Whether it is for email, browsing or both; there are a good number of people who use their computers for only web-browsing. How nice would it be to have an inexpensive computer that was solely designed for internet browsing. This is exactly what some people want.
Here’s the basic idea: The machine is as thin as possible, runs low end hardware and has a single button for powering it on and off, headphone jacks, a built in camera for video, low end speakers, and a microphone. It will have Wifi, maybe one USB port, a built in battery, half a Gigabyte of RAM, a 4-Gigabyte solid state hard drive. Data input is primarily through an iPhone-like touch screen keyboard. It runs on linux and Firefox. It would be great to have it be built entirely on open source hardware, but including Skype for VOIP and video calls may be a nice touch, too.
If all you are doing is running Firefox and Skype, you don’t need a lot of hardware horsepower, which will keep the cost way down.
The article is an interesting read, but I do not know if any of the big computer companies would take the time to develop such a simple piece of technology. They would have to sell a large number of these computers in order to make a profit. More importantly, ASUS already has something similar on the marketl the Eee PC. For under $500 dollars a user can get a small laptop that runs the bare necessities, but the monitor is rather small.
What do you think? Would you be interested in a tablet-touch-screen, internet only laptop?