Intel looks like it’s fed up with the success of the NetBook. Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group has said that NetBooks are for kids. Apparently grown-ups need a grown-up laptop.
This is utter rubbish. I travel every day into London on Southern Trains. Many grown-up commuters actually prefer them to larger laptops that don’t fit easily on the tiny amount of table space we have on the train.
I’ve used a 7 inch Linux-based Asus eeePC and now an 8.9 inch Windows XP-based Fujitsu Amilo. I’ve used both machines abroad and in the UK, to send and receive Word and Open Office document; I have edited and uploaded 70 MByte WAV audio files using Audacity and today I imported a 48 MByte raw image file into Gimp…and three other applications were runnig at the same time. Earlier this week I used the Citrix ICA client on a fast LAN to access our corporate systems seamlessly. I wasn’t running a heavyweight laptop – the Amilo uses a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, and has just 1 GByte of RAM and a 60 GByte hard disc.
Intel is worried that we are happy with NetBooks. It is worried people won’t buy machines that use its expensive Core 2 mobile processor chips, rather than the cheap and cheerful Atom-based NetBooks
Don’t be fooled into thinking the NetBook isn’t particularly powerful. They are not as fast as a state-of-the art laptop, but I think they do most things reasonable well. Okay, so the screen may not be that great, sound may be tinny, touch-typing is tricky but all of these problems are not show stoppers, particularly when a device that costs around £200 and weighs 1 kg is revolutionionising portable computing..