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Netbooks are dead. Long live the notebook.

Netbooks were hot in 2008 and the first half of 2009, but the trend was actually more of a fad. Learn why it's over, and why that's a good thing.

Netbooks -- those underpowered mini laptops with 7-inch screens and unusable little keyboards -- are a dying fad. However, the legacy of the netbook will be that inexpensive notebook computers are here to stay, and they are lighter and thinner than ever.

Analysts and pundits will continue to use the term "netbook" but I'm going to argue that the device that we originally called the netbook is being phased out -- and thankfully so.

It's important to remember that the netbook had its origins in the OLPC and the original ASUS Eee PC. Those little computers were designed for school children in the developing world (hence the little keyboards, which weren't so bad for tiny fingers). These machines cut corners on hardware in order to create super-cheap PCs in the $100-$300 range that could be widely deployed overseas in places that had extremely limited budgets.

But, then a funny thing happened. People in North America and Europe and Japan started ordering these netbooks. The OLPC, and especially the Eee PC, became surprisingly popular among North Americna consumers. Once that happened, the race was on for every PC maker to get a piece of the action by making their own netbook, and all of them did, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo.

Some tech enthusiasts bought these netbooks out of curiosity, since they were so cheap there was nothing to lose. Some people bought them as second or third PCs that were good enough for quick Web browsing from a little PC that they could leave at the bedside or in the den. Those kinds of purchases were understandable and fairly harmless.

For more insights on netbooks and other tech topics, follow my Twitter stream: @jasonhiner

The problem came when regular consumers looked at netbooks and confused them with real laptops. To these consumers, the term "netbook" meant two things: cheap and portable. What many of them quickly found out was that these PCs had LCDs so small that they didn't work well with many applications and Web sites, had non-standard keyboards that were not meant for extended use with adult-sized fingers, and had CPU power that was ill-equipped to handle heavy multi-tasking or anything other than standard Web or productivity applications.

As a result, market analyst Biz360 released a report earlier this year that showed consumers had a significantly lower opinion of netbooks than standard notebooks. According to Biz360's "Net advocacy" rating (based on more than 20,000 online consumer opinions), netbooks scored 40 percentage points lower than regular notebook PCs. A separate study by the NPD Group reported that consumers had a lot of confusion about buying netbooks.

Now, this doesn't mean that there aren't some netbook fans out there. There certainly are. Many of them will argue that most computer users don't need most of the power in today's PCs and that netbooks are "good enough." That's a reasonable argument for people who know what they're getting themselves into, such as those buying a second or third PC for limited use.

However, for those buying netbooks to be their new primary PC or for road warriors buying one of these machines for portability and productivity during business travel, they will often be very disappointed. Why? Because, in many cases, these machines will be slower and less functional than their old PCs or laptops, especially if those machines are two years old or less. When someone buys a new PC, the person expects it to be faster than their old PC, or at least as fast but a lot more portable. Taking a step backward in performance and functionality is always going to be a disappointment for a PC buyer.

The netbook performance compromise is slowly evaporating though, as netbooks become less and less distinct from regular laptops. Once PC makers caught on to the idea that buyers didn't like the small screens and condensed keyboards, they started making netbooks larger. The keyboards have gotten more roomy and the LCDs have grown from the standard being about 7-inches to more like 10-inches.

Plus, Intel has also thrown a new curveball into the game with its CULV chips that are enabling PC makers to build ultraportable laptops that have full size keyboards and screens, like standard notebooks, while being super thin and as light as a netbook. Meanwhile, these systems are only a little more expensive than the average netbook, and they offer much better battery life (up to 6-8 hours, in some cases).

Mark Spoonauer, the editor in chief of LAPTOP Magazine, recently wrote about the fact these CULV notebooks are taking away all of the incentives to buy netbooks in his article Are Netbooks Officially Obsolete?

Even Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Dell CEO Michael Dell have spoken out about the poor user experience of netbooks. Ballmer is especially bullish on CULV systems. Of course, it's important to realize that both Dell and Microsoft make more money from notebooks than netbooks, but we should also keep in mind that they don't like unhappy customers either and the netbook customer satisfaction numbers are a little disturbing.

While netbook sales are expected to reach 25-30 million units in 2009, much of what is being counted as a netbook is looking much more like a standard notebook. Thus, I'd propose that it's time to kill the term "netbook" altogether. It only serves to confuse buyers and it was a phenomenon that has clearly run its course.

