Sol Computer, makers of netbook and tablets equipped with Pixel Qi screens, is about to launch a new netbook. They haven't posted it to their website yet, but I have found that it is amazing what you hear when you have a friend who searches Youtube regularly.
You cannot see much in the video, so I sent an email and asked a few questions. The new netbook is about ready to ship, and this one is going to be based on an Intel Classmate design. There will also be a number of optional upgrades, including RAM, HD, and apps.
The base model is going to be running on a dual core 1.6GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, 2MP webcam, and of course the same 10.1" Pixel Qi screen. It will run either Windows 7 or Ubuntu and come with a sufficiency of ports and card slots.
This might not be as rugged of a laptop as the explosion proof ones from Panasonic, but it certainly looks more durable than the previous model. The Classmate was originally intended to survive children, so it's a fairly rugged laptop compared to most on the consumer market.
When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for Sol Computers to use it. These netbooks come with a rather expensive screen whose best feature is that you can use them outside. That means it is more likely than most to be banged around, even if the owner is careful. The rounded corners and reinforced screen should handle a lot of beating up in the course of normal use.
Sol Computer should have the product page up next week, with a retail of $950. But if this netbook isn't your thing, they also sell a. They are also planning to release a 7" tablet based on the Pixel Qi screen, but that's due out later this year.