Now a generic term for basic, highly-portable, Internet-centric notebooks for the masses.
Intel’s Netbook has been a bit of a mystery since its announcement. Despite some speculation it was to be an Intel-released sub-notebook, some further clarification is now indicating that (in true Intel style) Netbook isn’t a product at all but rather an umbrella branding for a variety of Intel-based systems.
Malaysian manufacturer FTEC has launched its Netbook systems, under the branding of the SmartBook, just to confuse matters further. 7in and 9in systems are available, both offering 512MB RAM, ULV Celeron M processors and custom Linux operating systems. The smaller system packs a 40GB hard drive with an XP-upgrade option while the larger sports a mere 2GB of flash storage.
802.11g WiFi, USB connectivity and water resistant keyboards sit among the other features. The systems are being touted for use by young children in schools as an introduction to computing technology, so the functionality is fairly basic. But of course, that’s the whole point: low spec, low cost.
The FTEC SmartBooks are set at MYR1,299 (£204) and MYR1,199 (£188) for the 9in and 7in versions respectively. Adding XP to the latter will set you back a further MYR99 (£16), so the price differentiation between the two systems is fairly lacking. Nonetheless, given that these will most likely be bought up by educational establishments it’s probably a fairly moot point anyway.