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Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:44

Toshiba's NB100 Netbook - yet another brandname cheapie!

Toshiba has announced that it too is joining the “Netbook” race, but given that the Intel Atom is a chip designed for exactly this type of low-spec computer, what’s more of a surprise is that it has taken Toshiba this long to join in the fun!

Netbooks here, netbooks there, looks like netbooks are everywhere!

The cheap laptop revolution is pickup up pace, especially when the inventor of the first true laptop, Toshiba, finally decides to join in the fun and produce its own Asus EEE PC clone/beater with its own version.

The Register has published details and pictures of Toshiba’s upcoming NB100 Netbook, and it has all the usual features we now expect from any standard Netbook.

iTWire colleague Davey Winder also covered the NB100 in an earlier story with his own take on the netbook revolution.

These are a version of Linux (in this case Ubuntu 8.04) or Windows XP, an 8.9-inch LCD screen (with 1024x600 resolution), the Intel Atom N270 1.6Ghz processor, either 512MB or 1GB RAM and up to 120GB of hard disk space.

Other features include the now obligatory webcam (this one’s said to be an 0.3 megapixel version), Ethernet, VGA, audio and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, with 4 hours of battery life.

There will be three colours, "Cosmic Black", "Champagne Gold" and "Bright Silver", and the price is listed as £260, which works out to AUD $571 at today’s exchange rate.

As I alluded in the introduction, it’s almost surprising that Toshiba has taken this long to come on board, but now that they have, competition in the netbook space has only ramped up even further.

The pressure is now on Intel to come out with an Atom 2 processor, promising even greater battery life with better performance, and netbooks that get close to offering 10 hours of battery life, which is more than an 8 hour “business or school day’s worth” of computing uptime.

As for the $571 Australian price based on the exchange rate... we’ll just have to wait and see how much more it sells for down under, given the usual price increases we see for technology in Australia.

Still, the fact that there are “dual core” computers available for less than $1000 in stores – I’ve seen them at $800 or less – will see the netbook and notebook markets clash.

Some will prefer the extra power that a dual core system provides, while others will prefer the longer battery life and smaller size that the netbook offers.

Whichever way you look at it, computing power and computers for all the everyday Internet, email, web browsing, wordprocessing and other basic tasks has never been cheaper.

It’s the golden age of cheap computing, and unless the world gets seriously out of whack thanks to the financial machinations currently underway, that golden shine will only get ever brighter and more wallet friendly.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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