may have dropped the Convertible Classmate PC on its head back at its CeBIT launch, but obviously that didn't throw the little netbook off its educational course. Intel along with its hardware partners are now officially launching the improved and re-ruggedized netverible, and here in the US, CTL's added the kiddie laptop to its lineup. The $499 2go Convertible Classmate PC NL2, which is configured with an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, Windows XP Home and a four-cell battery, will start shipping to those ever so studious school children this week.
We can tell you that the kids are lucking out this time. We've been playing around with the netvertible for the last few days, and must say it's one tough piece of hardware. Though we can see the 3.7-pound rubberized chassis putting a bit of strain on smaller arms, it's really easy to grip and the retractable handle is less cumbersome than the previous versions. We've got to admit we were a bit disappointed that the resistive screen still doesn't support multitouch, but it's responsive to finger touches and the included stylus takes some pretty smooth notes. Our $599 unit came with Windows 7 Professional installed, but we continue to love Intel's Blue Dolphin software layer for easily opening programs with a finger. The accelerometer is slightly sluggish to rotate the screen orientation, but we were quickly distracted by the anti-microbial keyboard and rotating webcam. We'll be here wondering why the kids get to have all the fun, but we encourage you to check out the hands-on pictures and PR below.