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CoolShip desktop Android computer looks like nothing more than a keyboard

By

February 28, 2013

The CoolShip from FocusWill is an Android desktop computer housed in a full-size QWERTY keyboard

The CoolShip from FocusWill is an Android desktop computer housed in a full-size QWERTY keyboard

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Readers of a certain age will remember, probably with fondness, the computer-in-a-keyboard form factor exemplified by the likes of the Atari 800XL or the mighty Commodore 64. We've seen several impressive attempts at revival in the recent past, including efforts from Barry S Altman's Commodore USA and ASUS. Now China's FocusWill Information Technology is getting in on the act with an Android-flavored, keyboard-based desktop computer called the CoolShip.

The CoolShip desktop computer has been under development since 2011, and started shipping just last month. At its heart beats a 1.5 GHz Rockchip dual-core RK3066 ARM processor with Mali-400 graphics, supported by 1 GB of DDR3 RAM and 4 GB of NAND flash storage as standard, with 8 GB available as an option. It runs on Android 4.0, with the option of a Windows-like custom skin that FocusWill is also calling CoolShip, that was developed for Chinese users.

The full-size keyboard sports 104 chiclet-style keys (including what looks like a Windows key), there's an integrated touchpad to the right, and stereo speakers rated at 0.7 W each below the main keying area. It supports 1080p HD video playback on a connected monitor via VGA or HDMI, has two USB 2.0 ports, 3.5-mm audio in and out, an SD card slot, Ethernet LAN, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology.

The 395 x 215 x 34/17-mm (15.5 x 8.5 x 1.3/0.6-inch) low power draw (10.5 W) machine tips the scales at 1.2 kg (2.5 lbs) and has a built-in 3.7 V (300 mAh) lithium battery to protect the OS in the event of a power failure.

FocusWill has now hit crowdfunding site Indiegogo to help give the keyboard computer an extra global push. Backers can get a basic 4 GB storage package (which seems to have everything detailed above except for the touchpad) for just US$89. The company will throw in a USB mouse for an extra $10 and up the memory to 8 GB.

For a pledge of $119, you'll get 8 GB of storage, a USB mouse, a 16 GB SD card and a "try out" version of the English version of the custom Android overlay. Other levels include multiple buys and all bids include international shipping. Backers can expect delivery to start in April.

The CoolShip computer is detailed in the promo video below.

Source: FocusWill, Indiegogo

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About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden
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11 Comments

What would be cool is if it had a small projector built in to project the screen on to a surface so it could act independently.

Ricky Schiebner

Wow, Ricky, that's exactly what I thought as I was reading the article! A small lcd projector would be nifty. And, a usb camera that has one of those stiff/memory-type cords so it wouldn't need a tripod...

Jeremy Nasmith

Would be nice if keyboard layouts different than English (my choice would be Hungarian) would be available.

Fekete József

I agree with Ricky and Jeremy - if it had a projector built in, it'd be great! Considering PICO projectors are so small, I could see them tacking on a projector and it wouldn't lose much in the way of its form. It would definitely get my money at that point!

0p3nsrc

Gotta love that chocolate keyboard, a big step up from the old Chiclet style.

Looks like a nice product, though.

Gary Fisher

A laptop without a top, no?

Fairly Reasoner

Too many wires.

Paul Anthony

How would I go about connecting this wirelessly to my 52" LCD TV?

Roger Bannister

I'm not at all sure what I'd want this for. Android is a poor choice for such a package.

An Intel or AMD box similar to this with a detachable display would catch my interest. x64 internals a must. Don't need the display to work if detached. HDMI would take over in that case. Needs to be able to run Windows 7 and have a Chrome OS virtual machine. A switch to determine which takes the screen at startup. Drop the numeric keypad.

I'll pledge for that in a heartbeat if someone does it and I know a huge market that I could sell it into if it was priced so that a reseller could make a profit.

DonGateley

I do agree with Fairly Reasoner. First thing that came to mind was "take generic laptop, chop off screen" And why the Android OS? Surely other Linux distros would be nicer. Android needs to stay put in a phone.

Personally I've always been fond of the silent and trendy keyboard/mouse/large monitor in one room fibre linked through wall to overclocked server (sounds like a jet, has its own air conditioner, ugly big things with lots of cables) in the other room.

In summary everyone has their idea of blending the beauty and beast. I just fail to see how this will fit into the mainstream.

Nairda

Although the the ability to upgrade is great, the lack of a screen is not. Something along the lines of a Chromebook, but for Android would be much more appealing to me, and (I think) many more people, than just a keyboard case.

Keyboard cases have not fared well at all in the marketplace except for a very small cadre of old school diehards.

yrag
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