The Netbook Navigator Nav9 is one of the few Windows 7 slate computers on the market at the moment. I’m still in the process of testing a demo unit and I won’t have a complete review done for a little while, but if you don’t plan on waiting for my opinion before plunking down some cash, you might be please to know that the company has dropped the price… a bit.
While the Nav9 has a starting price of $599, up until a few days ago the cheapest model with Windows 7 Home Premium preloaded would run you $749. Now the starting price for a Windows model is $699.
That price gets you a Windows 7 slate with an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel resistive multitouch display, 1GB of memory, a 16Gb solid state disk, and WiFi, but no 3G. The tablet has Bluetooth, a 1.3MP camera, and a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280 processor. You can also pay extra for additional storage, memory, or Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate
At $699, the Nav9 still costs more than twice as much as a typical netbook, even though the guts are very netbook-like. But it’s smaller, a bit lighter, and much more finger-friendly than a typical netbook.
That said, I think you have to ask yourself what you plan to use a mobile computer for before deciding whether a Windows tablet with a resistive display and no accelerometer are right for you. I’ve found that while Windows 7 Home Premium is certainly more touch-friendly than Windows 7 Starter, scrolling through web pages with a flick of the finger can be a bit inconsistent at times, and while the on-screen keyboard usually pops up when I tap on a text entry field, it’s not always there when I need it.
It’s also much more difficult to enter text using the Windows on-screen keyboard on the Nav9 than on a smartphone or tablet with a capacitive display running Google Android or iOS. I’ll have to spend a bit more time trying out handwriting recognition to see if that remedies the situation though.
Stay tuned for a full review… soon.