Want to read the counterpoint to my argument? Check out Larry Dignan's response on ZDNet.

See more: Here are TechRepublic's reviews of various netbooks from a business perspective:

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

310 comments
jfreedle2
jfreedle2

I would never give or purchase a netbook for anyone. They serve no purpose. I have a Tablet PC and it has been the best purchase that I have made in a long time.

daves1646
daves1646

I bought a Lenovo CULV machine, 13' LED backlit, 4 GB ram and 320 HD. Has turned out to be an absolute dream machine. Literally running all day on battery with WiFi on and the WiFi is every bit as good as what's on the current laptop line. It was double the $ of a cheap 10" 'netbooks', but this is a real notebook with an excellent keyboard that is smaller, lighter but powerful enough for full use. Hat's off to the CULV notebook designers!!

coatech
coatech

I bought two netbooks in less than 3 months. And if ever I buy a standard laptop again it's going to be for home use. I've ran across some of the limitations of netbook use, especially low screen resolution. My first netbook LG-110, has a screen rez of 1024 X 575. My second netbook has a rez of 1024 X 600. As soon as I can get my hands on one with higher rezs, I will still upgrade. By the way, I ran Photoshop on the two of them and they perform fairly well (once you can bear with the small screen and the slower speed). One thing you must realize is that you can not have a one size fits all. Personally, I am not a video freak, so I'm not missing out due to the video defficiency. The two netbooks run my office 2007 apps fairly well and I'm OK. Those who are complaining and waiting for the demise of the netbook category should do a rethink. With time, we can only expect performance to improve on the Atom based netbooks and the netbook format generally. Intel and all the other folks netbook are on track with the netbook format. Go and read the INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA and the INNOVATOR'S SOLUTION and get convinced.

terencelhl
terencelhl

Desktop, Workstation, Laptop serve their purpose and so do Netbook. Many consumers confused between laptop and netbook due to 1) Consumers them self are lack of products knowledge 2) Wrong information from inexperienced Sales guys 3) Competitive price by manufacturers where the specification netbooks and low end laptops are almost on par

tbostwick
tbostwick

Let's see, $300, 160 GB HD, an email and browser, running Ubuntu 9.10 will serve most folks very nicely (kids, adults, even techies) for the purpose it serves. Add WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.. and you've got a niche between the Samrtphone and full-sized laptop. This makes sense as long as you're not expecting to play Crysis, or Call of Duty , etc... a bargain and a no brainer.

bobstekeur
bobstekeur

I have a netbook that I pack in the motorcycle when my wife and I go on trips. It comes in very handy for web browsing, motel reservations and email. Also we download our photos everynight to the netbook as it has a large HD

jaja81
jaja81

Isn't it obvious that both are different?? Buyers should do their research first before buying. I got my netbook when I'm outside just for net surfing, msn, & simply tasks only. Cos, it's really portable & doesn't occupy much space. But I really don't like netbook due to the small screen size. Lol... but it's really weight friendly. Get a netbook if you really need it, otherwise, go for notebook then. :p

asirvent
asirvent

Hi Jason. Interesting article. The problem is not the netbook. The problem is the level of miniaturization of the technology. Sooner or later everyone will have not a netbook, not a laptop, they will have like a blackberry with an strong cpu potential and it will be connectable to different kinds of keyboards, peripherals or different size LCDs (including touchscreens) with all the power in a handsize. It's a matter of time (5 years ?...I bet you ....) Excellent articles. Congratulations. Alberto Sirvent from Buenos Aires, Argentina

gccradioscience
gccradioscience

Having a netbook was better than spending lots of money on a crappy notebook, it beats wearing out my HTC G1 android phone. NOTE BOOKS ARE $$$$ EXPENSIVE $$$$. They are for the rich!

osel091
osel091

i use a 1.2Ghz 256Mb P4 machine past 6 yrs. (Win Xp pro)... im able to use my JDK,Python,VB,Pidgin,open office,yahoo,Bit Torrent,JCreator , several other s/w's and able to browse internet using Firefox and it runs absolutely fine and several other required development tools at a satisfactory speed....Remember Netbooks come with 1GB DDR2 Atom Processor 1.33 GHz and xp pro..think before you speak sir....There are so many Experts working in those Big companies dell,hp,lenovo,asus etc..i don't think they are fools.

