When Asus brought out the Eee PC in 2007, it had a promise of providing a stripped down laptop with a low cost. That original vision has all but disappeared in many modern netbooks, as the phrase has become ubiquitous with a portable PC with somewhere between 9-12 inches of screen space. It is not surprising to see $500 netbooks now, competing against budget-friendly 15″ notebooks.
Fortunately for businesses in the developing world, IBM, Canonical, and Simmtronics are working to reverse this trend. The new Simmbook provides a very spartan last-generation netbook configuration. You know the drill: Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 10″ LCD with 1024×600 resolution, the essentials. More notably, they will run Ubuntu, presumably to save cost and are being paired up with IBMs productivity suite Lotus, pre-installed. They are designed to work with IBM’s cloud solutions and are obviously very work-centric. The most important point, of course, is the price: starting at $190. That is old-school Eee PC cheap.
These are business machines and probably will not be used by many home consumers. Still, it would be nice to see this trend continue back into the general netbook market and keep the netbook from becoming a novelty “toy” computer for those who can afford it.
Via Engadget, image via Simmtronics