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back to article Notebook sales to surge, says notebook seller

Global notebook sales may be in the crapper, but according to the chairman of the company manufacturing notebooks for Acer, Dell, Toshiba, HP, and others, the bluebird of sales-revenue happiness will sing again in the second half of this year. On Thursday, Compal Electronics chairman Ray Chen told an investors conference that …

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Bronze badge
Meh

How about they stop pushing notebooks off on consumers with the illusion that notebooks only run windows? I've looked at hardware specs on these things all too often thinking "this looks good", but then I read something along the lines of "Designed for Windows"...a felling drops on me like an anvil knowing I'm being charged a higher price for a OS I'm never going to use.

If they wanted to sell more Windows licenses, then they should offer them without any OS, or with the option of Windows. At least that way they could at least sway people with the idea of a lower cost, only to catch the consumer in hesitation about having no OS when they are in the checkout line, and make a few last second sales. Some revenue is better than none.

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Mybe if MS really do fix Win8

If they ship Metro off to live with it's old friend Bob maybe some people will buy a new laptop because they want one, not just a few that have to by a new one.

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Welcome back Freedos

If he goes for 'Microsoft will save us', he will find that the cost of a TIFKAM license rises until he gets only 0.01% profit. On the other hand, he can select components with good open source drivers and ship with Freedos to avoid the patent trolls. Retailers would love it because they could charge for installing Android. The Penguins would love it because they could install their choice of OS. Microsoft would go berk because TIFKAM would have to compete and actually do what users want for a fair price.

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Re: Welcome back Freedos

With my Acer D260 netbook loaded with Linux Mint its fast and more than able to run videos and open 10MB jpg photo files, so it could not be described as under-powered. IMHO the biggest problem for Netbooks has been the strangled versions of Windows that are preloaded onto them which limit their use.

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Linux

viewing on my AAO D270 running openSUSE 12.3

£170 including p&p - in another life I'd have been moaning about paying the Windows tax (and I still don't like it, still moan, but life is too short). However, thanks to the market I get decent discontinued hardware at a bargain price.

It's just replaced my original Linpus (replaced) AAO which cost more in 2007. The SSD seems to be dying, finally. I could have upgraded it for £50 or got this with a bigger screen, faster memory and a 320Gb hard drive.

I'm well happy

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Designed for Windows

"Designed for Windows" stuff is a requirement for OEM Windows licensing. Cannot understand why Microsoft are allowed to get away this this kind of monopoly abuse, or why no-one has challenged this under trade descriptions legislation. Common PC hardware following reference designs from Intel or AMD are pretty OS neutral, and when netbook specs were deliberately under specced by having too little RAM to run Windows properly I think they should have been labelled "Not designed for Windows"

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FAIL

Competing in the wrong direction

The notebook PC designers should stop trying to compete with tablets - that battle has been lost. Trying to make a notebook as portable as a tablet just results in something that is too cumbersome compared to a tablet, yet not much good at being a powerful computer either.

We want notebooks that replace desktop PCs and are portable. They should have high power processors and high resolution screens, oh, and please keep the optical drive.

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Re: Competing in the wrong direction

Near full ack. Although I see little point in an optical drive anymore. In my last laptop it simply broke. Though I have an extra PC for all things optical disk related.

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Re: Competing in the wrong direction

If you're into external device integration (things that go on networks and serial ports to be controlled by computer), many times you get a stupid CD with the manual - a manual that isn't on the manufacturer's website. I barely use my optical drive, but it's there when I need it.

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Re: Competing in the wrong direction

That's funny, netbooks were created at a time in which notebook makers were concentrating on building desktop replacements and forgetting about the people who needed to carry them around.

Now it seems it's the other way around.

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FAIL

A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

" Notebook sales to surge, says notebook seller

'Intel and Microsoft will save us' "

HAHAHA...choke...cough...weeze...

< tea spews all over keyboard >

I think Compal better form a better plan, perhaps trying to save themselves would be a nice start. It seems their dependence on Microsoft to tell them what to do is not serving them well.

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Re: A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

Absolutely. Start running the company yourself, not letting foreign corporations run it for you. Take yer own decisions!

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Tell you what, Ray

here's what you need to do:

1. use a decent screen resolution, worthy of the second octile of the 20th century. Not x768, not x1080. We don't all want wide screen TVs, some of us want a computer.

2. Either a minimum of 4 USB ports (all USB3, of course) or ship with a wireless mouse so we don't lose a USB all the time to a plug-in for a mouse. You could offer an optional wireless optical drive too, while you are at it. And 4 USB anyway.

