back to article Death of netbook exaggerated, says researcher

Don't write off the netbook just yet, market watcher IDC has advised. Yes, the gadget has taken a blow from tablets like the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, but it's not a mortal one. Growth will continue, the researcher reckons, but at a "somewhat slower pace". So, it says, some 38.7m netbooks will ship this year - 10.3 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    It's their own fault

    Not surprising that netbooks are suffering (if not as much as predicted), the manufacturers brought it on themselves.

    They took a good concept (a cheap, light machine for e-mail and internet) and corrupted it by selling them as laptops. So people came to the conclusion they were crap because Game A ran too slowly.

    If the manufacturers had been honest about what they are actually designed for, they might still have had a decent market.

    Question is, are they financially better off as a result of their con than they would have been if they'd been honest?

    1. Player_16
      Jobs Halo



      ..what did I tell ya...!

  2. Rebajas


    I should think Netbook sales will be hit from first gen Atom owners looking to upgrade to a newer model - only to find the offerings currently available aren't that different to their current Netbook?

    I choose to get an Envy 17 for mobile computing and plan to get a tablet of some description for lighter uses while sitting at the coffee shop :) hopefully that will cover most uses for me...

    And I will be looking at the crop of 7 inchers for my Tablet - possibly even the new 7-8 inch iPad when it comes out :P

  3. Saucerhead Tharpe

    I miss the SSC

    My eee701 was £200, it just plugs along doing stuff.

    I'd replace it with a slightly bigger machine though, if netbooks weren't pricier than cheap laptops.

    A tablet isn't what I am after either though

    So the original market for these is kind of gone, because the companies went the windows route and no longer do them

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Netbooks were supposed to be small and cheap, but then Microsoft waded in to stop Linux getting a beachhead and they got bloated and pricey. Then they got compared to notebooks, which is an unhappy comparison for netbooks.

      It netbooks were essentially a tablet with a keyboard they could be far cheaper than notebooks and a real challenge to iPad et al.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I think you're right about Microsoft destroying netbooks.

        However, I don't think you're quite right about "a tablet with a keyboard [...] could be far cheaper than notebooks". An iPad costs £430, I think, but cheap laptops start at about £320. Of course, the cheap laptop has a big, low-resolution display (one that was designed for TV/video) and might weigh well over 2 kg, with a battery life of 2 hours. I have one like that. It can sit on the kitchen table after the children have gone to bed. Not so good for travelling.

        Have you looked at the Toshiba AC100? The price and the hardware look good. I'm just a bit worried that it will die because of a lack of decent software for it.

        Meanwhile, the Kindle is very cheap in comparison ...

  4. Iain Griffiths


    Novatech do netbooks with no OS installed - so you bung lurid limpet or whatever silly name the new umbongo distribution is called.

    1. Richard Crossley

      Lurid Limpet

      I do wish Canonical would call them something like.

  5. David Griffin

    When all the tablet hype has settled down...

    I was reading a PDF of a book in bed on my Dell Mini9 a couple of weeks back and realised that it is REALLY nice for that

    - it stands up by itself at whatever angle I want

    - when I want input I have keyboard or mouse without losing screen real estate

    - it works with all the files I already have, right now !

    Conversely I tried an iPad in PCWorld and it was quite awkward to hold, not nice to enter data on when sat at a table, and pretty expensive.

    Obviously depends what you want if for but for consuming media the mini laptop form factor is actually not as inconvenient as the hype makes out, and when you want to interact with data who can beat a fast typist who knows all the keyboard shortcuts ?

    Plus my early Mini9 is totally solid state and doesn't cook your nads.

    1. Player_16

      Well you know why it didn't work out, don't cha... weren't layin' in bed.

      Next time, bring a mattress and/or a sleepin' bag.

    2. Fredlocks
      Jobs Horns

      Wise up!

      Well said David Griffin. I can't believe the iPad fans who really think they've made some sort of progress. They have all been conned big time. I predict plenty of iPads at the back of the cupboard by the end of the year while the netbook owners will still be writing emails, word processing, surfing the net, creating presentations and spreadsheets and enjoying Flash for years to come.

      Wise up people. Jobs is having a good old laugh as he fondles his millions!

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  7. cloudberry

    @Iain Griffiths

    Upvote for "lurid limpet".

  8. Wonderbird

    They did it to themselves...

    They allowed Microsoft and Intel to dictate what they were allowed to sell... I paid about $350 for one of the early Acer Aspire Ones... I like it. I do not need the 160GB hard drive and use very little of it. What I want is MORE than the 7 1/2 hr battery life that I can already squeeze out of it AND a vertical resolution that is better than 600 pixels... Apparently nobody is "brave" enough to sell one without charging over $400 for it. I do NOT need Windows and I do NOT need Intel. I'd be perfectly happy with an Arm-based netbook - kind of like the one Asus "apologized" to Microsoft for demonstrating more than a year ago... Where is it you GUTLESS VENDORS???

  9. heyrick Silver badge

    I'd like my next to be a netbook

    I'm currently using an eeePC 901 (XP). It was originally for "internet" and a bit of dev messing around. Now it is my primary machine and does everything from video editing and watching telly to programming and, yes, Internet. Is it a bit slow? Yes. So? There's enough power to go around that I can set up a lengthy operation, then plug in yet another USB stick to watch the episode of "Twin Peaks" I recorded last night. So long as they aren't both using the same USB device, everything is fine. And yes, I have USB keys hanging out of it as an 8Gb SSD is a bit small, but there's always the NAS too. Right now I'm lying in bed with a warmish hot water bottle on my stomach, a book, and the eee on top of that. Typing this. Listening to Kawaii-Radio. If I feel the call of nature and I feel it isn't a one-minute thing, I can just pick it up and take it with me. Ditto for if I decide to go brew up some pasta. And unlike a "proper laptop", it is a perfectly respectable size. I carry my eeePC in a little zip-top cool-sac with shoulder strap that is, amazingly, exactly the right size.

    I don't want a "big" laptop, and I don't want a "tablet". I just want something small and capable.

    PS: Mega-mega win for the eeePC's battery life. It manages 3-4 hours with lots of crap attached, and when running only itself and the SD card without WiFi (i.e. "movie mode"), I can get some six hours from it. Boring journeys are no longer boring.

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