In the world of gadgets smaller usually translates to cooler. While the new rnage of netbooks on the market have had some success in this paradigm I have not yet seen much to get me excited by them. They are not small enough to be radically easier to carry, and they are not large enough to be convenient to use for most purposes. The ultra-thin laptops are generally the better compromise position.
Until recently touchscreen laptops have not really lived up to the hype either. The speed of the handwriting recognition has not allowed them to live up to the promise. With the advances in touch screens, particularly multi-touch technology, the likelihood of this market becoming successful is growing.
Intel have combined new the latest touchscreen technology with a netbook to produce a kid-targetted laptop that looks interesting. According to laptop magazine Intel will be including a lot of third party software that is designed to take advantage of the touchscreen for school based activities.
This laptop is launching at CES and is likely to be one of the products that gets a decent amount of coverage. It will be interesting to see what the concensus is after more people post hands-on reports. I’ve been looking for a laptop for the kids, and this might end up being the one.