We've seen Ultrabooks from almost every manufacturer-- Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, even Vizio. But of all the MacBook-like machines we've seen, never has there been one to run the Android operating system. Until now.
During Computex, NetbookNews uncovered the THD N2-A, a mysterious notebook that is an almost-exact clone of the Apple MacBook Air, right down to the 13-inch display embedded in a wedge-shaped chassis, the flat-chiclet style keys above the full-size touchpad, and--a real surprise-- the carbon-copy MagSafe charging port.
While the exterior thoroughly favors the Air, the operating system is shockingly different. The N2-A is running a stock install of Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich. The OS isn't an official install, so the N2-A won't have native Google apps like Gmail or the Google Play Store, but it's still Android.
Oh, and did we mention this machine costs just $149?
That's a price point no Android 4.0 tablet can touch, but before you rejoice, there's more you should know.The N2-A's low cost is achieved with less powerful internal components. Inside the system is a 1.2-GHz Cortex A10 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 4200 mAh battery rated for about 8 hours of juice. It also can be configured to contain an 8, 16, or 32GB solid state drive. The display is LED-backlit but offers a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The 13-inch MacBook Air offers 1440 x 900-pixel resolution.
The N2-A isn't available for single-unit purchase to consumers. THD is selling the Ultrabook-Android mash up in 500 unit blocks, which brings the tally for potential retailers to more than $70,000. Given that Apple just got a patent for the Air's design, we think the company's lawyers might have something to say about this Android clone.