If mobiles and tablets are hot all the time with connectivity, what’s stopping from netbooks to be hot all the time. Nothing. All it needs is decent hardware and a pretty tie-up with a telecom provider. Quite a few manufacturers have gone that route. Bundled netbooks wouldn’t be a rarity anymore. They could just as well be the norm, once the manufacturers warm up to it. Olive and Acer has treaded that path. Dell, HCL and Lenovo could soon be coming up with their own netbooks.
Bundled netbook by definition comes with a default Internet connection powered by a 3G device build-in. As part of the deal, there could be free data plans or some other goodies. Olive Telecom was probably the first to come up with such offering by partnering with BSNL.
Why do we need a bundled netbook? For starters, Internet is everything. For a generation obsessed with continuous 140 character updates, not having connection is like living without water. So a device which can do decent things should connect. An additional 3G device would cost somewhere around 3K. If you put that into the cost of the laptop, these bundled netbooks come cheap. There’s an argument that the 3G device can be used for desktop too. I am not pretending to have an answer for that. For the rest of the folks, bundled netbook is a very good option.
There are two variants to this. One comes with BSNL connection and the other comes with Tata Photon Plus. Zipbook runs on a Intel Atom processor with Intel945GSE+82801GBM chipset. It has an ideal 10.2 inch screen, 160 GB hard drive and 1 GB RAM. In-built 1.3 megapixel web camera is the other notable feature. Zipbook costs 17,999 rupees and comes in four colors (red, yellow, black and silver). Zipbook or Olive X107H is manufactured by Haier. The price could even be lower now.
A netbook from Acer with Tata photon plus built-in. AOD260 comes with 1GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive, 10-inch screen and Windows 7 OS. Acer AOD260 costs Rs. 18000. A tad higher than Olive Zipbook but I guess Acer has to pay that extra money to branding and Hrithik Roshan.
Acer eM350 with MTS Blaze
A deviation from the Tata Photon+ gang, Acer eM350 is powered by MTS Blaze Internet connection. eM350 has a 10.1 inch screen, 250 GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, Atom N450 core processor. The netbook weighs 1.25 kg and runs Windows 7 out of the box. All of this comes at a cost of Rs. 12999. Can you believe that? I know, suddenly Acer AOD260 looks like a scam.
Bundled netbooks seems to be the logical feature to have to deal with a tablet deluge.
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