VIA may be focusing its attention on the chip company’s new OpenBook reference design for tiny, low-power laptops. But it looks like some PC and electronics makers are still pumping out systems based on VIA’s older NanoBook reference design. Mike Cane spotted a new PC at J&R over the weekend that looked suspiciously like an Everex Cloudbook, but which sported a shiny new Sylvania name tag.
The Cloudbook is probably the NanoBook-based PC that’s gotten the most attention. But the early versions of this computer were somewhat disappointing. Everex used the gOS operating system, which has a somewhat unfinished feel at the moment. And the company didn’t optimize the operating system and applications to fit properly on the computer’s 800 x 480 pixel display. Some people found they couldn’t get past the setup screen because the OK/Next buttons didn’t fit on the display. (The solution was as simple as holding down the Alt key while clicking and dragging the window, but this is an awkward, clunky, and non-intuitive process).
The Cloudbook also lacked the typical notebook-style trackpad. Instead, there was a tiny thumbpad in the upper righthand corner of the devices. Overall, the first generation Cloudbook left a sour taste in many people’s mouths, and so it’s easy to not get excited when you see a new notebook that looks almost exactly like it.
But the Sylvania G Netbook (Cane found the name from the TigerDirect product page) has a real trackpad, albeit an incredibly small one. J&R is charging $450 for the G Netbook, while TigerDirect is asking $399.That price puts it pretty much in the Asus Eee PC 701 price range. And with a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive, card reader, 802.11b/g and 800 x 480 pixel display, in theory the G Netbook could be a viable alternative to the first generation Eee PC.
If the company bothered to tweak the operating system to work better ont he hardware, that is. Like the Everex Cloudbook, the Sylvania G Netbook uses the gOS operating system.
Update: Here’s the official product page from Sylvania Computers.