Everyone likes competition, but is there really much logic in baffling customers?
This week Via seems to have understood the first concept, without fully grasping the latter as it has announced yet another category variant on the netbook. The 'netnote' (*sigh*) is the name chosen by the company for its own take on the netbook format.
What makes the netnote different? In truth not a huge amount. The main difference is the choice of either a Via C7-M ULC CPU (don't do it!) or the more impressive Nano range, assisted by its VX855 graphics. It claims either of these combinations will enable the playback of 1080p Full HD video, so we could have an nVidia ION rival on our hands.
Away from this Via is sensibly allowing up to 2GB of RAM along with a 160GB to 320GB HDD or SSD preinstalled with Windows or Linux. Bluetooth. WiFi, GPS and a three cell battery will be standard features with integrated HSDPA and six cell batteries optional. Consequently Via has churned out two netnote reference machines which it will allow third parties to rebrand. These are 10.2in (1024 x 600) and 12.1in (1366 x 768) models upon which these third parties can also customise and dictate pricing.
So welcome to the party Via, you join just a week after AMD's first netbook offering in the form of the Acer Ferrari One. That said, we really don't want another budget ultraportable laptop name. The ARM-based 'Smartbook' is pushing things far enough (compared to netbooks they claim to be even smaller, have much longer battery life and far lower costs), but can Via really see the term 'netnote' taking off? Those delusional pills must be strong...