ITAuditGuy
ITAuditGuy

"Netbook" is a class of notebook with lower horse power, smaller screen, last longer on a single charge, and lighter. If you kill the term ?netbook?, how would you differentiate it from a standard notebook. If it is more like a standard notebook then call it notebook, don't call it a netbook. The industry should work on classifying different classes of notebook and place it in the right class. I don't think netbook is growing into a standard notebook by growing in screen and keyboard size. Makers and users are looking for a sweet spot for netbook. There are many reasons for my use that my 10" netbook beat my old notebook. For example sufficient horsepower for my use, smaller, lighter, last longer, cheaper, and so on... I use it because it FITS MY USE.

Kruger.henning
Kruger.henning

Looked at it but was not impressed so didn't by it. But yes as a third PC it may be ok. (My second PC AMD Athlon 900 was better at the time even if it was 7 year old then.)

lguillot
lguillot

user must be made aware the netbook its underpowered and not a substituted for a notebook o PC, it like a tv for the kitchen not the one for the family or TV room

purpleglobeguy
purpleglobeguy

Short-sited article, IMHO. Tell the people @ Walmart who keep buying these things to RTFM before they buy one and try to run their convenience store POS system with it and stream Garth Brooks videos simultaniously on it. Just won't work, folks. Let's not be too arrogant and toss aside the term just yet. Are you a bitter betty from the Psion battle or something? Geez.

mustangj36
mustangj36

I love gadgets and would get a netbook in a heartbeat, but I'm also practical. If all I did was read email on a computer then a netbook would be fine, but the screen is too small for anything else, especially web surfing. I don't need to waste $300 that badly.

rjpoms
rjpoms

We bought two Eee PCs and love them. We also have two notebooks & use one notebook as a desktop to manage the other "servers" in our home office. THE netbooks are great to take to meetings and such. A great addition to our technology investment!

cosuna
cosuna

Jason. Excellent article. I much appreciate it. Your check's on the mail. Best Wishes Steve Ballmer. P.S.: Don't tell people that in average an Atom with correctly optimized software runs apps 110% faster than Celeron's and can even match Core 2 Duos, since it is far more efficient, but only runs in order instruction code (as code should always be). Also don't tell them that even on their best performance settings CULV are rated at 45Watts, whereas Atom's are rate at the most on 10Watts and that no notebook can achieve a 10 hour duration without expensive Lithium Ion Polymer batteries, and that most laptops use more expensive "Ultra Bright" LCD's with even higher power demand. Finally Atom's running price is $50 USD while Core 2 Duo ULV are $250. Add that the price of Windows 7 Home Premium ($100 USD) and you don't have a system even close to a netbook. But then again you are paid to say the contrary. Or aren't you?

dbrezina
dbrezina

Dell Mini 7 Ubuntu -- it doesn't replace a laptop, it does replace a palmtop/handheld. I missed the combination of portability and document management functionality of my old HP palmtop, and now I have almost laptop computing power in a little larger form factor. It's also a good way to try Linux at a low price. I'll keep the full function laptop as a home computer and for those applications I need that require Windows.

Altotus
Altotus

You got it backwards I wont go to a large heavy expensive unit! Wont buy 17 inch freaking heavy crap. If it weighs more than 3# forget it. Not an option.

CCCharles
CCCharles

I use my netbook for writing, keeping up with email and the occasional bit of web browsing while travelling for pleasure. It's even got enough grunt for the odd movie if I feel like it. I know it's not going to be used for DVD ripping or high end graphics, and that's just fine!

jedih
jedih

it blows my mind that anyone would want a pc that can only do half of what its supposed to do and have a tiny screen!!! but I suppose its portable and better than surfing the net on your mobile :) I will stick with my laptop however (and am not surprised that the 'netbook' is getting the boot!)

allennugent
allennugent

My MSI has a HDD, so maybe it's not a true Netbook. Anyway, I bought it for checking e-mail and researching my next destination while on an overseas holiday. With no computer at my in-laws' place, it was indispensible. I also use it to surf during TV commercials when I'm watching a show. I don't use it for serious computing or data transfer, so the lack of an optical drive is not an issue. The biggest downside is getting cramps in the neck from looking down at the screen. Some ergonomic gadgets are wanted, here. -- Al, Sydney, Australia

