Gdium Liberty Netbook Uses USB Key for a Hard Drive

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Here's a netbook with a twist: Emtec's 10-inch Gdium Liberty has no hard drive. Instead, it will ship with a bootable USB storage stick (dubbed the G-Key) that runs Mandriva G-Linux and has over 50 open-source applications pre-installed: including OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and Spam Assassin.

The novel concept would allow it to be shared amongst users (say, a family) who's individual G-Key's store their own files and preferences. G-Key capacities will initially be 8, 16 and 32GB when the Liberty goes on sale around April, starting at about $400. While a 64GB G-Key is also on the cards, the Liberty's built-in SDHC card reader and three USB 2.0 ports also help with storage expansion.

The Gdium features a 900MHz STMicroelectronics Loongson CPU, 512MB of DDR2 memory, 16MB Silicon Motion SM502 graphics, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Ethernet, a built-in Webcam and speakers, plus a VGA output. It weighs about 2.6lbs and has a 4 hour battery life.

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