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By Hanleigh Daniels 18 January 2010

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The Mecer Convertible Classmate isn’t your run of the mill netbook. Not only is its child-targeted styling unique, but it features a 9” touch-screen which can be flipped over to offer tablet PC functionality.  
The tablet touch functionality poses a bit of a conundrum. Although you can open and close programs with the provided stylus, no virtual keyboard pops up when you want to enter text, such as a web address. There’s also no hand-writing recognition or note-taking programs. This severely hampers the tablet's functionality. 
That said, the Mecer offers very competent specs. It weighs only 1.2 kg and runs on Intel’s Atom 1.6 GHz processor with1 GB of RAM and a 60 GB hard-drive. It also includes two USB ports, a memory card slot, webcam and wireless LAN- quite impressive for such a small fellow. As is expected, there’s no DVD-drive. 
Even though the Mecer is aimed at kids, if it had better touch-screen functionality and a bigger keyboard, we would be tempted to buy one. At R5 499 from Computer Corporation (08616-08616) it’s definitely not the cheapest netbook around. 
PROS
Rugged, flipover touchscreen
CONS
No handwriting recognition, pricey
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