Newsmy Newman Q20: Tiny 8.9” Convertible Tablet PC
Vanilla tablets may score with their above-average portability and durability, but not everyone gets a kick out of “typing” on – let alone touching – the flat, unergonomic but shiny screen you'd only polished minutes ago. For those types, “convertible tablets” with keyboards niftily integrated into their designs are available, and those looking for a particularly small one are sure to be well served by Chinese company Newsmy's new, er, Newman Q20. We may or may not have looked at a smartphone from the same company a few months ago.
The Newman Q20 looks like a normal laptop at first glance, but that's only when you're using it for typing, or to watch a video. When you want to play Angry Birds, a clever hinge design allows you to rotate the touchscreen display in its frame. You would then “close” the device with the back of the display covering the keyboard, and then start using it like a tablet. The manoeuvre is altogether similar to Dell's Inspiron Duo notebook, but done in a much smaller 8.9” size.
Luckily, despite the small size it seems like Newsmy has settled on a smart layout for the keyboard. I see a full-length right shift key, for example, something that was unusually hard to find during the netbook blitz of 2008. The Newman Q20 also has a pair of mouse buttons and an optical pointer under the keyboard, saving you from having to repeatedly lift your arm while working.
Although, working on spreadsheets at least might be somewhat difficult, as the display is not only small but only has a 1024x600-pixel resolution. If you can get past that, the dual-core 1.6Ghz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of memory, 32GB solid-state-drive and Windows 8 operating system should handle most low-octane tasks.
The device also has WiFi connectivity, an Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, mic and headphone audio jacks, a front-facing webcam, and, somewhat impressively, an HDMI port. An actual weight spec is not given, but the total package weight is 2.20lbs. As it is, the only real competitor in terms of general specifications to the Newman Q20 is the Acer Iconia W3, which requires a dock for keyboarding and is missing several ports. The Newsmy device is all-in-one. Not bad.
Now, if you've been reading my articles for awhile, by this point you're probably expecting me to say something like, “this item is not out yet” or, “this item can only be bought in [insert foreign country here]” and then sign off, right? Nope, not this time! Starting at $485 USD, a few sellers on online retailer AliExpress are selling Newman Q20s, and with free shipping to boot. So if you really want one, there you go.