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Apricot Launches PicoBook Pro Netbook; Sinclair and Amstrad to Follow?

It was only a matter of time before old names get revived for the sake of marketing. Apricot, once the darling of UK tech industry, has released a 8.9-inch netbook called Picobook Pro and available at £279.

The device comes with a Via C7-M 1.2GHz CPU (although at the time of writing, the homepage said 1.5GHz), 1GB RAM, 60GB hard disc, WiFi, bluetooth, 1.3megapixel webcam and a few more features like a VGA port and Optional WiMax.

Mitsubishi Electronics acquired Apricot in the 1990's but the brand has been brought back to the UK recently.

Unfortunately, far from carrying the prestigious DNA of the previous generations of Apricots hardware, the PicoBook Pro appears to be a straight copy of Packard Bell's Dot Netbook which has a bigger hard disk drive.

Last month, Commodore, another brand full of nostalgia released an Atari Netbook which looked quite similar (as far as specs were concerned) to the Packard Bell and to Apricot's Netbook.

So the plan, as far as Netbooks are concerned, is disconcertingly simple. Get a dirt cheap Netbook, slap a once-famous name on it and expect nostalgic aficionados to flock to it. At this rate, we can expect Sinclair and Amstrad Netbooks out soon.

The Picobook Pro is available for sale here (opens in new tab) and comes either with Novell SUSE linux or Windows Home.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.