Emtec’s Innovatively Odd Gdium Netbook has Portable Main Drive

Emtec is jumping on the crowded netbook bandwagon with its Gdium Liberty 1000. It’s a pretty standard machine with one oddly innovative exception: It has a main solid-state drive that’s designed to be easily undockable.

This so-called “G-Key” drive is a 16GB bootable USB device that can work in both a desktop PC or typical laptop making it possible to boot up your Gdium OS and files using that device’s hardware instead.

Strange. But also strangely attractive: It’s easy to imagine using the netbook to do some work while you’re out and about traveling, and then hopping the G-Key into your main desk machine for easy transfer of files to and from its drive when you get back home. You could always do the same with a standard thumbdrive and a standard netbook, but that’d be something extra to carry around.

And you guessed it, that small data storage space doesn’t run Windows: instead Emtec has chosen to power it with Madriva, a version of Linux. The machine itself has a 10-inch screen with a decent 1024 x 600 pixels, webcam, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, speakers microphone…basically all the standard netbook specs. It does, however, have an “extended keyboard” which is unusual among the netbook genre, and it’s design is actually rather sleek. And unlike nearly every other netbook on the market, it doesn’t have an Intel Atom CPU purring away inside—it’s got a 900 Mhz 64bits Loongson 2F instead.

It’s reported to debut at around $400, shipping with Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, and IM software. That’s enough to tempt people who are looking for an ultraportable that’s extremely easy to integrate into their existing desktop computing environment. Isn’t that how these hardware-limited netbooks are best used anyway?

[Cnet via BBG]KE