System76 is currently selling a dual-core Linux netbook for a sweet $385. The 10-inch mini-laptop is powered by a 1.5GHz Intel Atom chip and runs Ubuntu 10.04.
As Brad Linder of Lilliputing explains, Linux enthusiasts can choose a number of upgrade options, since the Starling NetBook isn’t “bound” by Microsoft’s stringent hardware restrictions for Windows 7 Starter.
“[For example], you can configure the Starling with up to 500GB of hard drive space or opt for a high performance solid state disk,” wrote Linder.
“[In addition], the Starling ships standard with 2GB of RAM, which is is twice the RAM you would get from most netbooks. [Still], a 6 cell battery will cost you an extra $59 – [which] drives the base price up to $444.”
Meanwhile, Peter Cartwright of NetbookNewsnotes that System76 is also experimenting with both Intel and ARM-based tablets.
“[However], they don’t feel the Atom tablets are ready hardware wise. On the other hand they feel the ARM side is there already but comes with a different set of technical issues that they don’t want to be involved with – developing and maintaining custom kernels for each tablet,” he added.