Netbooks are all the rage now. But for some reason they've never appealed to me. Either the keyboard sucks or the trackpad are too small or the dumbed-down Linux experience too shallowed, convoluted and restricted. And let's not forget about the design. Most netbook are just toy-like. You may as well replaced 'EEE PC' with 'my first computer'. Even the classic Psion 5mx released more than a decade ago provides more oomph than a modern Acer Aspire. You would think with improved tech and miniaturisation they would attempt to put a modern x86 Atom in something similar. But for whatever reason, they don't.
What I would like to see however is Sony re-entering the market with an updated version of their classic VAIO Picturebook. The Picturebook shown above was the C1VN. It was released in 2000 and despite its age still completely outclass the majority of new netbooks in certain key areas like ergonomics. I had the opportunity once back then to play around with a Picturebook and found the keyboard to be awesome (for its size), the widescreen screen perfect for web browsing and a trackpoint that makes so much more sense than a small trackpad. The only issue it had was the price, and back then it was ridiculous to spend more than £1k on a netbook, let alone on a normal ultraportable. But the design was great and even today still tests . I regularly see derivatives of the Picturebook sold at prices (£300-£800) that would make current new netbooks blush with envy.
Oh and if Lenovo has any clue on where the market is heading, they would do best to update the ThinkPad S30 series and bring them over here!
What I would like to see in a netbook:
- Great design
- Great keyboard
- Great battery life (6-9 hours)
- ULV processor
- Windows XP or a none-crippled Linux UI
- Trackpoint, nipple, pointing stick whatever you call it - it just has to be there
- Support for at least two memory cards (SD and MS) with the ability to boot from