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Commodore joins Netbook crowd

Name associated with iconic '80s C64 is appearing on a laptop that's joining the nascent but thriving Netbook market.

Commodore Netbook

Updated at 5:54 p.m. PDT to clarify that the "Commodore" in the Commodore UMMD 8010/F is most likely only an homage to the company of yore.

Gadget watchers on the tubes are atwitter with news that the Commodore name is having a decidedly 2008 moment in connection with the nascent but red-hot Netbook market.

The Commodore UMMD 8010/F, announced at the IFA consumer show in Berlin, will sport a 1.6GHz Via C7-M processor and will have an 80GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and optional Bluetooth. The machine will have 10-inch display and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Prices are expected to start at $610.

The Netbook joins the fast-growing new category of small, cheap laptops exemplifed by Asus' Eee PC.

With low-power processors, and tiny screens and keyboards, most Netbooks available today aren't good for much more than surfing the Web, checking e-mail, working on office documents, and maybe a little minor multimedia fun--though those tasks do comprise a bulk of what most people do on their laptops.

No doubt some consumers will be drawn to the Commodore UMMD 8010/F for its nostalgic appeal. The Commodore name is indelibly linked to iconic computers of the '80s such as the C64 and the Amiga. But times change, and old companies often fade away--several years back, Dutch company Yeahronimo Media Ventures bought the rights to the Commodore name, with the express goal of selling gadgets and trading on "not only the brand name but also the heritage of Commodore."

If you have any insights on the new Commodore devices and the company behind the name today, let us know in the comments section below the story.

And before you go shopping for any Netbook, you might want to take a look at CNET editor Dan Ackerman's tips for finding the perfect Netbook.