OCZ’s upcoming Neutrino netbook looks like a pretty standard mini-laptop at first glance. It has a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2 USB ports, an ExpressCard slot, and VGA output and weighs about 2.9 pounds. But here’s the interesting bit: You can choose your own hard drive, RAM, and operating system.
That means that unlike netbooks that come preloaded with Windows XP and which are limited to 160GB or smaller hard drives and 1GB or less of RAM, you can get 2GB of RAM and a hard drive as large as 500GB. No word on pricing or availability.
I guess I just don’t get it…. the only real differentiation between netbooks these days is the *design*… why would I want to buy an ugly, heavy chassis just so I can put my own ram and hard drive in it?
You can already upgrade most of the netbooks on the market as it stands now…. what would be much more useful is for netbook makers to allow the customer to select the amount of ram and hard drive capacity before the item ships. Much, dare I say it, as dell does for their laptops.
HD, RAM, and OS I can do on my own now, I want discrete graphic options 🙂
Good start though, looks promising.
2.9 lbs without a hard drive? With or without a battery? This thing might be too heavy.
The only really interesting part on the current gen of netbooks is the display. For the rest, we can shop around. But give us a higher res display plz!
That’s awesome! The first thing I do with any new laptop (netbook or otherwise) is upgrade the RAM and hard drive, then wipe the OS, and install my own. It’d be nice to avoid paying for all that stuff, when I don’t need it!
I’m curious about the price and the battery life, though. I wonder if an extended battery is an option? I’m really loving the battery life on my new Asus 1000HE, and I don’t think I could go back to a netbook with a 3-cell battery any time soon!
Any idea on cost?
The expresscard is a good addition.
The only thing is making sure that whatever OS you choose works correctly with the hardware (and holding the seller accountable if it doesn’t). That would end up scaring a lot of potential customers.
It probably wouldn’t add too much to the cost to supply drivers for some OSs (XP, linux) or maybe a CD with a linux distro that is known to work if all else fails. These would not add too much to the cost, and help a lot of people consider this machine.
Finally, someone is thinking of what I’m thinking. I’ve been waiting for something like this for ages. Had Asus done this, there wouldn’t be so many iterations. I hope the next step will be allowing us to pick the cpu and graphics chip. Please let this be cheap.
Sorry, all of the Atom processors are BGA and thus not suitable for a socket. And I doubt they would be able to work the video into a replaceable module either. So we have to be content with swapping RAM, mass storage and wireless connectivity plus loading our own OS.
One thing to consider would be that an OEM license only requires bundling hardware. A hard drive counts so they could offer hard drives bundled with an OEM XP or Linux preloaded. The special netbook pricing might block that though unless the preload was setup to require a set of specific machines.
Replying to myself… just had another thought.
Again, getting past the licensing with Microsoft would be the big obstacle. But here is an even better way this concept could be pushed all the way to a retail environment to allow maximum customization options by customers.
Carry these SKU’s
1. The Chassis
2. Hard drives, blank in multiple sizes and combinations of rotating and solid state. For discussion letys say 8 and 16GB Flash plus 160GB and 320GB rotating.
3. Memory modules,in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB sizes.
4. Wireless options, WiFi, WiFi+BT, 3G, etc.
5. Flash drives preloaded as bootable recovery media designed to install/reinstall an operating system. The XP media would be restricted to be required to be sold only on the same receipt as either a chassis or perhaps also with an HDD depending on the negotiations with MS. The XP media would of course include the license key sticker, perhaps with a requirement that it be affixed before delivery to the customer.
So 13+ SKUs would allow for a boatload of combinations saleable at a wide range of pricepoints and not take very much shelf space or sink a lot of cash in inventory. And a little effort would allow the introduction of updated basic chassis without complicating the other accessories overmuch.
Wait…what? Why would Microsoft be an obstacle due to OEM licensing? OCZ bypassed all of that OEM bundling requirement crap by just not even dealing with it at all. You can buy Windows or the other parts separately anytime. You’re missing the point of DIY.
Sure we can’t upgrade the CPU and GPU right now, but it would be possible if manufacturers agree to a standard.
Because a fair number of customers will want XP. So any scheme that doesn’t take that into account will fail. Or require an SKU with a hard drive preloaded with Windows be added to any product mix. And unless you offer a compelling solution full of upsale possibilities I can tell you what most retailers will stock.
Although I was shocked to see Target only selling the Linux based EeePCs during Xmas.
Comments are closed.