CAHawkz
CAHawkz

The only problem with netbooks is that much of general public and even many techies who bought one and who had become comfortable with desktops and laptops mistakenly assumed they were buying a comparable product which it is not. The point of the netbook is portability and price. Without a doubt many were poorly designed,but the netbook is more of a "big" smartphone or PDA not a mini-laptop.

saravanan
saravanan

You are forgetting the MOST IMPORTANT POINT : Power Consumption. You need to understand that netbooks are popular because of : 1. Low Cost 2. High Portability 3. Very very long battery power (likes of 11hours !) I love netbooks as long as they are inexpensive. If keyboard doesn't fit you, get an external one.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Nearly every tech grandparent I know bought one for their toddler grandchildren. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that's what got the 'Netbook ball' rolling.

Ocie3
Ocie3

Since the "netbook" originated from the idea of having cheap but functional computers for school children, maybe that is the kind most appropriate for a child, if you actually want to give your child a microcomputer (MC). What is a "notebook" MC? More to the point, what is the difference, if any other than price, between a "laptop" MC and a "notebook" MC? If you cannot hold and use a particular MC comfortably on your lap, does that make it a "desktop" MC? And what is the difference between a "desktop" MC and a "nettop" MC?

twackford
twackford

I went from 17 inch "lugable", to 15 inch bearable, to HP 5101 10.1 inch truely usable/portable. Then bought my student kid one (loves it). We do real work and studies, no gaming or movie watching. Maybe that's why the netbook works for them. As said before, "right tool for the job". I love slipping mine into my 1.5 inch folio (no suitcase) and having enough battery for an all day meeting, notes, email and MS office all I want/need. The Netbook or what ever you call them, will be part of my business for a while to come.

Discusjon
Discusjon

With a Netbook like my 10" Asus Eee, who needs a Kindle or a Nook to read e-books on the move?

cheselka
cheselka

Netbooks aren't under powered, but 1024x600 is too small for exteneded use. Mine is a 1.6Ghaz Intel with 2GBs of ram. The only keyboard I found I didn't care much for was the OLPC keyboard which is specialized to keep liguids out and expense d\ own. Laptops are surprisingly heavy and bulky after you get used to carrying one everywhere you go. It is now my laptop that I use in the bedroom and living room. I have found netbooks quiet good at running every software I put on it. The only probloem I have is the 1024x600 screens. It is not surprising that, netbooks being lesser laptops, studies would find people considered them the lesser. Duh. Who cares if consumers are confused? They become unconfused rapidly. Consumers are tech savey now. I like netbooks because now I have begun to carry my computer with me again. I value the battery life and good performance but wish for more pixel real estate. They could use a 10" screen with 1280x800 resolution. I'm looking forward to the new strong arm based netbooks with amazing battery life and better screens.

appuhdc
appuhdc

Notebook is always the best portable tool for road warriors. Basically, notebook is meant for working class and also for adult students. However, netbook can be very useful for childrens in their kindergarden or preliminary school. During our old days, we don't have these facilities either at home or school. But today's generation is blessed with such technological toys to play and understand the IT world. This will surely make these childrens IT savvy. Thus, I personally think netbook has its potential in its own way. Especially, targeting the kindergarten and preliminary childrens.

ttekster
ttekster

No way am I ever going back to using a notebook except for copying files from CDroms. Even though hardware may get faster and faster. But if the software doesn't utilise it fully, there's really no need to get a notebook. A netbook is always less bulky than a notebook, which is very much why it's useful. It doesn't take up lots of table space and I could have an extra burger and coffee accompanying me. It fits nicely on a lecture hall table which most of the time, is a small sliding table. When I'm home, I can always connect a monitor to get the extra viewing space needed.

