When news of the Litl Webbook broke out on Wednesday, I was pleased to learn that the company is located here in Boston, since there aren’t nearly as many people in this area making actual hardware devices, as opposed to software and web companies.
I got a chance to sit down with CEO John Chuang for a thorough overview of the Webbook, so check out the above video for some information about the design philosophy and user interface behind the $699 transforming internet computer.
As for the machine itself, it’s a 12-inch laptop-style device with a screen that folds over into an “easel mode” for viewing full screen web channels. The screen has a 178-degree viewing angle and there’s a built-in HDMI output for quick connection to TVs.
The computer stores very little actual data on its 2GB flash drive, instead connecting to existing services and web sites. As such, user settings are constantly synched between multiple Litl machines and there’s no need to worry about losing data, viruses, or any of that stuff. Updates are pushed out silently to machines during the night and you can even pre-customize the “web cards” that will appear on your desktop before ordering. Litl owners in different households can send photos and videos directly to each others’ machines as well.
Most existing web sites can be turned into web cards to be viewed in easel mode and to appear with the other cards on the home screen, although the company has also tapped into various services’ APIs already to create custom interfaces (Weather Channel, Photos, etc.). Easel mode can be controlled with a scroll wheel that’s built into the side of the computer or with an optional $19 remote control.
Litl is priced at $699 and includes “a free two-year unconditional ‘satisfaction guaranteed or your money refunded’ warranty.” See the initial coverage and press release here.