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Netbook newcomer Hercules hitches horses to Windows 7 wagon

Is free online storage a compelling reason to buy a Netbook?


It's hard enough keeping track of every Netbook manufacturer nowadays, but that's not stopping Hercules from getting in the game. The relatively obscure maker of Webcams and DJ rigs has made some low-profile Netbooks in Europe previously, but has decided that now's the time to release a U.S. Netbook of its very own--with Windows 7, no less.

Preloaded with Windows 7 Starter (the hobbled, less desirable version of 7), the somewhat chunky eCafe EC-1000W Netbook is slightly notable for two reasons: it has a 250GB hard drive, as opposed to the 160GB Netbook standard, and it prominently offers 50GB of free online storage to customers of the eCafe EC-1000W.

Free online storage is, in fact, offered by many computer manufacturers, but isn't always so strongly marketed. Does online cloud storage being thrown in make any difference to you, or do you already get plenty of it from elsewhere (Google, for instance)?

And as far as the increase in hard drive space, thank goodness. 160GB feels a little stifling nowadays. Hercules also throws in a few custom e-mail and Webcam software programs to go with the package. Otherwise, expect 1GB of RAM, a 10.1-inch 1024x600 screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and that same old Atom N270 chestnut, available at the end of October for $399. Windows 7 bandwagon, anyone?