hforman
hforman

I think its all a matter of attitude going in. I saw a lot of replies to blog posts of complaints about the netbook: "No CD/DVD??!" "Too Slow!" "Hi-RES HD? Games?" These machines were designed for browsing, email and working on a document. They were NOT designed for all this other stuff. Mine fits nicely on an airline tray. If you use them for what its designed for, it is perfect. It is NOT a cheap laptop. It is NOT a desktop replacement nor a laptop replacement.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I think until the stats says that netbook shipments have bottomed out, they ain't dead. Selling up to 30 million units in a year is not death. Mr. Hiner's first paragraph said 7" screens when I think they can go up to 12" - although most are 10". I have an ASUS Eeee 1000HE and have no problems with it. I bought it primarily as it's light with a lengthy battery life and not as bulky as a regular laptop. Added an extra GB of RAM and it flies quite well. Was at a seminar and it was doing a better job in using Sun's JDeveloper than a ThinkPad from a few years back on a system with about the same amount of RAM. Bumped into a guy who had the same model but installed Windows 7 Home Premium and he has no problems with it. Balmer may know about Windows and whatever but he knows nothing about netbooks. The only reason why he's crying is that they were stupid to basically sell OEM licenses of Windows XP for a reported $15. Can't make much profit. As for Dell, they came into the game late - and their first one was a smaller screen than the competition. In some cases they were selling them with 8GB SSDs inside. Can't do much with 8GB!

erin
erin

Can you do a follow-up article on good small NOTEbooks?

BillDem
BillDem

Netbooks are NOT dead. Nor, will they EVER be replaced by notebooks. They target two DIFFERENT uses. Spouting otherwise shows lack of understanding of their real target users. Netbooks are commodity travelers' companions. There are three primary attractions - the Trinity: First, PRICE. They are dirt cheap. Second, battery life. With good batteries they can run all day. I get 6+ hours out of my OLD EeePC 900. Third, size/weight. They are TINY. You can throw them into a zippered pocket on the outside of your carry-on luggage. They take up very LITTLE space in your crowded luggage and weigh next to nothing. There have been recent trends by netbook manufacturers which demonstrate that many of the manufacturers don't even understand the reasons why people love them. They put bigger and bigger screens on them. They make them heavier. They make them pricier, or with reduced battery life. Guess what? Those units don't sell as well. They violate the Trinity. Remember Ultra Portables? Only VERY specialized markets bought them. Consumers ignored them. Why? They violated the first rule of the Trinity. Too expensive. MOST consumers are going to ignore these new ULPCs, too, for the same reason. ULPCs cost more than netbooks, are larger, and add zero value for email or browsing. Because of that, they'll niche into the same market that Ultra Portables targeted. Traveling consumers want CHEAP, tiny, and long battery life. That magic combination is why netbooks have taken off like a rocket while notebooks have suffered the ravages of a down economy. Netbooks will be around for a long time because they perfectly address a need that nobody ever addressed before. Straying from the Trinity is the only thing that will kill them off.

talukdar_m
talukdar_m

I propose that we start calling the new generation of hybrid notebook/netbooks something else: I give you the Neotebook.

cacorderoa
cacorderoa

For me the concept is pretty good, what I don't like is the term "netbook". There is no such advance to use a new term. Is even confusing for new users. Is my personal opinion...

Yam Digger
Yam Digger

I always viewed the Netbook to be too big to be an ultraportable compared to an apple iPhone, and too small and lacking needed functions to be a Notebook replacement.

Ant Lee
Ant Lee

You're missing a huge point with the double cost of CULV notebooks, it's twice or more the price, sure the performance is double or triple from netbooks, but for a lot of users who does only surfing, answering emails and basic office usage, that is an huge unnecessary additional cost, easily avoided with netbooks, providing the user does understand what they're getting into and not expect $300+ gadget could do what notebooks a couple times the price could.

Kruger.henning
Kruger.henning

I still struggle to see the use. I have a phone with a full keyboard, I can surf the web and read my mail, it's got office tools and all that I use when I travel. For the rest I have to deskops @ home and one in the office (Dual 19" screens). I understand if you need it and use it, but its not for me...

bigaussie
bigaussie

I agree the 7.5" original Netbooks were a real pain. The next generation (like all things tech) is starting to get it together. Hard to beat 9+ hours battery life, 2GB Memory, 10" Wide Screen, 160GB Drive -- all under $400. Add to that many are barely over 1Kg in weight; explaining why I have customers knocking down the door for the newest models. Not sure what planet you live on, but from where I stand (and 50% of your readers in your poll), the Netbook lives on. This thread is nearly as good as a Mac vs Windows "discussion" :-)

wwgorman
wwgorman

If you add an external CD/DVD drive the price of a Netbook is comparable to a Notebook. I chose my Netbook a year and half ago because of size and weight. I was due for a month long trip to Australia and I wanted to take both a computer and my FujiFilm S3 Digital SLR camera with me and I was limited to 7Kg (about 16 lbs) in one small bag. Since then the Netbook is the only computer I travel with. Yes, I need to take a back up hard drive(s)and I do take a portable DVD USB unit with me to put photos on discs so as not to overload the 160gb internal hard drive. The airline to Australia DID check the weight and dimensions of my bag and I was under the required weight and size

