Toshiba’s $500 Android netbook due next month

Android is already having a huge impact in the smartphone space and now that looks set to carry over to notebooks or at least netbooks.

Toshiba doesn’t want to miss that boat with the mobility-minded company revealing plans to release a $500 Android netbook onto the Aussie market next month.

The AC100 is being tagged as the ‘cloud companion’ intended mainly for accessing the Web and other Net-based services although it has a 32GB solid state drive and even an HDMI port for outputting video onto an external monitor (at 1080p HD Toshiba says) instead of the AC100’s 10.1 inch screen.

Under the textured hardened plastic shell sits Nvidia’s 1GHz Tegra T20 processor running Android 2.1 with 512MB of RAM. Toshiba claims eight to ten hours’ battery life on the 25Whr battery and up to seven days on standby. has handled a production sample of the device and it’s delightfully slim – tapering from 14mm to 21mm – and light at around 900 grams. But for such a featherweight wedge the AC100 feels surprisingly sturdy without the obvious flex you’d usually associate with plastics.

Other design touches include a sharp orange-yellow highlight for the keys trackpad surround and the side-mounted port panels.

We’re less enthused about the inclusion of just a single USB port (well along with a mini-USB port) however – unless you option up the AC100 to include an internal 3G modem that one port could become swap city for your 3G USB dongle notebook mouse flash memory key and such.