The days of netbooks being only for the early adopters and for students with rich parents is long gone. With the XO laptop starting a new trend in portable computing for children and students, there are more affordable and child-friendly netbooks on the market all the time.
One particularly remarkable example is the Intel-powered convertible Classmate PC. While this handy netbook is useful for people of all ages (especially those that like to have a handle on their computing, literally), it is designed with students in mind. The attached handle, touch screen, handwriting recognition, palm-resistive technology, tethered stylus and built-in software and security for children and students make the targeted demographic pretty clear. The “convertible” part of the computer refers to the ability to swivel the screen around and fold it down to operate in tablet mode. This is the easiest configuration in which to to use the touch screen, on which you can use either the stylus or your finger nail.
What follows is my account of playing around with the Classmate PC for about a month.
The full review is a bit on the long side, so in case you haven’t time to read the whole thing now please use the following linked content list to help you find the specific parts you most want to see: