Though Intel and Psion have kissed and made up over the trademark term “netbook,” it doesn’t matter. A new PC from Toshiba has finally killed the genre. It’s dead and gone. Because the mini NB205 is the quintessential netbook.
“Why so definite about that?” you may ask. Well, just read the specs.
The mini nb205 is an Atom-powered 10.1-inch screen netbook, with LED TruBrite backlighting tech. It runs XP, has a gig of RAM (upgradeable to 2GB), a 160GB hard drive, Wi-fi and Ethernet, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, RGB port for monitors, a hard-drive impact defense system, webcam, speaker, microphone, memory card slot and a security slot. It weighs a slight 2.9 pounds, but comes with a nine hour six-cell battery. And this may be the clincher: One of its USB ports is a Sleep-and-Charge socket, so you can leave an MP3 player or cellphone plugged in and charging up while the whole kaboodle is shut and popped into your bag.
There’s also a proper laptop-sized keyboard, a laptop-sized trackpad, and the styling brings Toshiba’s clean (if slightly boring) lines to the netbook domain, usually populated with horridly thought-out design accidents, tiny trackpads and cramped keyboards. It even comes in two versions–the N210 and the N310. The 210 has a “Fusion finish” with shiny black cover and matte black keyboard, while the 310 (which has the Bluetooth option) has a metallic shell with silver keyboard, and comes in blue, white, brown and pink. The 310 is to cost $399, and the 210 $349 from June 23rd.
In other words, Toshiba has applied its whole laptop design ethos to the netbook, and it’s produced a quintessential machine. It may not be terrifically exciting, but it’s solid, useful, and embodies all there is to think about the tiny portable PCs–the end of the road that the Eee PC began. The new Nvidia-powered Ion machines, and next-gen Atom machines really shouldn’t be called a netbook after this.