Early Hands-On of Intel Convertible Classmate

Laptop Mag scored a hands-on with a pre-production unit of the upcoming Intel Convertible Classmate. And they seemed to like it.

The touchscreen sequel to the original Classmate, the Convertible Classmate will pack the typical netbook 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, 60 GB hard drive, and Windows XP. Its touchscreen is 8.9 inches.

Laptop liked it, however, noting that the system handles XP by providing a touch-friendly Home menu that's supposed to be fairly decent. Newly bundled software includes a virtual keyboard and handwriting recognition to take advantage of the responsive touchscreen—plus there should be more apps from developers on the way. Also, integrated accelerometers successfully tracked whether the computer was in portrait or landscape mode, adjusting accordingly in 2 seconds.

If you like netbooks, CES 2009 will be chock-full of them. Intel's latest Classmate iteration looks solid, but we'll see what we think when the competitors show up. [Laptop]