CNet’s David Morgenstern looks at Apple’s past, kinda-funny present, and future prospects for some sort of netbook, starting with John Sculley’s Knowledge Navigator device and ending with our good friend the eMate:
The Web is awash with visions of a forthcoming Mac netbooks, or an iPhone with a keyboard, or simply a mobile Mac that’s less expensive than the current product line. All of these imaginings are as likely as one made by an Apple thinktank some 20 years ago and another by the Onion.
The Onion piece is the great MacBook Wheel, and the 20-year-old project is Sculley’s dream of a truly personal digital assistant.
One big difference between the eMate and the XO are their screens. The eMate had a small backlit LCD that offered 16 shades of gray and a 480×320-pixel resolution. The XO provides a full-color 7.5-inch LCD with 1,200×900 resolution. Remember that the XO supports a web browser and the eMate didn’t.
He goes on to say that the price different between a new eMate and a new XO are significant.
Seems the eMate is Apple’s evidence for thinking small, rugged, and affordable for whatever the situation – netbooks or third-world rescue efforts – calls for.