iTablet Thumb Keyboard: Ultra-rapid cursor control and creator of convenience

Remaining productive whilst being on the go is an increasingly common demand with the modern technology consumer. In compliance with such demands, AHX Global Solutions, in partnership with AMtek systems, a leading Taiwanese designer of tablets and X2 Computing, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of itinerant computing solutions, and have created the iTablet Thumb Keyboard, bringing a compact Bluetooth keyboard and consequently providing a professional alternative to the ‘fiddly’ virtual keyboards we have been become forcibly accustomed to on mobile devices.


Compatible with a diverse spectrum of mobile devices, including mobile phones, iPhone, iPad and tablet computers, the iTablet Thumb Keyboard crafts and convenient way for users to interrelate with multimedia content and devices.  Although, if we’re honest, nearly every modern gadget claims to generate a greater sense of convenience, so in what ways will this purportedly expedient device make our lives easier?

Firstly, by incorporating the latest IPTV systems, iTablet Thumb Keyboard users can live with the luxury of being able to interact with screen content from the security of their settee. Secondly, data and text becomes much easier to enter as the iTablet Thumb Keyboard provides, as AHX Global put it, “the perfect antidote to the awkward onscreen keyboards,” and thirdly, the Thumb Keyboard is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and its patented rear-facing touchpad provides accurate and ultra-rapid cursor control using either index finger. Inconvenient low light will also be a troublesome aversion of the past with this ultra-convenient device as the keys are backlit to provide much-needed light in dimly-lit conditions.

Gaming systems can also be positively enhanced with the iTablet Thumb Keyboard, as the device can ease the control of systems such as the Nintento Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3.

Being compact in size – measuring at a more than slight 150 x 90mm – the new AHX Global keyboard can ‘conveniently’ fit into a standard tablet carry bag, making it a preferable companion to carrying around the bulkier keyboard accessory, such as the Sidekick 4G with Android on T-Mobile, or the HTC Arrive on Sprint with Windows Phone 7.

So well done AHX Global Solutions, with this information on board, we are now convinced on the ‘convenience-inducing’ properties of your new keyboard. What you forgot to inform us about was the price!

iTablet 10.1″ Windows 7 touchscreen computing

The iPad revolutionised the flagging tablet market with an inspirationally simple approach. AHX Global has noticed this success and decided to set off in the completely opposite direction. The company’s iTablet device crams a fully-functional Windows 7 operating system onto a diminutive 10.1-inch tablet form. Will it work?


AHX Global, the company taking on Apple’s premium pad, is a joint venture between X2 Computing, a UK-based supplier of mobile computing solutions, and AMtek Systems, the leading Taiwanese designer of tablet computers. Unfortunately, AMtek’s proliferation in the tablet market means that parts of the iTablet are very similar to other tablets we’ve already seen.

Firstly, the 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen has a pretty standard 1024×600 resolution. That means it’s worse than the iPad’s resolution of 1024×768 (on a smaller 9.7-inch screen), so you can’t expect a razor-sharp display. Other tablet staples include wi-fi, Bluetooth and stereo speakers. It also rotates to work in landscape or portrait orientations, and has a HDMI output to provide high quality playback of HD video and pictures through larger TV screens.

While the company may have run short on revolutionary ideas, what they’ve lost in inspiration they’ve gained in determination. Inside, it may be the most powerful tablet on the market. There’s an Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz processor and 2GB DDR2 RAM (almost eight times more than the iPad). There’s ample storage, too, with 32GB on-board, and a SD card reader for expansion possibilities. You could also plug an external hard drive into one of the two USB 2.0 ports.

It’s a powerful offering, and it should run Windows 7 Home Premium without a hitch. That means, unlike other tablets, there’ll be full Flash compatibility and a choice of browsers, as well as the entire office suite (which comes pre-installed as a trial). It also means full-sized Skype for video and VoIP conferencing application – using the built-in two megapixel webcam. How all of these will run on a 10.1” display is the vital question – we’ve set-up camp in the wait-and-see stockade.

Despite being a fully-powered Windows 7 system, it actually weighs under a kilogram. It’s also pretty compact too, with dimensions of 271 x 163 x 16mm. With this much portability, matched to this much power, something has to give – we’re willing to bet it’s the battery life. We’ll find out in March, when it hits UK stores.

