Ergo reinvents the netbook with the GoNote GNT10

Ergo reinvents the netbook with the GoNote GNT10

Aimed at students, the GoNote GNT10 packs a 1.2GHz ARM processor and a copy of Android 4.0 into a netbook-like chassis for £149.

UK-based Ergo Electronics has announced that it is planning to single-handedly reinvent the ailing netbook market with the GoNote GNT10, a 10-inch Android-powered device aimed firmly at students.

Based on the Chinese Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8-based CPU running at 1.2GHz, backed with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage - expandable to 32GB using a microSD card slot - the netbook's specifications have more in common with Ergo's tablets than a typical laptop. This impression is redoubled with a glance at the 1024x600 display, which includes a two-finger resistive touch-screen layer in addition to the traditional touch-pad beneath the chiclet-style keyboard.

The impression of the GNT10 being a tablet with a non-removable keyboard is cemented with the news that the device is powered by Google's Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' operating system - software normally associated with tablets and smartphones.

That said, there are features of the GNT10 which bring it above and beyond the usual tablet fare: as well as integral 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi networking, the netbook includes an integral RJ45 port for wired networking along with four USB 2.0 ports for peripherals or storage devices.

All that could account for nothing, however, thanks to the device's form-factor: unlike a convertible tablet like the Asus Transformer or Ergo's own GoTab Epic GBT97, there's no way to comfortably hold the GoNote in your hand while using the touch-screen. As a result, it's a device which will only appeal to those who always have a desk available at which to work - and who don't mind controlling touch-centric apps with their arm outstretched.

The GoNote also misses several key features of most legitimate tablets: the resistive screen will be more awkward to use than the more common capacitive type, there's no integrated GPS capabilities - although this can be added over USB - and there's no support for film and TV rental through Google Play. The final nail in the coffin for the GoNote is the battery life: at a claimed six hours during web browsing, the GoNote is outclassed by rival tablets which offer eight hours and upwards - the Asus Transformer series, for example, offer around sixteen hours of continuous usage when connected to the battery-equipped keyboard base.

The price could be the GoNote's single saving grace: at £149, it's significantly cheaper than most keyboard-equipped tablets and on a par with the lower end of the ailing netbook market. With Android instead of Windows, however, it could be a tough sell at any price.

More details are available on the GoNote microsite.


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TheDodoKiller 22nd August 2012, 10:46 Quote
What a ridiculous idea. it's a step backwards- I didn't think you could make a netbook worse but these clowns seem to have managed it.
Byron C 22nd August 2012, 11:35 Quote
Erm... Okay...

For starters, not having Google Play restricts you to side-loading apps or third-party app stores, which aren't always going to have the same selection of apps available.

Mobile office suites will never be as capable as their desktop counterparts; I doubt they'd even compare to the functionality in OpenOffice or Libre Office.

I'd expect to be able to use Flash on my laptop/netbook - the usual issues of it not being designed for touch-screen use do not apply when you have a trackpad - and Android is no longer supported by Adobe.

A tablet OS will simply not work in a device with a keyboard and mouse. Have you ever tried Android x86? It's... awkward, to say the least... It might work in an embedded form factor, such as a set-top box, or in a touch-centric device, but it isn't really designed for use with a keyboard & mouse.

Why not just stick Linux on the damn thing and have an OS/interface which was designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse, and has a massive suite of applications available for the ARMv7 instruction set?

Finally, it's a netbook. You'd be better off spending that £149 on a well-built second-hand laptop - I certainly was.
Anfield 22nd August 2012, 12:18 Quote
utterly pointless and hardly an original idea, more like a failed attempt at a cheap knock off of the Asus tablets.
Fruitloaf 22nd August 2012, 12:49 Quote
Why oh why design it so badly? Does it take much imagination to make the screen fold back all the way round and disable the keyboard at the same time plus add a capacitive screen? Ok it might add £20 to the price but its a lot more functional. It wouldn't be a tablet for one handed use but it would be a lot better.
Guinevere 22nd August 2012, 13:36 Quote
Resistive 'Multi-touch (2 finger!) screen? 1024x600 resolution screen? Terrible battery life? Crippled OS? Chunky-monkey form factor? Crazy high price for the spec?

Nice! This machine has everything we could [COLOR="Gray"]n[/COLOR]ever want!
Lazarus Dark 25th August 2012, 03:02 Quote
It they had just made a tablet +kb/dock, that would have made sense. Asus has had good success with that. But having an Android tab you can't actually use as a tab?
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