini Book if your shipping address is among the list above. Order processing is subject to the same delays as US orders, but expect one or two weeks more for delivery due to transit and customs. We only ship to the countries listed in the order form. We may add countries to that list later on, but we don't have a timetable yet.

If I'm ordering now, when will I be charged: immediately or once my unit ships?

Your credit card will not be charged immediately, but only a few days before shipping. You will receive a confirmation email just after your card is being charged.


How can I get an answer to a question that is not answered above?

Read this wiki, search our forums, and if needed, contact our Help Desk.

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