It was a more innocent time. Celebrities were allowed to have entire names, instead of being grotesquely elided like poor
SuBo Susan Boyle. La Roux was still just June Ackland's daughter, yet to traumatise the ears of millions. And netbooks were a shiny new fad -- so new there was only one, the Eee PC, and it was tiny and a bit rubbish. So we can understand Blaze Europe's nostalgia in releasing a 7-inch mini laptop, the Chie, for just £99.
The Chie is bargain-basement basic, running on Windows CE, with a 800x480-pixel 7-inch screen. There's the merest scraping of memory -- only 128MB -- and a simple VIA VT8500 chip, which runs at 400MHz. If you want to store anything on it, you'll have to provide your own MMC or SD card.
This is too low-spec to really be considered a netbook, which strictly require an Intel chip. Its browser won't support Flash and it's not suitable for use with broadband dongles, so Internet isn't its strong point. Four hours of battery life is pretty meagre too. Still, it's cheaper than any smart phone, and if you're in the market for a compact backup PC to check email over Wi-Fi, or make notes in lectures, it should fit the bill.
The Chie is available now direct from Blaze Europe in black, white and pink for £95. The slightly sharper looking newer version (pictured) is £99 and available in black or white. By way of comparison, PC World is currently offering a Dell Mini 9 netbook with an Intel Atom chip, 1GB of RAM and a 16GB flash drive for £150.