Coby to be Latest Netbook Newbie with > $100 PC

Coby has long been the baron of bottom-barrel electronics. Their DVD players, TVs, and media players have filled their own enclave at discount stores for years, so it’s no surprise that this champion of cheap has now set its sights on breaking into the netbook market with machines that may out-minisize the competition.

Updated: We should have expected this one. Coby’s plan for a netbook seems to be a hoax. Ross Rubin gives us enough evidence. He contacted Coby who said that “this story, or any announcement regarding a netbook, was not (emphasis theirs) initiated, condoned or approved by Coby Electronics.”

The guys over at Liliputing found an interesting article from The Arkansas Indy Media, who, after speaking with Coby marketing director Bob Gee, reports that Coby plans to release a line of PCs unfortunately-nicknamed “midgets” due to their smaller-than-a-netbook sizes. Not much of the specs are known save that “midgets are slated to have 7 – 9 inch displays, keyboards that “look to be” a similar size as the Eee PC, and the ability to run “90 percent of consumer applications”.

Because the article reports that Coby “wouldn’t use Windows even if Microsoft offered it for free”, the OS will likely be a flavor of Linux that Coby can install on its machines without paying huge licensing fees.

Netbooks are becoming a weird trend to follow. When ASUS kicked off the races with the Eee PC 701, the focus was on compact devices with mobile practicality. Then consumers spurned small screens and tight keyboards as uncomfortably tiny. Next the market swung upwards toward 10+ inch displays and more robust keypads, culminating in the 12-inch Dell Mini 12. And performance, both in terms of battery life and processing ability, has always been a feature that makes or breaks a new mini-notebook.

Can Coby’s midgets truly compete in such an intense arena? Probably not, but the company still expects all sizes of it midget machines to collectively outsell all other portable computers within five years.

Sounds lofty, Coby. But maybe netbook desire has trickled to the discount consumer market (even with Linux, which mainstream consumers have shied away from in the past), and maybe these machines will be worth the purchase.

For more details check out Liliputing or The Arkansas Indy Media‘s Web site.

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. David Says:

    Cheap is right. Save your money. Coby offers zero customer support – I know from experience. If your HD crashes, you will not be able to re-install windows because Coby will refuse provide you with the necessary drivers. Avoid Coby. Pay a little bit more with another vendor – it will be worth it to get some help when you need it.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options