Preview of the X2 iTablet

Coming hot of the heels of Apple’s iPad announcement, UK-based computer supplier X2 has announced their new powerful range of portable tablets, called the iTablet.

They may well have borrowed the ”I” but this is one of the only similarities between the iTablet and iPad. Apple and many other companies have recently decided that there is a need for device that falls somewhere between a laptop and a mobile phone.

X2’s iTablet aims to be that device – it boasts a 10.2” XGA screen, similar to the iPad, but where the iTablet this differs from Apple’s is the sort of OS you can run on it. This tablet can run a plethora of operating systems including Window 7, Windows Tablet or open source Linux. Users will be able to use all their windows applications that they use on the main computer – this is a major advantage over Apple’s iPad – which will rely on the restrictive App store.

The storage capacity is a beefy 250gb, which will give users a significant amount of space to for their HD films, music and applications. With up to three USB 2.0 ports, a 1.3 mega-pixel camera and a HDMI output – you will be able to play HD video directly from the device on to a HD TV – which is lacking from Apples iPad.

Similarly to the iPad, the iTablet will come fully equipped with Bluetooth, 3g and 802.11 wireless networking. One of the crowning glories of the iTablet will be the full Adobe flash compatibility – which Apple is still refusing to use for their phones and the iPad.

We’re excited by the possibilities of the iTablet, mainly because of the OS support, it’s going to allow users to have complete software freedom – something Apple can’t and won’t offer.

With significant differences between the iTablet and the iPad – it’s no longer a one horse race and X2 have created a compelling alternative to Apple’s glorified iPhone.  With the first shipments starting in April the iTablet will have a significant head start on the iPad and this will give X2 an opportunity to take some of the market share before Apple release the iPad.

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Tablets: Five of the best

It is officially tablet season with every brand, large and small, announcing a new model with mind-boggling specifications day by day and if you simply must have one now, here is a rundown of our top five:

Best for design: Apple iPad
Mighty Apple rarely get it wrong when it comes to style and the iPad is no exception. A spectacular minimalist lightweight design, the iPad weighs just 1.5lbs and is 0.5 inch thick with a 9.7 inch screen. Its screen is LED, multi-touch, capacitive and supports HD.  As well as the expected bells and whistles including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, speaker and microphone, it also comes with a compass and a accelerometer and is powered on a speedy Apple 1GHz A4 chip.  Then there’s all the fun you can have with apps specially pixelated to fit across the larger screen.  At a cost of between £300 – £450, it isn’t as costly as some of Apple’s other products too.

Best for budgeting: Freescale Smartbook Tablet
With so many competitors on the market, Freescale have been the only to advertise a recession-friendly Tablet estimated to cost £125.  At that price you’d think you would be giving up a lot of critical tablet-esque features but it seems not when you look at the specifications – see my last review [insert link]. The tablet has a 7 inch screen, wi-fi, Bluetooth, and a 3MP camera.  It also comes with an optional keyboard docking station should you find yourself craving the miss the traditional laptop set up.

Best Hybrid: Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
Lenovo was the first to introduce the laptop-come-tablet model making other PC makers kick themselves for not thinking of it first. The IdeaPad U1 functions as a laptop or a tablet.  Once detached, the tablet will get running independently in under 3 seconds. The two devices also work intrinsically with each other when apart by sharing battery power, 3G wireless, data and documents.  It gets points for style too, with a shiny red cover and rounded edges it looks like a trendy laptop.  The IdeaPad U1 notebook has an 11.8 inch HD, LED, multi-touch screen and it runs on a powerful ARM processor.

Best for durability: iTablet
The cheekily named iTablet, produced by British PC makers X2, has made a big impact in the UK market.  X2 design specifically for corporate use therefore might be the tablet of choice should larger companies decide to adopt slate culture.  It weighs in at 1.2kg and is around 1.5 inches thick.  It has a 10.2 inch capacitive screen with multi-touch, and is powered by an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz processor, 3 USB ports and an inbuilt webcam. It also has a large storage capacity and uses Windows 7 as its operating systems.

Best for portability: Dell Mini 5
If you’re not quite ready to embrace slateism, you could pick up the Dell Mini 5 which functions as a cross between a smartphone and a netbook in a mid size 5 inch package. Like other tablets, it allows for internet browers, e-book reader support and built with a Qualcomm snapdragon chip which should enable it to use various operating systems.