The Litl Webbook met with confusion when it officially launched earlier this week. While the 12-inch notebook may resemble a netbook for kids, its $699 price tag slots it in among grown-up laptops, begging the questions of who exactly is the target audience and why should they bother? CrunchGear's Doug Aamoth caught up with the Boston company to find out some more details plus get a hands-on play with the Webbook itself.
Video demo and interview after the cut
While we've grown used to the idea of netbooks as simply cheap computers - rather than "straightforward" notebooks for those who don't want to learn to deal with an OS' complexities - the Litl team seem determined to take pretty much every hump out of ownership. Data is primarily kept server-side and they even offer a remote control for TV-style access.
Meanwhile the company themselves are also responding to pricing criticism on their blog. Their stance is that by looking at the Webbook as solely a hardware proposition, you're undervaluing the server-side complexity that goes into it as well as your own time in managing patches, virus-checks and other mundane housekeeping we pretty much do without thinking about it.
"So, take your run of the mill netbook, add whatever expense/time you spend doing virus, updating, upgrades, patches, plug-ins, synching, back-up, tech support, and file transfers for the life of the machine. Add in a one year service plan then add some more because we give you an unconditional money back guarantee not an extended warranty. Add in a killer screen. Then add in the stuff I haven’t talked about such as plug-and-play HDMI, awesome channels, and sweet UI. What’s that worth? Depends on your situation. But for most home computer needs, $350 netbooks are probably too cheap and $1000 laptops are more than you need. litl, at $699, is just right."