Hercules enters notebook market with eCafe 10.1" unit

By Justin Mann on
When you think of someone rising up to compete against the likes of HP, Dell, Acer, Asus and MSI in the netbook market, generally only big-name hardware vendors come to mind; maybe Intel or AMD. Even Samsung made sense when they entered the market. Hercules, however, is not one that would pop into my head -- and yet they are the latest in a long list of companies that are selling the mini-laptops, with the introduction of their eCafe EC-1000W netbook.

It's an average-sized unit, sporting a 10.1" 1024x600 LCD, ample storage capacity with a 250GB unit and probably decent on performance with the Atom N270 CPU. It'll also come with a 6-cell battery, indicating it likely has a decent battery life. The mentioned price tag of $399 puts it more or less in the "average" range for netbooks, since most vendors seemed to have abandoned the idea of ultra-cheap.

On the software side, Hercules isn't just playing it safe. It seems they have both Windows and Linux offerings, and go to considerable lengths to explain what feature-sets they offer with both operating systems. Stock software includes things like Firefox, OpenOffice and more. Windows 7 will be the standard Redmond offering for when it becomes available.

Is there room for yet another netbook vendor in the world? Hercules is certainly welcome to try -- it's crowded, but there's definitely room for improvement. Unfortunately, it looks like Hercules isn't tackling one of the most troubling areas of the netbook market: pricing.

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