3. Bluetooth. And Let us bung a SIM card in for connectivity if we want, too. My Dell mini-10 cost less than £200 and has bluetooth, sim slot, camera and microphone all built in. You could throw in a bluetooth earpiece too, that parks inside the case or wall-wart for storage and charging.

4. Use bog-standard memory and hard disk interfaces so we can upgrade when we want. It's our sodding computer. It doesn't have to be as thin as a sheet of cardboard. If it is, it will probably break. Oh, and a plug-in battery so I can change/upgrade it later when its knackered and the 'puter isn't.

5. SD card slot. Full-depth. So I can leave a card in all the time if I want. Better yet, two of them.

6. Firewire. Thunderbolt. HDMI. VGA adaptor cable in the box or as an option. Ethernet, or adaptor cable in the box.

7. Touchpad with buttons, not the-corners-are-the-buttons. Adjustable sensitivity for 'tapping', including OFF. (as in FRO?)

8. One of those wall-warts with plug adaptors based on a figure-8 mains adaptor, so we can swap them or use a longer cable if we want. Oh, and stick 1 or 2 USB headers on the wall-wart so I can also use it to charge some other stuff from the one socket in the hotel room.

9. Touch screen if you must but not as an excuse for charging a thousand quid. Meh.

10. As others have said, A CHOICE OF SODDING OPERATING SYSTEMS. Not one rammed down our throats like a randy Geordie lasses tongue on a saturday night, all fags and curry, leaving a nasty aftertaste.

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Re: Tell you what, Ray

6A - Bidirectional video, so I can use the screen as a monitor on summat else. It's all defined on the connectors. Do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tell you what, Ray

Problem is, all of this is available to anyone who buys an ex-corporate think pad latitude or similar. The vista era machines are particularly appealing for a penguinista - the pox of Vista ensures a healthy discount...

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Re: Tell you what, Ray

Sounds good, but also sounds remarkably like a laptop? 4 USB, firewire, thunderbolt, HDMI, 2 SD slots, bog standard ram and HD interfaces - you've instantly bulked up the hardware and taking it firmly out of notebook territory.

It pretty much *does* have to be as thin as a sheet of cardboard, or close enough. It's not a desktop replacement.

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Re: Tell you what, Ray

8 - not "figure of 8" cable but IEC (the "kettle lead") as you can find them world wide and thus plug in anywhere you go.

Otherwise up-voted for all points. In particular 1, 4 & 10

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Headmaster

Re: Tell you what, Ray

> 8 - not "figure of 8" cable but IEC (the "kettle lead") as you can find them world wide and thus plug in anywhere you go.

Those are all different IEC 320 (actually IEC 60320) cables. "Figure of 8" is C7, "IEC" is C13, "Kettle lead" is C15, and even "Cloverleaf" is C5.

Pedant alert: A kettle lead and "IEC" are not the same. There is a slight indent on the C15 cable and C16 socket, so although a kettle lead (C15) can fit in a C14 socket (computer PSU), a computer lead (C13) cannot fit in a C16 socket (kettle).

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We don't need them anymore, but thanks anyway

I think for most of us we used PCs because that's what was available, but now we have smartphones and tablets, which are as they say 'good enough' for everyday computing tasks, we can - thank heavens - say goodbye to PCs of whatever shape or size and even better, say goodbye to the horrible OS that runs on most of them. Although I stopped using MS's offerings a while ago and treated myself to an Apple laptop, I only use it about 10% of the time. My phone and tablet take most of the load because I find they are more convenient and easier to use in a lot of ways - and I don't suppose I'm the only one!

So Ray, I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

(Less than 0.5 million profit on turnover of 5600 million? That's frightening.)

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Re: We don't need them anymore, but thanks anyway

Take it you don't actually do any work then. Phones and tablets are fine for reading the odd email or browsing the web, but doing writing complex spreadsheets or documents? Desktop publishing? CAD? Programming?

They're toys and nothing more. They're fine when you spend most of your time looking at the screen, or if you're a two-finger typist anyway. But those of us who need computers to do our jobs need computers, not toys.

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Devil

Re: We don't need them anymore, but thanks anyway

Interesting idea with one minor problem in it. Some people actually use computers for work. Real work - one that actually makes money.

I will consider using a tablet as a main work device on the day when I can draw a decent network, industrial, flowchart or UML diagram on a tablet (without swearing madly at the lines attaching to the wrong point half the time), add 7-10 transitions to it so it can go into a proper presentation (not one where the audience will die of powerpoint boredom).

