Just as we're coming to grips with the entire netbook phenomenon, low end manufacturer Coby comes up with something even lamer. "[Midget PCs] are smaller than a netbook but not THAT small." Midget PCs. Lovely.
UPDATE 12/5 19:37: The story, as it turns out, was a hoax. What's makes a midget PC different than a netbook? If you listen to Coby's marketing director, they're a whole new category of computer meant for leaner times. As far as I can tell though, the PoqetMate-7 and PoqetMate-9 are just netbooks, albeit extremely cheap ones. Coby hasn't offered many specs to ponder, but the models, primarily differentiated by screen size (7in and 9in) will run Linux atop a Chinese Longsoon processor. Past that, I wouldn't expect much more than a Wi-Fi adapter and a few ports, bringing the PoqetMate in line with low-end netbooks like the Asus EeePC 701.
Coby plans to bring these to discount retailers, including traditionally computer-averse stores like Kroger and Rite-Aid, by March, making the PoqetMate-7 the first $100 computer to be widely available in the US.
UPDATE: According to the company, the original story was, shall we say, fabricated. The original source, AKIndi, apparently allows for 'citizen journalists' to post content without vetting—something which I should have checked for and noted. Coby's official statement:
Coby Electronics Corporation is not in fact developing or producing a laptop computer in the under-$100 price category, referred to in various erroneous reports as the “Midget PC,” “PoqetMate-7” and “PoqetMate-9.” Coby Electronics Corporation is not currently producing a PC nor is one headed to market at any price under the company’s name. While Coby Electronics Corporation constantly monitors and evaluates all consumer electronics categories, no decision has been made to develop or launch laptops, nor have there been any specifications, pricing and distribution channels created for such product at this time. Coby Electronics Corporation remains focused on producing high-quality, innovative and competitively priced products in a range of consumer electronics categories, including LCD TVs, Video MP3 players, Portable and Home DVD Players, Digital Photo Frames, iPod Docking Stations, Radios and Accessories.
Ars, who called the hoax earlier today, has an interesting writeup of the whole affair, including a tasty little morsel regarding a company that is planning to release a budget laptop based on a Longsoon processor, but it appears to be completely unrelated to Coby. [AKIndi via TheGadgetSite]