Can netbooks be cool again The Verge

“Earlier this week, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg covered a laptop called the GPD Pocket, which is currently being funded on Indiegogo. As Chaim pointed out, the Pocketu2019s main advantage is its size u2014 with a 7-inch screen, the thing is really, really small u2014 and its price, a reasonable $399. But he didnu2019t mention that the Pocket is the resurrection of one of the most compelling, yet fatally flawed, computing trends of the u201800s: the netbook. So after ten years, are netbooks finally cool again? That might be putting it too strongly, but Iu2019m willing to hope.
If youu2019ve quite understandably forgotten the netbook boom, it started around 2007, with a computer called the Asus Eee PC. The original Eee PC was a $399 laptop with a 7-inch screen, a modest processor, and a ridiculously tiny 4GB of flash memory instead of a hard drive. Especially if you were a college student at the time, it was amazing. The Eee PC had the portability of an ultra-mobile PC, but at the cost of a cheapo Windows laptop. It was a tiny Linux-based notebook like the OLPC XO-1, but felt actually usable, instead of just confusing. The battery wasnu2019t incredible, but you could eke several hours out of it at a time, a great improvement over my portable desktop at the time. And the thing was adorable, especially because Asusu2019 slogan at the time was u201cRock solid, heart touching,u201d which splashed on the screen every time you booted it up.
Over the next few years, basically every Windows PC maker produced its own cheap, ultra-portable laptop. If you needed a lightweight, low-investment machine to write papers and surf Facebook on, these were perfect. The iPad wouldnu2019t be released until 2010, and the first-generation MacBook Air u2014 at that point the coolest thin-and-light laptop on the market u2014 cost over $1,500. Most netbooks started shipping with sizable hard drives and some version of Windows, which eliminated the hurdle of switching to Linux. Battery life stretched to six or eight hours. Designs stayed light, but screens and keyboards got a little bigger, making the experience more comfortable.
The last time small hands were a superpower”

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