That is just in order to consider it which does not mean "believe" by the way. I will believe in that idea on the day when I can write, build, debug and test some code on a tablet.

Until then, they can only pry my notebook (and my desktop actually) out of my cold dead hands across my dead body.

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Mushroom

Microsoft will save us?

What, like they did Nokia you mean?

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Alien

Missing the point

you are...

Notebooks became popular because they were laptops that didnt need a weight training course to carry around.

Thanks to progress, most laptops, notebooks weigh ~1.5-2.5kg - so they are now commodity items.

They all do the same things and have as much differentiation as toilet paper - actually arguably less.

(Q if a macbook was toiletpaper what brand would it be comments...)

The manufacturer needs to find something that

(a) I want to do but cannot or

(b) don't know I want to do but would really really want to if I knew

My suggestions :

(a) - Phone-style (or faster) instant on -Not having to think about the battery from 6am to 10pm

(b) - Screencast to a 4k screen wirelessly. These screens will be 40-60ins. Something that allows me to work on a doc / picture / code etc etc genuinely co-operatively in parallel on the same screen (like gaming). That other person need not be next to me, but might be.

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Big Brother

Re: Missing the point

"(a) - Phone-style (or faster) instant on -Not having to think about the battery from 6am to 10pm"

Supposedly, these features are just around the corner with Intel's new Haswell SoC family which feature active idle states and improved power management.

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Devil

Re: Missing the point

(Q if a macbook was toiletpaper what brand would it be comments...)

A Not sure of the brand but it would clog anything other than an iToilet.

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Thumb Up

He could be right

$200 Android laptops are coming in the back-to-school season this year. Some with ARM, some with Intel.

Hopefully they'll not go down the same stupid 1024x768 non-touch display dead end as low-end Windows laptops or they're DOA. Nexus 7 this fall will have a 1920 x 1200 7-inch display at $200.

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Yeah

Anything you say dear, anything you say.

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Lets attack Intel a bit?

I have checked the market again, usual scenario... I like a modern design like lenovo yoga just to find out a detail, "Intel graphics" and give up.

Oh yes,I want to play games, I am 12! (easier than lecturing people 500th time about why you shouldn't run a crap graphics chip in 2013)

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Happy

Re: Lets attack Intel a bit?

Oh yes,I want to play games, I am 12! (easier than lecturing people 500th time about why you shouldn't run a crap graphics chip in 2013)

Wash your mouth out with soap, young man.. And posting at 3am? Your parents will hear about this!!

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Silver badge

Personally I dont give a shit about netbooks/laptops

I want a portable computer. Not two or three different portable devices - just the one.

I dont mind if it pretends to be a phone/tab and runs on a couple of cores. Maybe when I plug it into another screen (HDMI or UNIVERSAL docking ((remember IEEE bus??)) and a power supply the other 14 cores and GPU's would kick in for some serious shit.

That way when it gets lifted from my pocket I can get really angry!

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Anonymous Coward

Tablet, Netbook or Laptop? Oh what a dilemma?

Each has their own place in IT despite what a certain Mr Gates might say.

Like many of us, I have the full set.

1) Kindle Fire HD - Reading books on long flights and when I'm away on site.

2) 4yr old MacBook 13in, ok, not a netbook but close enough. Used for general browsing and importantly writing my next Novel.

3) HP 17in Laptop. Ok, a desktop replacement in reality. I7, 3 HDD (2 SSD's) and 32Gb Ram. Use for the day job of writing software that runs Volume Manufacturing Sites.

Each has it's own niche and does what it says on the tin pretty well.

For me, all this debate, sorry slagging off one device in favour of another is pretty childish. As far as I'm concerned, they all have a valid place in our array of IT kit at our displsal.

Yes, a good proportion of El Reg readers need to do real work. Tablets and indeed many netbooks are just not up to muster for prolonged use for what many here consider 'real work'.

So I lug the HP behmoth with me to all sorts of foreign parts, I get real work done. When that dies in 12-18 months, I'd hope that network links from places like Bhutan to home would allow me to work connected to my systems in the office rather than having a whole Manufacturing System in a set of VM's on my laptop.

Now that will be liberation. I might even buy a new Notebook for the next book.

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Coat

some return....

470K profit on sales of 5.6bn...is that worth the effort? I'll warrant it's even less after this latest fanfare...

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Go

CHOICE OF OPERATING SYSTEM OR FREE-DOS

Maybe, just maybe, we will get MEANINGFUL SALES NUMBERS on what people want instead of the crap coming out of REDMOND.

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