Mad as a box of frogs, tbh.Now you may remember from our Computex coverage and shows on HEXUS.tv that Via are seriously going after the UMPC market with loads of cool gadgets powered by their UMPC solutions. Well we spotted yet another seemingly weird UMPC that Via proudly handed us for a fiddle, and no, I didn’t break it… well, not quite.
The Noahpad UMPC is powered by the Via 1GHz Eden Processor on the CX700 All-in-one Media Chipset. Nothing to amazing there then and at first glance it looks like a slightly large than usual UMPC with a slightly quirky and oversized thumb board split into two distinct halves.
But after have a go typing with my thumbs, (which usually only happens when I’m spectacularly drunk), it became apparent that there’s something else going on. The two halves of the thumb board aren’t sub-divided into separate buttons, they’re actually two sprung touchpads… so to type is just a case of pressing down when you’re thumb is over the required letter… which utterly doesn’t explain why the thumboard is two touch pads.
And this is where I was shown the Noahpad’s party trick. The screen opens up as normal, but then carries on folding back so the whole thing looks like a tablet PC… but now you crack it open and tad so you can grip the bottom half and rest your fingers on the touchpads underneath… and now, as you slide your fingers over the pads, the keys they’re resting on is displayed faintly over the top of the display, allowing you to carry on typing.
Sure, it takes some getting used to but Via say that after about 20 minutes you get the hang of it. I had a fair go and have to say that with a little practice I managed to type my name… but Mark Su, from the Noahpads manufacturers E-LEAD, was typing at a fair old lick. The Noahpad is aimed at businesses and schools that need mobile UMPCs… which Mark demonstrated by hanging the Noahpad around his neck and walking around typing…and seeing as I was having trouble just walking around I thought it best to let him get on with it.
All HEXUS CES 2008 content