Fujitsu hops on Netbook bandwagon

Intended for consumers and school kids, it's the first Netbook for the North American market from Fujitsu.


The potential of the Netbook market is turning even the skeptics into believers these days.

On Tuesday, Fujitsu is expected to announce its first Netbook-class laptop for the North American market. It's called the Fujitsu M2010, though the company prefers to describe it as a "mini-notebook" instead of a Netbook. Regardless, it's the first Fujitsu notebook with an Intel Atom processor inside for buyers on this continent.

The M2010 is your standard Netbook/mini-note, with Windows XP, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and three-cell battery for $449. It's nothing all that different from the rest of the crowd, unless you count that it's only available in Ruby Red.

Fujitsu has sold another Netbook, a 9-inch model sold only in Europe, which Fujitsu's senior product director Paul Moore said wasn't suitable for the U.S.

"We didn't bring it to North America because it was an 8.9-inch screen. At that time the feedback we were getting was 8.9 was too small," he said.

The M2010 has a 10-inch screen, which is quickly becoming the standard size for Netbooks--on Monday Dell canned its 9-inch Netbook in favor of two models of its 10-inch Netbooks. And Asus and Acer have also been increasing their focus on the 10-inch category.

Toshiba, the fifth-largest PC maker in the world, had also resisted selling a Netbook in North America--until Monday, that is. The NB205 was announced Monday.

It's easy to see why those who have resisted are now jumping on board: Netbook shipments are expected to double to 20 million units this year, from the 10 million shipped last year, according to data collected by IDC. In a tough economy, they're selling because of their relatively inexpensive price points, and increased portability.

Click herefor CNET's full review of the M2010.

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