Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Apr 2009 21:23 UTC
Google We've already seen numerous rumours about Google's Android making a move into netbooks, only fuelled by companies expressing serious interest in the concept and by Google's CEO making some hints about it not too long ago. Well, the rumours are now no longer rumours, as a Chinese company is now the first to offer an Android-based netbook, at USD 100-200.
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kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Just because it has the Google stamp does not mean it is a good idea for all devices.

For Internet tablet and netbooks with removable keyboard Android might be right, but what makes them think a normal netbook with a cut down OS is a good idea?

Vendors don't get Linux .. sigh ..

Reply Score: 3

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

... what makes them think a normal netbook with a cut down OS is a good idea?

Well, with a decent selection of available freeware and a $100-$200 price tag, I'd buy one, even if just for a toy.

This could be the "$100 Laptop" that never was.

My strongest feature recommendation, a mouse.

Reply Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I'd buy one, even if just for a toy.


This to me sums up the whole Netbook market, these are indulgences or toys purchased for no other reason than to have the latest gadget on the market. They really do not serve any great purpose, nor do probably most who buy one even have a need, merely a want. They are the latest fad for people to just spend money, which is why I just do not find that every bit of news for these toys should be reported on.

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


This to me sums up the whole Netbook market, these are indulgences or toys purchased for no other reason than to have the latest gadget on the market. They really do not serve any great purpose, nor do probably most who buy one even have a need, merely a want. They are the latest fad for people to just spend money, which is why I just do not find that every bit of news for these toys should be reported on.


Tell that to my girlfriend who bought one for Uni.
* She types lecture notes on it in class
* writes her essays on it on the train
* and even uses it to keep in touch with me (via skype) when away from home with Uni field trips.

Sure, a normal laptop could have done all these, but a normal laptop would also have been bigger and heavier thus a real PITA to carry round as much as she does her netbook.


So, Just because you have no real need for a netbook, don't assume that nobody has.

Edited 2009-04-22 07:39 UTC

Reply Score: 12

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22


So, Just because you have no real need for a netbook, don't assume that nobody has.


I don't say that nobody ever has a need, I am merely stating what I feel is a fact that most of these netbooks are an indulgence to say the least.First off nobody needs, they want. Given your example, none really provides a need, merely a convenience at the most. Your girlfriend could easily just write notes on paper, Essays could be better written at a desk or study. And as for keeping in touch with you, that is a convenience not a necessity.

But let's be honest here folks, most of these netbooks are being bought buy tech geeks just eating up the latest fad gadget. Very few people need these, that is a fact. Like the iPhone or iPod, geek toys that provide a self-indulgence, but neither are anything close to being of real need. And I find the argument very weak when considering how light some notebooks have gotten these days, that lugging one around is that much of a pain. And that goes for 90% of people that claim a cell phone is a necessity, it is not, but rather a means for some to feel more important in life than they really are.

Reply Score: 0

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I am merely stating what I feel is a fact that most of these netbooks are an indulgence

For most people any laptop is an indulgence. As is an mp3 player, xbox and any other gadget you care to mention.

In fact looking around my appartment I see nothing that I consider a necessity, even the computer I'm typing this on is something I can live without, as is my TV, all my books, my furniture and most the food in my fridge. For that matter I could probably live in an apartment half the size of this one so even this apartment is an indulgence. Any argument based on 'necessity' is stupid and flawed.

But let's be honest here folks, most of these netbooks are being bought buy tech geeks just eating up the latest fad gadget.

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but that certainly doesn't seem to be true from what I've seen. The vast majority of people I see using and buying netbooks are just normal folk who want a small and cheap laptop. In fact at the university where I live I see more netbooks among the humanities students than among the the science and engineering students.

I also know several people for whom a netbook is the first laptop they've owned. They've considered getting a latop before, but always found them to big and/or expensive.

And that goes for 90% of people that claim a cell phone is a necessity, it is not

True, and neither is a home internet connection. But I doubt most people here would be willing to give that up either.

Reply Score: 5

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I am merely stating what I feel is a fact that most of these netbooks are an indulgence to say the least.


So what you're really stating is your opinion?

