Here at GBM, we are both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by the netbook craze. Overwhelmed by the fact that every time we blink, another manufacturer is introducing their own model to the exponentially growing market. We are also underwhelmed because it’s just the same specifications in the same form factor minus a different brand on the shell. Sure, we still get amped up when Samsung’s NC10 finds that perfect balance between battery life and usability (especially in keyboard layout and size). And we definitely get indignant when Coby tells us they have no netbooks only to find that they do, albeit rebranded Asus and MSI models. So what’s all my mumbo jumbo leading to? It seems that OCZ has also decided to enter the netbook market. We’ve been trying very hard to find something that differentiates one netbook manufacturer from another, and by golly, this is the most drastic departure from the cookie-cutter netbooks of old.
OCZ’s Neutrino is a DIY kind of netbook. Sure, the core system is the same with Intel’s N270 Atom processor and 945GSE chipset running below a 10.1″ 1024X600 screen and powered by a modest 4-cell 2200mAh battery. What’s different is what’s not included. No hard drive, no RAM module, no SD card reader, and no OS. For $269 retail, buyers can now partially customize their netbooks per their required or desired specifications. Yeah, it’s a bit pricey considering pre-built units cost around $400 these days, but if you’re about to throw an SSD into your netbook anyway, this seems like a good option.