When it comes to traditional laptop-style computing, Google has pushed Chromebooks for the world of keyboards and mice. Nonetheless, some companies such as HP have taken a few stabs at putting Android in a 2-in-1 laptop-style device.
Now, Beijing-based Jide Tech is looking to infuse Android into a device that’s a dead ringer for the Microsoft Surface with Remix. Like Microsoft’s spin on a tablet-laptop hybrid, the 11,.6″ Remix has a kickstand and a removable cloth-textured keyboard/trackpad cover that attaches via magnets. And the similarity doesn’t end there. The company has added the ability to run apps in windows as well as a Windows-like file manager and taskbar.
Jide Tech seeks $100,000 by April 24 and the Remix is available in limited quantities at prices up to $349. A ridiculous $39 early bird sold out quickly. Units are expected to be delivered by May 2015 and the company assures that the product is already in production in China and it simply needs to bring it to the U.S. and other markets. What appeared to be a simultaneous campaign on Indiegogo turned out to be fraudulent and has been removed.
As noted, Android-based keyboard devices have not seen the level of success that Chromebooks have despite having so many apps available. It’s also somewhat surprising that the new device wlll not have the latest version of Android — Lollipop — that is rolling out to new devices. While the Remix was a clear value-based alternative to the Surface Pro, the recent introduction of the Surface 3 at $499 makes the original far more competitive although that price doesn’t include the Type Cover.