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I don't say that nobody ever has a need, I am merely stating what I feel is a fact that most of these netbooks are an indulgence to say the least.First off nobody needs, they want. Given your example, none really provides a need, merely a convenience at the most. Your girlfriend could easily just write notes on paper, Essays could be better written at a desk or study. And as for keeping in touch with you, that is a convenience not a necessity.


Seriously, why do you come on a technology news site?
The whole point of technology is to provide a convenience over manual processes. So, given this is a technology news site, your argument is completely pointless.


But let's be honest here folks, most of these netbooks are being bought buy tech geeks just eating up the latest fad gadget.


Got any stats to back up that bold claim, or is it just a guess made up on your part to emphasise your earlier point?
The reason I'm asking you to back up your claim is because my own personal observations have seen more non-geeks netbook owners who were after ultra-portable devices than geeks after new toys.

Very few people need these, that is a fact.

You don't need an internet connection, yet you do have one.
You don't need to browse OSNews nor reply. Yet you did.
If you really beieved non-nessesity technology should be culled, then you wouldn't even be on here to make your point.


Like the iPhone or iPod, geek toys that provide a self-indulgence, but neither are anything close to being of real need.

Self-indulgence drives technology.
If we stuck to the bare minimum of what we needed, then you wouldn't even have a computer let alone braudband internet connection to argue this perculiar point on.

And I find the argument very weak when considering how light some notebooks have gotten these days, that lugging one around is that much of a pain.

But netbooks are still much lighter and more compact. Thus they are more convenient, thus they are more practical and thus it makes more sense for her to buy a netbook.
I really don't see why you don't get this point.


And that goes for 90% of people that claim a cell phone is a necessity, it is not, but rather a means for some to feel more important in life than they really are.

Are you a hippy by any chance?

Edited 2009-04-22 12:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

My this seemed to have touched a nerve with some, my the mere suggestion that some are buying this merely to fulfill a need to get in on the latest fad gadget.

Now go back to the highlighed quote:

I'd buy one, even if just for a toy.
This is to say it sums up what many are in fact buying these for. How long have netbooks been around, and yet not a single business client of ours has ever expressed any interest. Netbook sales: 0%, Laptop sales: 100%. That is a pretty damning figure when I consider what businesses seem to value. In talks with other people I know in the B2B/VAR/Consultant, the same statistics seem to carry over.

Sure they may evolve into a decent tool, but please do not give me some bullshit at this point that these are not merely geek toys at the moment. I think I have seen quite a few comments, no make that an abundance of comments over the past years, that give a pretty clear picture of why people want these.

When these netbooks first arrived, people were merely salivating at getting their hands on them, yet I never did see a good suggestion as to why someone wanted these. Good for the person in particular that actually finds one useful. But the sales as a whole pretty much indicates to me that young people are just buying these up out of consumer fetish.

Granted, on OSNews, it's a pretty safe guess that a reader has a desktop, notebook and potentially a netbook or is interested in one. In that case, it would be an additional machine though may not be an indulgence. That is rather far off your grand sweeping statement that the netbook market is only exploding at the whims of people with too much money and time no there hands.


After the desktop and laptop, it begs the question of what the use for a netbook other than to catch the train so to speak. Maybe this is just a generational gap. But I think it speaks volumes how defensive people are to the mere suggestions they paid for a fad. To me I find this no different than those that purchase the latest greatest video card every 6 months just to have the fastest card available.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

First off, I'm not getting defensive. I'm just discussing while I think you're point is wrong, rather than modding you down.

If you prefer me not to comment in the comments section, then I'll be happy to -1 you in future disagreements

Anyhow, back to the topic:

Now go back to the highlighed quote:
"I'd buy one, even if just for a toy. "
This is to say it sums up what many are in fact buying these for.


That was one guy. He's hardly the monopoly of netbook buyers
How long have netbooks been around, and yet not a single business client of ours has ever expressed any interest. Netbook sales: 0%, Laptop sales: 100%.

Businesses don't hold the monopoly of PC sales either.

In talks with other people I know in the B2B/VAR/Consultant, the same statistics seem to carry over.

Well, as I've already stated. I know a number of people who bought netbooks for work (be it a cheap programming environment in the case of a couple of geeks mates, or, in the case of my girlfriend and her university friends, an OOo suite for Uni assignments).