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

or isn't a Netbook, but what I have seen has always shown them as being about one third the cost of a low end Notebook and markedly lower tech specs for the insides, so much lower that you'd need to buy a lot of external hardware to bring the price up to being comparable. The price of the Asustech 1000H is only about half the price of a low end Notebook and the tech specs are very close to some of the low end Notebooks. What I'm seeing offered for sale as Netbooks in the retail shops is a much lower price and tech spec than the Asustech 1000H - in fact, the few shops that offer that list it as a Small Screen Notebook. While some stores are listing anything with a screen under 12 inches as a Netbook, and some listing anything with a 10 inch screen as a Netbook, despite being high end specs and priced at over a $1,000 - more than triple most of the other Netbooks. It's getting so you can't tell the players without a game card. I think I'll just stick to buying desktops as they're easier to play with. Edit to add - However, back to my earlier comment. Around here many people who bought Netbooks took them back to get their money back as they did NOT give a good enough performance to handle most apps. Most were bought for kids to use as cheap school laptops but couldn't run the basic office apps needed for school. What models etc they were I don't know, but they were in the A$300 range. NB: to convert an Aus retail price to a US retail price, a good rule of thumb is to just cut it in half and you'll be close enough. And I usually use Aus dollar prices.

wwgorman
wwgorman

When I bought the Asus Tech it WAS called a Netbook. I haven't checked it lately for its designation. Whatever it is, it works well for me which is the important thing. The cost when adding a CD/DVD external USB connected read/write unit is about the same a low end Notebook. For me it's the size.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

according to some of the material I've seen on the Internet, they do NOT market the EEE series (of which the 1000H is one) as a Netbook, but as a super cheap small Notebook. The price range seems to land it between the Netbook and Notebook prices too. I haven't tried to use any of the Asus range of laptops, so I can't say which it is. But the devices I've seen in the shops around Australia labelled as Netbooks have NOT been capable of running the Office Suite or Photoshop and have been priced much lower than what the Asus 1000H is being offered for at the on-line stores. In the shops the Netbooks are around A$300 - A$350 while the Asus 1000H is A$490 and a 15 inch Notebook is available from A$800. Of course, it could be the definition of what a Netbook is has changed - one on-line store lists any portable computer with a screen smaller than 12 inches as a Netbook, including some with very high end hardware selling for around A$1,200.

wwgorman
wwgorman

I have an Asustech 1000H and it runs Microsoft's Office 2003 just fine---just like the Gateway and Toshiba "transportable" computers I also have. It also runs a psychrometric program (Moisture content of gases [humidity]) as well as a few other programs for engineering calculations. (I'm an electro-chemical engineer.) I travel with it all the time and had it with me in Orlando last week for continuing education course on scale-up of mixing equipment. (The calculations for scale-up are best done on a spreadsheet as it necessary to try several techniques for scale up [geometric proportion, constant torque per volume, constant Reynolds Number, constant Power Number, etc]). The Netbook did wonderfully. I also run Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements on the Netbook.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

due to them NOT meeting the expected performances of a basic notebook. The price differences in the US etc may be different in Australia, but the netbooks that are half the price of basic notebooks do NOT run standard office suites properly as they don't have the computing capability to do it well. Netbooks are good if ALL you want is basic web browsing and email, but once away from that you're screwed badly.

wwgorman
wwgorman

What's the point? DVD/CD portable USB connected players cost about $100, plus or minus, and when added to the cost of a Netbook you get approximately the cost of an inexpensive Notebook. I still think the advantage to a Netbook is size and weight. I have two portable computers that I use as desktops and only use them as "transportable" computers----not portable.

Ant Lee
Ant Lee

comparable to an average large-sized notebook probably (over 13"), cause the cheapest CULV notebooks is still roughly double the price, with the weight just a bit over your regular netbooks and the size as low as 10" is soon to be available (or has it been released already?) So, the only edge netbooks currently have over notebooks are the price unfortunately.

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