The Guillemot Corporation brand Hercules has announced a couple of new 10-inch eCAFÉ netbooks – one less than an inch thick and the other promising at least 13 hours of "real use" battery life. Both feature a low-power processor, run a custom operating system and benefit from solid state storage. They also sport a display which folds into the body, and all physical connectivity options are placed at the sides.
Both the Slim HD and the EX HD eCAFÉ netbooks have a bright 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution LED screen capable of supporting 720p high definition video playback. The fanless devices are powered by an ARM Cortex A8 i.MX515 low-power processor running at 800MHz, with support from 512MB of RAM and solid state storage – all of which makes for quiet operation.
Physical connectivity comes in the shape of three USB ports, Ethernet, a media card reader and audio in and out. Wireless connection to the internet is catered for by the inclusion of 802.11n technology. They run on a custom Hercules eCAFÉ Netbook Edition (Linux-based) Operating System that's said to be quick to learn and intuitive to use, with an eCAFÉ Sync application that allows for quick transfer of files between a main computer and an eCAFÉ device via mini-USB. The system is said to be capable of waking from standby in four seconds.
The Slim HD model is 0.8 inch (20 mm) thick, weighs 1.9 pounds (0.86 kg) and comes with 8GB of flash storage (which can be extended to 72GB). Users will also get 50GB of online storage included. There's a 0.3 megapixel webcam and the 2400 mAh (7.4V) battery is said to be good for 4.5 hours. It will be available in April for a suggested retail of US$229.
The EX HD model comes in a little chunkier at 1.1 inch (27 mm) thick, and heavier at 2.4 pounds (1.08 kg). It's shipped with 16GB of flash storage (which can be extended to 72GB) and includes the same amount of online storage as its brother. It also gets HDMI-out for showing digital content on a big screen TV, backlit multimedia touch controls, and its 6800 mAh (7.4V) battery is claimed to offer 13 hours of use before needing some juice. This model also has an April availability window, and has been given a suggested retail of US$269.