I'm not going to argue the scale of the netbook market is huge. Clearly it isn't. I'm just arguing that your original point about netbooks being good-for-nothing toys is grossly inaccurate.

After the desktop and laptop, it begs the question of what the use for a netbook other than to catch the train so to speak.

A netbook is just a cut-down laptop. Thus, if you don't need a powerful laptop then a netbook is usually plenty powerful.
You seem to have this jaded view that netbooks are somehow incapable of real-world tasks.

Maybe this is just a generational gap. But I think it speaks volumes how defensive people are to the mere suggestions they paid for a fad. To me I find this no different than those that purchase the latest greatest video card every 6 months just to have the fastest card available.


A few points:
* Nobody is getting defensive mate. We're just discussing a topic you started. If you don't want a discussion, then don't post on a public forum.
* I couldn't care less if it's a fad or not. I'm arguing that they are used by people for work and aren't just toys for the geeks.
* and if I had to argue the above, then personally I don't think they're a fad. but unless either of us has mastered time travel (I know i haven't), we both can only guess. However, fad or not, they are very useful to a good number of people. So does it really matter if they're sales numbers dwindle, sustain or grow?
* and finally, buying the latest graphics card isn't a fad. Gamers having been sourcing the latest and greatest hardware for years and, as long as new PC games are produced, gamers will continue to buy new hardware. It's not a fad that society will grow out of - it's just upgrading.

Reply Score: 3

parrotjoe Member since:
2005-07-06

This is just a comment about cell phones. I'm not enamored of all the various things that can be done with them, but people should consider a basic cell phone a necessity - it is the greatest emergency tool ever invented.

Reply Score: 1

dpederson Member since:
2005-07-07

Since probably 95% of people only do email and surf the web with a rare foré into writing a short document, the netbook is supremely well suited to their needs. Why lug around a 5-8 lb. item when a 2.5 lb. netbook does everything you need? By your logic, no one "needs" a laptop either. They can use a ball point or wait till they get home to work on a computer. Who needs to work on the train or bus...

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Your girlfriend could easily just write notes on paper, Essays could be better written at a desk or study.


By that reasoning, any computer or technological advancement could be considered an "indulgence."

Why purchase clothing, when some animal skins would protect you from the elements? Why buy decent cooking knives, when you could just prepare a meal using some sharpened rock?

And as for keeping in touch with you, that is a convenience not a necessity.


Well, yeah - that's how most commerce works: you trade money for convenience.

Reply Score: 2

parrotjoe Member since:
2005-07-06

t

Edited 2009-04-22 23:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Maybe you want to ask some students about how there netbook is just an indulgance. Last I read, many University and lower level students are choosing them as the primary computer; not comp sci students I recon, but other areas of study.

Granted, on OSNews, it's a pretty safe guess that a reader has a desktop, notebook and potentially a netbook or is interested in one. In that case, it would be an additional machine though may not be an indulgence. That is rather far off your grand sweeping statement that the netbook market is only exploding at the whims of people with too much money and time no there hands.

Reply Score: 2

FreakyT Member since:
2005-07-17

...but what makes them think a normal netbook with a cut down OS is a good idea?


Just ask all the netbook manufacturers that install Linux.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Reply Score: 3

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

"...but what makes them think a normal netbook with a cut down OS is a good idea?


Just ask all the netbook manufacturers that install Linux.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
"

Linux is not a cut down OS.

Edited 2009-04-22 06:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bagnaj97 Member since:
2007-01-24

Unfortunately in the form installed by netbook manufacturers it often is a cutdown OS. I very quickly replaced the default linux install on my aspire one with Ubuntu as it was so limited. A friend of mine also bought one of the original 7" eeepcs and the linux install on that has had no end of problems with updates breaking things, restricted access to further apps etc.
I know these restrictions can be worked around or another OS/distro can be installed, but for the average user this isn't an option, they just get a bad impression of linux as a cut down, limited OS.

