Ars Technica: The State of the Netbook, Part I

Netbooks Ari Allyn-Feuer over at Ars Technica has put together a comprehensive series that looks at the history and future of netbooks, as well as where they stand these days.

They go all the way back 15 years ago to the mid 1990s when HP rolled out the HP 200LX, a “palmtop” device weighing in at around a pound and with an 8Mhz CPU and a grayscale 640×200 display and running DOS (MS-DOS or PC-DOS) and Windows 3.0. The article mentions that some of these devices had a huge following, but that hardware limitations kept them from selling as fast and as wide as current Intel Atom-based netbooks. They get into the Psion 5 and Psion 7 reviving interest in the segment, and then Toshiba’s Libretto series of laptops which carried the torch for a while (albeit a very expensive torch).

It points out something interesting – the OQO Model 01 as well as Samsung’s Q1 UMPC were on the right track but had some barriers to wide acceptance (namely price and form factor).

Read: Ars Technica