Yes, bring back netbooks

The netbook reminiscing of late had me checking out what's offered in the world of small but typeable laptops, and I'm sad to say that there's not a lot to pick from. Most of the easily available options are either too large (like the 11" Asus L210 or various 11.6" chromebooks available on Amazon), too small (like the 7" GPD Pocket), too expensive (like the otherwise bill-fitting 10" One Mix 4 or 9" GPD Max), or blatant parts-bucket junk like the Goldengulf 10" Android Laptop. The Lenovo Tablet 10 was on the ball recently enough, but is discontinued, hard to find, and easily confused for similarly-named and similar-looking devices that don't come with reasonable keyboards or a desktop OS.

If anything, it seems like the shortcomings of the netbooks that once were have left a nasty smell at the place (cheap, low-end, 9"-10") we might otherwise head, discouraging users and manufacturers alike. The most obvious way to get a useful, fun-to-use "laptop" in this range is to put an iPad in a Brydge keyboard case [] or put up with the Surface Go 2's flimsy keyboard flap—and perhaps that is, for most of us, the right answer.

But a lot of us want (need! for work!) more fully-featured operating systems such as Microsoft's popular "Windows 10" and a real keyboard. In an age of power-sipping ARM CPUs, bezel-less displays and well-tailored operating systems I hereby demand the return of the classic netbook form factor.

Pictured above is the One Mix 4, next to an old Asus EeePC, as posted by Liliputing's Brad Linder, who gives the Mix a good review. Someone make that—just not with the $1300 spec sheet!