Reply Score: 1

ciplogic Member since:
2006-12-22

If Android will work flawless will mean that most linuxes (that inherit the same platform) will work flawless on this platforms!
Also will mean that I will have a lot of options in picking my OS. Only Apple seems yet to miss the game, but there a few time till July. Who knows? Maybe a Snow Leopard in a Snow Netbook...

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Just because it has the Google stamp does not mean it is a good idea for all devices.

For Internet tablet and netbooks with removable keyboard Android might be right, but what makes them think a normal netbook with a cut down OS is a good idea?

Vendors don't get Linux .. sigh ..


The Skytone machine does look to have a touch screen btw - and a stylus/pen as well.

As for the i-Buddie, it doesn't look so great :/

Reply Score: 3

Missing the point
by dizmal on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 08:50 UTC
dizmal
Member since:
2009-04-22

Its not just an android netbook... its ARM based netbook, hence the low price. just the other day i read the interview about ARM and he said there would be 110-120$ netbooks (he even used the term "almost disposable"). So here u go, and there's a pegatron netbook on the way (also ARM+android).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Missing the point
by puenktchen on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 16:44 UTC in reply to "Missing the point"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

Its not just an android netbook... its ARM based netbook, ...


with an arm11 core running at 533 mhz. the iphone uses an arm11 based design running at 620 mhz. 128mb main memory - same as the iphone. 1-4 gb flash - far less than the iphone.

of course it's also much cheaper and not in the same market anyway, but the limited hardware might explain why they use android instead of a desktop linux distribution. the in-order arm11 core surely isn't faster than the in-order atom core, so this netbook might only provide one third of the performance of its atom-based rivals.

Reply Score: 3

More coding
by OSGuy on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 09:22 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Like it or not, at the state it is, Android for x86 is useless. Google can't expect to get a grip on the x86 market with Android's current state.

By the looks of it they'd have to add code for mouse support, detect what type of device the OS is running and adjust the funny looking dialog box (stretched across the screen) etc...

Edited 2009-04-22 09:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: More coding
by Bobthearch on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 15:18 UTC in reply to "More coding"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

By the looks of it they'd have to add code for mouse support, detect what type of device the OS is running and adjust the funny looking dialog box (stretched across the screen) etc...

Yep. But it ~should~ be possible to address those issues, especially if the OS is being customized for that particular computer model. Hard to judge the final product based on a leaked video clip of an early prototype.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 15:02 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

In the end, all of you are just afraid that Android archieves what Linux desktop haven't, and that is, offert a reliable experience in Netbooks where buying customers won't complaine.

Reply Score: 2

arm and android
by zenulator on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 17:21 UTC
zenulator
Member since:
2008-06-29

I seriously welcome our arm powered android based netbook overlords. For what I do with computers an arm based netbook with wifi and all day battery life is exactly what I need. Right now I don't think android is the best platform for a netbook. Maybe in the future as more companies jump on the bandwagon and add missing functionality. I do agree that android provides a strong base to build off of and thats the true power of opensource. It can become anything you need it to be.

Reply Score: 2

An ARM Android netbook? Cool, but...
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 06:06 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

...seriously, what the hell good is a 7", 800x480 screen going to do? And only 128 or 256 megs of memory? I would end up throwing the damn thing at a wall just trying to navigate Web pages and my text files.

I just can't get excited about this one. And here's the final nail in the coffin:

[quote]The Chinese company Skytone, mostly known for making Skype phones and children's computers,...[/quote]

Sadly, this is exactly what this sounds like: a toy. The fact that this company is known for making children's computers just makes it that much more pointless.

Good for those Chinese kids out there (and whoever else lives where this company releases the computer), I guess, but wake me up when a "real" ARM netbook arrives. Hell, I'd probably deplete the 256 megs of memory with just Firefox, Geany and Celestia alone, as I currently do on my old desktop (but still current), and I don't even want to imagine what it would do with 128. This machine is just not realistic.

Edited 2009-04-23 06:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Android is for end consumers, not power users. Yeelong/LimeBook are better suited for a general user and better targets, more ram 1GB and hard drive. They both can run android.

Reply Score: 2

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

however I'd like one with 256M and 4GB flash. I am afraid though that kernel here is not OSS. The 400P is also attractive with MIPS32. Anyway, I hope i can also run an xterm to build packages.

Reply Score: 2