Qatar Airways' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class seat is set to impress with fully flat beds, direct aisle access and a new Android-based touchscreen entertainment system.
The seats will be laid out in the angled "reverse herringbone" 1-2-1 arrangement which Australian travellers will be most familiar with in Cathay Pacific's excellent new business class.
Need a refresher on how the reverse herringbone works and what you'll find? We've got you covered with our comprehensive guide to business class seats and cabin layouts.
This provides each passenger with direct access to the aisle -- no clambering over your seatmate -- while the centre seats work equally well as individual seats for solo flyers (with a large privacy screen between them) or anybody travelling in pairs.
As you can see from the photo above, Qatar has opted to remove the overhead luggage bins from the middle of the business class cabin in its 787s, providing an even more spacious feel in the already light-and-bright Dreamliner.
Let's just hope there's sufficient room in the overhead bins next to the window to cater for all 22 business seats. This arrangement will also prove a slight disadvantage for window seat travellers when the centre passengers are hunting for something above their heads during the flight.
The new business class seats will make their debut in the second half of this year, when Qatar launches its first Boeing 787 on flights between Doha and London Heathrow. Four more 787 Dreamliners are due for delivery to Qatar this year but the airline has yet to reveal which routes they'll fly.
Each 22 inch wide seat converts to a bed that's a generous 6'8" (2 metres) long, with retractable armrests adding width -- in full flat mode, the bed is 30 inches wide.
Andrew Wong from SeatGuru.com snapped these shots during Qatar's launch of the Boeing 787 seats during Berlin's ITB travel show.
If you think that video screen looks huge -- well, you're right! It's a whopping 17 inches in business class.
More impressive for the technically-inclined is that not only does the in-flight entertainment system run on Google's Android platform (as specified by Boeing) but it comes with an Android-based touchscreen controller.
The video screens are a smaller 10.6 inches in economy but they still run Android and come with the same touch-sensitive handheld controller. And every seat from tip to tail has its own power outlet and USB charging port.
Business travellers will appreciate the side table fitted alongside the dining table, where you can quickly park your laptop while the tray table is out for meals or if you're nipping out of your seat.
Also in AusBT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner coverage...
Australian Business Traveller presents an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the first 787 to visit Australia. Read more...
Bothersome sliding window shades begone! Boeing’s newly-minted 787 Dreamliner sports ‘digital window tinting’ which makes the glass go dark at the touch of a button. Read more...
Check out the cool and potentially shagadelic upstairs 'loft' space used by pilot and flight attendants during their scheduled breaks from duty on the 787. Read more...
Japanese airline ANA is Boeing's launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner – step right up for a detailed photo-tour of ANA's factory-fresh 787 which we snapped during Boeing's launch of the Dreamliner in Seattle. Read more...
What's it like to fly in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? We visited Tokyo as a guest of ANA for a special 90 minute ‘excursion flight’ from Narita which provided a taste of what the Dreamliner will deliver for travellers (and yes, there's much more than rainbow-like cabin lighting). Read more...
Qantas will buy 50 Boeing 787s, but the first deliveries aren't expected until mid-2013 – and those will be for budget offshoot Jetstar. The Red Roo won't get its own Dreamliners until as late as 2016, but you'll see the 787 on domestic as well as international flights. Read more...
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