Commodore VIC-20: under $300. Commodore netbook: $629

CommodoreI don’t know if the Commodore is still worth anything, but over the next few months we’re sure to find out. The Commodore brand that I knew and loved in the early 1980’s is joining into the netbook craze with their UMMD 8010/F model. I can’t explain how many hours I spent tapping away at my C-64… it felt like every waking moment that I wasn’t in school was spent PEEK-ing and POKE-ing at the memory innards of a home computer. Do I have a soft spot for the venerable brand? You betcha! Enough to buy this netbook. Eh… not so much.

At a tad over $600 and running a 1.6 GHz VIA C7-M, the most comparable netbook I can find is the HP Mini-Note. While the Commodore offers a 10-inch display to the HP’s 8.9-incher, just about every Mini-Note specification trumps the C-8010 at nearly the same price. Commodore is opting for 1 GB of RAM, optional Bluetooth and an 80 GB hard drive. The $629 offering from HP with the same CPU? 2 GB of RAM, included Bluetooth and a 120 GB hard drive.

Of course, computer purchasing shouldn’t be based on specifications alone. There’s definitely something about owning a Commodore computer these days, which is why I still fire mine up once a year. Is it worth nearly $600… maybe so, maybe not, but it’s sure great to see. All we need now is a William Shatner ad for the new netbook. Sadly, in Shatner’s VIC-20 advertisement, the big selling point is "under $300." Ahhhhh…. inflation.

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