By >Akihabara News Team
Hands-on with NEC’s Android LifeTouch; a pleasant middle ground between smartphones and tablets
I am just back from checking out the new goodies from NEC at C&C User Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo. One of the highlights was definitely the LifeTouch, a mini-tablet, running Android whose interface had a uniquely Japanese feel to it. Holding the LifeTouch took me back to my pre-iPhone days when the phones all had multiple desktop interface setups that could be changed easily, and they came loaded with interesting and useful software. Despite the throwback to the keitais of yore, the LifeTouch is in no way old-fashioned. It is equipped with a 3megapixel camera, wi-fi connectivity and optional 3G.
The device is being marketed as more than a fun a way to amuse yourself while commuting or sitting through meetings. Taking the emphasis off of apps apps apps, the LifeTouch has other useful features such as being compatible with a lot of the technology around it us and has the flexibility to customized for personal of commercial use. It sports an RFID reader, a full size SD card, can be controlled by touch or a stylus, and can also be connected customized to work with peripheral devices, such as to a device used by hairdressers to monitor the health of a client’s scalp when they go in for a trim.
At home, when used with its stand, it can be used in the kitchen instead of a traditional cookbook, as a digital picture frame, and even as a home automation control pad. On the go, it is small enough (7” display 800×480, 220x120x14mm), and light enough (370g) to use comfortably almost anywhere and can be used as an e-book reader, or as an ordering system in restaurants. Other specs include ARM Cortex A8 CPU, Mobile DDR 256MB, SD/SDHC slot, two USB 2.0 ports, 3MP camera, Wi-Fi 802.11b/11g, Bluetooth Ver.2.1 + EDR, internal mono mic, internal stereo speaker, GPS, accelerometer and 8 hours of battery life.
It also supports both stylus and finger.. Of course, they haven’t overlooked the necessity of apps altogether, and NEC has presented the LifeTouch as part of a system of app development through a partnership with software vendors. The possibilities of lie with LifeTouch are very appealing and it starts shipping at the end f this month.