By definition a netbook is a small, light, and inexpensive netbook. But there are two things that generally dictate just how small a netbook can be: the screen and the keyboard. Some of the first netboks had 7 inch displays and tiny keyboards. But most models on the market today have 10 inch displays that are easier to read and larger keyboards that are easier to type on. Unfortunately, this makes today’s netbooks a bit bigger and heavier.
But Sony came up with a solution when it introduced the Sony Vaio P early last year: drop the touchpad and replace it with a pointing device. Since then we haven’t seen too many major PC makers follow suit. But a ton of Chinese companies known for making cheap knockoff products have followed Sony into the touchpad-free realm.
The latest is BYD, which has produced the BYD ODM netbook. It bears a passing resemblance to the Sony Vaio P thanks to the large bezel around the edges of the display and the lack of a touchpad. The base of the computer is almost all keyboard.
The BYD ODM has a 10 inch display, 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1.8″ hard drive, 2 USB ports, and a SIM card slot for an optional 3G modem. There’s no video output or Ethernet port. No word on the final pricing, but BYD expects to sell the netbook to distributors for about $300.
I don’t know why we don’t see more netbooks with a pointing device instead of a touchpad. I suspect some folks would prefer this sort of layout to a touchpad with integrated left and right buttons like those found on the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and Lenovo Ideapad S10-3.
via Cloned in China