Home > Hardware > Reports: 8.9″ Netbooks Out, Android in at Asus Reports: 8.9″ Netbooks Out, Android in at Asus Thom Holwerda 2009-02-20 Hardware 15 Comments Asustek is going to start shipping only 10-inch and 7-inch Eee PCs, reports have claimed. Separate reports have also revealed how the manufacturer is contemplating putting the Android operating system onto netbooks. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 15 Comments 2009-02-20 10:20 pm Beta http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10012194o-2000331761… doesnâ€™t need two “” on the end 2009-02-20 10:23 pm darknexus Maybe it’s just me, but I’d think the 8.9 and 10-inch factors would be the best to go for. I don’t really see many people buying the 7-inch due to its extremely small keyboard and/or trackpad, not to mention the tiny screen on it (800×480). I would think they’d want to ditch the 7-inchers and leave the 8.9 and 10 as their focus areas. But, hey, I’m not the marketing department at Asus, so who knows what they’re actually thinking. Regarding Android… I, personally, don’t get the craze surrounding it. It’s another mobile platform, granted its open and built upon a Linux and Java foundation, but… well, I’m sure someone will come along to flame me for not jumping around and praising Google. As long as I can replace Android with my os of choice, I don’t care if they start providing it or not, it’s not like I’ll have to pay an “Android tax.” 2009-02-20 10:46 pm spectator Hmm… 7 inch without touchpad and with a keyboard-driven, custom interface would be a nice solution… The future is confusing it seems. I wanted to grab a 901 in a couple of weeks and now I don’t now is it still reasonable. Oh the drama! PS: Any suggestions? ;> 2009-02-20 10:56 pm helf yeah, ditch the horrible touchpad and go with a nub like IBM/Lenovo 2009-02-22 4:01 am StephenBeDoper yeah, ditch the horrible touchpad and go with a nub like IBM/Lenovo Two words: hell yes. Personally, I was quite disappointed to see that the Thinkpad x300 includes a touchpad (bad Lenovo, BAD!). For that matter, it would be nice to see a laptop maker release a model with no built-in pointing device (with maybe one of those old style trackballs that attach to the side) – and took advantage of the extra space to include a better keyboard. 2009-02-24 9:19 am jal_ and took advantage of the extra space to include a better keyboard. Wouldn’t work: the problem is not the vertical space but the horizontal space. You’d get very thin, long keys. Or do you fancy a numeric keypad somewhere above the function keys? JAL 2009-02-25 1:09 am StephenBeDoper Or do you fancy a numeric keypad somewhere above the function keys? No… but it’s interesting you mention the function keys. Look at the keyboard on any modern laptop, they all (or almost all) skimp on the keyboard to give you more space for the touchpad – things like half-height function keys, small Enter keys, cramped cursor keys, etc. Those are the sorts of things that would benefit from a bit more vertical space. 2009-02-21 1:10 am Delgarde Maybe it’s just me, but I’d think the 8.9 and 10-inch factors would be the best to go for. I don’t really see many people buying the 7-inch due to its extremely small keyboard and/or trackpad, not to mention the tiny screen on it (800×480). Same here… if a netbook is supposed to just be a scaled down laptop – and I think that’s how most people see them – an 800×480 display is just too small to run modern desktop or web applications. To be usable, it’d need an interface designed for that size, and that’s putting it more into the realm of smartphones than full-featured computers. That said, the article says “5% will be 7-inch models for telecom service operators”, which suggests that may be exactly what they’re doing – producing these models only for a niche market, perhaps with such a custom interface. 2009-02-21 1:16 pm geleto Looking at my eee pc – it could easily fit an 11 inch screen in the same form factor. The diagonal of the full screen – togather with the bevel is 12″. Does anyone know why such big bevel is needed – some limitation of the LCD technology or the backlight? 2009-02-21 8:01 pm arpan I don’t think the additional space has anything to do with the screen. I think it has to do with having a keyboard large enough. Also they probably need the space for the mother-board, hard disk, battery etc. 2009-02-21 11:34 pm darknexus Well, to have that kind of keyboard is why they have as large a form as they do. That doesn’t answer why the screen doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the lid’s bevel, which is what the question was. The original eee pcs had speakers there (a design that, imho, they should have kept as they sounded damn good for laptop speakers that way), but the new ones don’t and could easily ditch the extra bevel in favor of actually allowing the screen to fill the entire lid. The motherboard and hd don’t come into the equation at all, seeing as how they’re beneath the keyboard in the case proper. The NC10, in fact, has a design like this where there is almost no bevel at the left and right edges, allowing the screen to be a 10.2 rather than a 10. There does need to be a bit of space at the top, where they put the webcam, but other than that they need not have as much blank bevel as they do. I think they should do something with it, my personal preference would be to put the speakers back to the left and right of the screen, but that’s not likely to happen. 2009-02-23 2:24 am TechGeek I would like to see a tablet like model that is 7 inches or so like the kindle but with full color and a touch screen. Like a large PDA, but with the horsepower of a netbook. The only thing wrong with the kindle is that its closed, b&w, and has a cell phone in it. Give me a kindle with linux, wifi, and color and I would buy one in a sec. I have come to the conclusion that these devices don’t replace laptops. These devices are for people who like their desktop systems, but need something to carry around. I would much rather have a netbook and a serious desktop than any top of the line laptop by itself. 2009-02-23 3:23 am darknexus As long as the keyboard wasn’t removed. A touchscreen by itself is no replacement. 2009-02-23 4:57 pm TechGeek Actually, I don’t really want a keyboard. If I am going to do that much typing then give me a compact bluetooth keyboard that I can actually type on with getting hand cramps. Otherwise, I’ll use a stylus. Kind of like the old palm keyboards, something that I can set the device on and have a basic screen and keyboard. 2009-02-23 5:43 pm darknexus No thanks. I don’t want to have to carry around two devices where one would suffice.