Although VIA might not have managed to get the same kind of following when it comes to netbooks powered by its CPUs as Intel has managed with the Atom, there are still a fair share of VIA powered netbooks out there and a new player just joined in, Apricot Computers in the U.K.
Their new Picobook Pro uses a VIA C7-M processor, which is clocked at a mere 1.2GHz, but it can go as low as 400MHz in power saving mode. The VIA VX800 chipset is also part of the package and it features integrated VIA Chrome9 HC3 graphics.
With a 1,024x600 8.9-inch display, the Picobook Pro is going after the entry-level crowd and it will be available with a fairly small 60GB hard drive and 1GB of DDR2 memory. It also has a 1.3Megapixel Webcam and a 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth and an option for WiMAX, according to the specs.
In terms of ports you're looking at a D-sub connector, two USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port and headphone and mic jacks. The battery is supposedly good for up to four hours of use. Size-wise, the Picobook Pro isn't tiny at 230x171x38.7mm (WxDxH), but at least the weight is reasonable at 980 grams.
However, what we can't understand is why all the low-cost netbooks have to look so ugly. Is it too much to ask for at least a half decent design that you don't have to be ashamed of when you take it out of your bag?
At £279 (€359/$480) we can't see Apricot selling too many Picobook Pro's, but at least it's not the most expensive netbook out there.
If you by chance would be interested in getting one, you can find the Apricot Website here