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.