With more than a dozen new Netbook models hitting the market each month, the incentives of buying one become more and more interesting for analysts, manufacturers and pure Netbook fans.
It is interesting to follow the market development for the period since we witnessed the Netbook breakthrough – the notable Asus Eee PC 701 (Surf). What we had there was a decent 7” screen with not so suitable resolution 800x600. The keyboard was no good according to the majority of users, but it was there anyway. It had good connectivity, reasonably high performance and most of all – good price.
Most of the major laptop manufacturers joined the netbook race for the last two years – Dell, Lenovo, HP and others understood that the niche had potential and dived in as quick as possible. Even some world unknown providers started producing netboooks, probably hoping to catch some market share.
If one would try to compare characteristics of the first netbooks that entered the market two years ago and the new arrivals, there are three things that pop up even at first glance:
- Screen has become larger,
- So is weight,
- So is the price.
And here comes the question – why would you buy a netbook? Because of the comparatively low price, because it’s easy to carry around or because it’s more powerful than your smartphone?
As I see things, people were at first fascinated by the tiny portable pc that offered almost same productivity as a normal laptop. Many new buyers thought the netbook would replace their notebook and would save them money and space. And here comes the first disappointment. Netbooks would never replace the standard notebook in terms of everyday work. They are not intended to, neither designed to do it.
And so a number of potential buyers backed out. As a result the screens of an average netbook increased firstly to 9”, than to 10”, and what we heard last days are only news of 11.6” netbooks being brought to the market.
And how would an almost 12” gadget be carried around on everyday basis by a person who was not willing to buy or carry an ordinary laptop? It wouldn’t.
In my opinion the upper border for a netbook is 10”. All items above the border could be classified as a subnotebook, and should offer more performance and extras as to justify the size.
I also believe that netbooks weighing over 1.3 kg should not be called and referred to as netbooks, they are in fact cheap laptops with worse performance.
I would urge major manufacturers to focus again on the mobility of the netbook – it should be light, small and easy to carry. Producers should aim at improving battery performance, increase resolution for screens sized 7-10” and enhance portability. That would make the better netbook, not merging it with subnotebooks.