While it’s definitely about time that someone made an effort to get away from the 1.6 GHz/160 GB HDD/1 GB RAM/Windows XP netbook formula we’re all accustomed to, sometimes it’s just better not to fix what isn’t broken.
The Emtec Gdium Liberty 1000 is a lesson in restraint, or rather, what netbook manufacturers should restrain from creating. The netbook eschews both hard drives and solid-state drives for a flash drive for the front of the machine. The idea sounds stable at first, and we were intrigued by it a few weeks ago when the Gdium Liberty netbook was announced, but therein lies one fatal problem: the flash drive is only 16 GB in size. Netbooks are definitely meant to be Spartan in getup, but come on – that’s just stingy.
You’d expect your sacrifice in choosing a 16 GB netbook to be rewarded by a miniscule price tag, but at $349 Gdium seems like it just wants to add insult to injury. Aside from the poor value offered by the netbook are a number of issues – weak performance and short battery life to name a few – that put the final nail in its coffin.
As announced on the first of this year, the EMTEC Gdium netbook is finally on its way and is set to retail for less than $400.
It is a 10-inch netbook, which is the biggest movement for now. Manufacturers like Acer and Dell have found a happy medium size between 8- and 12-inches and have both delivered netbooks in the 10-inch category. The Gdium netbook’s display manages a solid 1024 x 600 pixels.
The processor is a little strange – an interesting ST Microelectronics-based CPU with MIPS-64 architecture. Though we initially thought it was likely to use the same old Intel Atom it seems Gdium has decided to switch it up.
It is Linux-based and will come loaded with software including Firefox, the “Thunderbird e-mail client, and programs designed for instant messaging, VoIP, blog editing, playing audio/video, security and an Open Office suite of applications.”
It will also use the G-Key USB device to store the OS, apps, and personal data. This idea has been floating around but Gdium’s taking the plunge to make it the main way of using the netbook.
Chris Mack of EMTEC thinks that the G-Key is crucial to the Gdium netbook’s success. “The revolutionary new design and the unique synchronization feature of the G-Key separate Gdium from the rest of the pack. With a sub-[$]400 retail price point, we believe EMTEC will become a key player in the netbook market.”
You can get the Gdium netbook in black, white, or pink.
The first thing we are seeing as 2009 begins is that everyone wants in on the netbook market. Both big names like Dell and Sony and little ones like FIC are throwing a machine at the masses. The most recent release is the Gdium netbook, coming to the US sometime this month.
Details are scant. We know it has a 10-inch screen, and unfortunately it is likely that it will have the same bland specs as everyone else – 1.6 GHz Intel Atom plus 1 GB RAM and some other features.
How does it stand out? The Gdium netbook has something called a ‘G-Key’, which is a bootable USB that stores all the files and even the OS.
It will run Linux, but at an unpalatable price. $400 is generally too high for a Linux netbook, and similar machines will sell for less. Most consumers who are willing to spend $400 will probably drop it on a Windows netbook instead.