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The World's (very) First Netbook

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 5 years ago

Portables 5

Not-A-Microsoft-Fan (666) writes "Netbooks are making huge waves within the hardware and software industries today, but not many would believe that the whole Netbook craze actually started back around 1996 with the Toshiba Libretto 70CT. Termed technically as a subnotebook because of its small dimensions (given below), the computer is the first that fits all of the qualifications of being what we would term a Netbook today, due in part to its built-in Infrared and PCMCIA hardware, and it's (albeit early) web browsing software.

The hardware includes the two (potentially) wireless PCMCIA and Infrared network connections, Windows 95 OSR 2 with Internet Explorer 2.0, a whole 16MB of RAM and a 120Mhz Intel Pentium processor (we're flying now!)."

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Technically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27892211)

...it isn't the first subnetbook, but the very fact that TFA points out the early combination of wireless networking, web browsing, and small form factor, this can validly be considered the first netbook (per se), although the buzzword didn't catch on until about a year ago.

I don't understnd why Toshiba doesn't enter the netbook industry - they obviously have some experience in doing so, and the patents that the article points out are sure to cover something Toshiba can market solely.

What about H/PC and the Psion netbook (1)

googlesmith123 (1546733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892309)

Technically the Psion netbook is the only netbook there is...but that's beside the point. I guess most of the H/PCs came a few years later, but don't these resemble modern netbooks more?

Not Popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27893197)

Why doesn't this article have a better rank (blue)? I really enjoyed it, and it seems to be cooler than the other drudge that makes the /. frontpage these days, but apparently my vote isn't being counted and/or others just don't feel the same?

Re:Not Popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27893431)

Why doesn't this article have a better rank (blue)?

Probably because it took them 20 minutes just to completely read the article, thing is long as hell. Good though, I agree.

Great units... (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27896495)

I had Toshiba Libretto (110CT). Awesome unit, size of a cassette tape. With a small screw-on dock, you had VGA, PS/2, parallel, serial... I used it as a desktop unit at work for well over a year, as well as taking it with me everywhere. It would *easily* fit in my very small camera bag.

When the next gen U100 came out, I quickly purchased one of these; came with a nice DVD/rw dock.

However, I had quite a few problems with things. The DVD dock was back for service at least 5 times, and it still doesn't work. The unit started having the fan on all the time (even without CPU load) and thus sucking up batteries big time (probably bad heat sink goo or something). And a number of other problems. I took it back for service several times.

The local service depot (contracted out) in Halifax sat on it for months before even touching it, then never did fix it. Eventually, they finally replaced the motherboard, and my bluetooth and wifi stopped working. I had the extended 3 year service plan (System Guard), and had received terrible service.

When it was coming near the end of my System Guard, I made wrote a letter to the president of Toshiba Canada complaining about my experiences. Eventually someone called, and we played phone tag for a few months, I could never get ahold of them, and they would only call me back at odd times, which I would miss.

The last I heard from them, was "oh, we'll definitely take care of that." Then I heard no more, and my System Guard expired. I'll follow up on it some more, but I really don't have time to invest in such silliness and non-responsiveness. It's been a total nightmare... I paid a lot for System Guard, thinking I would receive top notch protection, and I never could get a usable machine out of it.

When it did work, for the first year or so, it was an awesome machine, but that was quite overshadowed by the terrible support received for the following years.

On the positive side, in the interim, without a usable laptop, I took the plunge and bought a MacBook, which I absolutely love. It really helps me get my work done, and is a joy to use. I guess I've become a fanboi, but not to try and convert others, just to truly enjoy using the Mac's for my own use.

I miss the small form factor of the netbook, and get excited when I hear rumours of a Mac Netbook (although it will probably be a fairly crippled use-it-like-Steve-Jobs-says type device, and not a full laptop, if they do it.)

I am occasionally tempted to pick up a small netbook for carrying with me, since Toshiba won't fix up my U100.

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