Netbooks = Deja vú all over again?

cv1n.gif51lr5arrfjl_sl210_.jpgI have recently joined the Netbook clan, adding an Asus Eee 1000HE to my portable arsenal. I love the little bugger. The multi-touch trackpad, nice screen, built in SD card slot, built-in webcam, honkin’ big battery life and hard drive space… all for cheap-cheap make this baby a winner in my book.
But why does this all seem eerily familiar?

It’s because this Mac-aficionado had already owned the Sony C1VN, a miraculous feast of engineering from Sony— a decade ago!

The C1VN lacked a trackpad, true, but it had other innovations that netbooks can’t touch— like the rotating built-in camera. Not only could do a little video chat, but you could swivel it around and take peopel for a tour, and you could see what the camera saw on the screen. i.e. you weren’t in the way!


This baby was small and svelte. Sure, it had a limited screen, but it ran XP just like NetBooks today. Multiple USB ports, audio I/O (take that MacBook Air!) and a pretty long battery life considering how far we’ve advanced that technology in 10 years.

Take this from a press release:

At just 2.2 pounds, the PictureBook is light weight. Couple that with the enhanced battery life Sony is experiencing with Crusoe and consumers get more productive mobile time and greater flexibility in how they use their notebooks. With this technology, there’s no reason to be tethered to a power cord or searching for an AC adapter.

In addition to substantially improved battery life, the PictureBook features a new built-in progressive scan camera for better digital still and video images and a full complement of digital video editing software, making it one of the market’s smallest, most powerful business computing and digital video editing systems.

Among the PictureBook’s full suite of office and entertainment applications is Sony’s MovieShaker(TM) — a fun, simple application for producing digital home movies, complete with transitions, effects and music — Intuit Quicken(R) 2000, QuickTime (TM), Microsoft(R) Word 2000 and Adobe’s Photo Deluxe(R), Business Edition. Also featured are additional Sony applications, including DVgate(TM) and PictureGear(TM), which allow users to capture full motion digital video and still photography for dynamic multimedia presentations — or even video e-mail.

PictureGear(TM) allows for enhanced management of digital content – both sound and video files. Users can visually organize and manage personal digital content collections including still images, digital video clips, MP3 files and much more.

Are today’s netbooks substantially more capable when it comes to media? Not really.

And take this on for size, the Sony web site actually still offers support for the C1VN.


So, in as much as I do like my glossy new blue netbook, I do have fond memories of the C1VN. Smaller and lighter than today’s hardware, super easy to use on an airplane, nice keyboard, and screen.

But today’s netbooks are great little machines. One of the main reasons for getting one for us was the ability to dump the HD video and stills from a project. When you compare the capability of a Netbook with 160 GB HDD to the dedicated “pro” media storage devices that cost a friggin fortune, a netbook is a super easy pick. Plus you can easily browse through all your media on the glorious 10″ diagonal display. Try that on a $700 Jobo with a 3″ display. Wait, why spend $700 on a Jobo when a netbooks costs around $300. It not only does everything the Jobo does (store media) but the netbook is also a real computer- perfect for editing the photos, uploading media, e-mail, browsing the web, and a whole lot more.

I highly recommend the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE that I bought and have used for several productions. It’s cheaper, lighter and more capable than your basic Mac laptop, and, with the built-in reader, makes copying SDHC cards a breeze. You can find out more at the TechThoughts Store under Media. Then click on the Asus 1000HE.


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