Netbooks getting bigger

I love netbooks. There are two reasons mainly. First, is that they are light and perfect for the task they were designed for. Second, they are cheap. As I said before it isn’t that companies haven’t made small laptops, they just didn’t make them affordable. Probably the biggest complaint against netbooks is the size. We want a small laptop, but 8.9 inches is a little too small. Recently some companies started to reveal 2009 offerings in the netbook category with larger screens (10-13 inches). Dell, who made the mini 9 (which my wife owns), is planning on releasing a mini 12 and could possibly launch a mini 10 (can you figure out what the number means). Asus and Acer have 10 inch models as well. MSI may have the boldest offering though. Wired just reported on what clearly is a Mac Air clone. I think the MSI looks good, and at $700 it might actually entice me to purchase. One of the biggest problems with the Mac Air is the price (over $1800 to start), if the MSI can deliver on looks and price all the better.


I’m not sure where the cut off is between laptop and netbook, with regards to screen size, but I think this is a good trend. By increasing screen size and keeping the price low more people feel they can afford good laptops. Sure a netbook won’t be able to play your games or processes video like a $2000 Macbook Pro, but for the on-the-go person who doesn’t want a 5 or 6 pound brick on their back this is the perfect fit. My family is happy.

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3 Comments on “Netbooks getting bigger”

  1. bfpower Says:

    The divide keeps getting smaller, for sure. I’ve noticed this too – notebooks are getting smaller, while netbooks are getting bigger. I suppose that notebooks are also getting larger too, resulting in a wide array of screen sizes from 7″ to 17″.

    I divide netbooks from notebooks in the sense that netbooks try to lower prices, heat creation, and storage space by limiting RAM, CPU type/speed, and HD type/size. They are primarily designed for limited applications and not intended to be a “mobile workstation.” For instance, using the Intel Atom or a Via chip instead of a Core 2 Duo. They also tend to use more SSD technology to conserve power and physical space inside the chassis. Notebooks tend to have larger HDDs instead of SSD, in general. Notebooks also tend to want to be comparable to a desktop in features and horsepower, whereas netbooks tend to be their own device without trying to match power with a desktop.

    But again, I think the divide will continue to shrink until even the above distinctions are no more. It’s already happening, with larger netbooks (60-80 GB HDD, Win XP) and smaller notebooks with SSD available. I would expect in the next few years to see more inexpensive 10″-13″ notebooks with Windows preinstalled.

    Another factor is the use of notebooks/netbooks for eductional purposes. As we get closer to every student having a portable computer, I think we will see more and more ultraportables.

  2. mrosedale Says:

    Wow you should do a write up on netbook :-). I think the biggest problem is that the term netbook is totally made up and still being defined by use. But I think your def is certainly good, and I would agree. That highlights what I said above about netbooks being good for the purpose they were intended for. A netbook makes a horrible desktop replacement, but a great mobile computer for the on-the-go person. My wife loves her netbook. She doesn’t need an optical drive and uses it mostly for school projects (so open office, and txt docs) so a small hd lower RAM and small keyboard work fine for her.

    I hope in the future we’ll see Linux continue to thrive on the netbooks and possibly even move into the laptops more. So far a major theme on netbooks has been Linux, but most offer XP as well. The real kicker will be to see what Windows does with Windows 7. Vista would never last on a netbook because of the lower performance specs, will Windows make a netbook version of Windows 7? That will be interesting to see, if they don’t they could loose out on this growing market of netbooks.

  3. i would always prefer to use netbooks when i am on the move because they are so very convenient to carry around “;`

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