Posts Tagged ‘Netbook’

How do you use your Netbook?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of the Netbook. And I’m not alone. A recent DisplaySearch report reveals that sales of these low-cost mini notebook computers grew 160 per cent in Q3, with the research firm predicting that a total of 14 million Netbooks will ship this year, up from just one million in 07.

It seems that 08 is the year of the Netbook (see my top ten Digital Lifestyle products of 08).

In terms of individual performance, Acer (Aspire One) and Asus (Eee PCs) are leading the pack with 38.3 per cent and 30.3 per cent market share each, while Dell (2.8 %), MSI/Medion (7.8 %) and HP (5.8 %) trail significantly.

What’s less clear, however, is how Netbooks are actually being used. Or more specifically, what role they play in a user’s digital life.

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Analyst: Apple to release 'closed' Netbook with iPhone-esque App Store

It’s not very often that I find myself agreeing with a likely overpaid analyst, especially one who admits that they have no “inside information”, but I think Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research could be onto something. Gottheil is predicting that Apple will announce its own Netbook at Macworld in January, priced higher than its competitors, that will, like the iPhone, run a new version of its OSX operating system, and will be similarly tied to an iPhone-esque App Store and iTunes for third-party software downloads and system upgrades.

His reasoning is sound…

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Don't buy a Netbook pleads PC industry

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Netbook, an emerging new product category of low-cost and ultra-portable notebooks. But it seems many in the PC industry aren’t.

Initially targeted at the education market or those wanting a third machine, Netbooks are resonating with a much broader market — and not just because of their lower price point compared to more traditional and higher specced sub-notebooks. Despite years of industry propaganda, consumers are wising up to the fact that they don’t have to step on to the processor upgrade treadmill. Instead, in an age where more and more of our applications and data resides in the cloud (on remote servers, rather than stored locally), a machine with Internet connectivity and one that is powerful enough to run a modern web browser – that’s a Netbook by the way – is often all that we need.

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I've jumped on the Netbook bandwagon (MSI Wind U100 / Advent 4211 review)

I've jumped on the Netbook bandwagon (MSI Wind / Advent 4211 review)Ever since Asus debuted its first Eee PC, I’ve been fascinated by this new category of mobile device, dubbed the Netbook by chip maker Intel.

The form-factor is a notebook but these devices are purposely cut-down in terms of price – the Eee PC 701 sells for under $300 – as well as size and weight, and to some extent features. While designed primarily as a way of accessing the Internet on-the-go, Netbooks don’t have any pretensions of putting the Internet in your pocket, and instead look to keep the screen size and keyboard small enough to still be extremely portable, yet large enough to be that bit more productive.

See also: Don’t buy a Netbook pleads PC industry

This typically translates into screen sizes between 7 and 10 inches, with keyboards that feature 95% full-size keys, albeit with a rather cramped layout. Also, don’t automatically expect a Netbook to come loaded with a Microsoft operating system, though many offer XP as an option. Instead, in order to keep the cost down, and in recognition that many applications now run in the browser, Netbooks commonly run a flavor of Linux and related open-source software. Another distinguishing feature of the majority of Netbooks is that they do away with a traditional hard drive in favor of solid state storage with less capacity – 4-8GB – again recognizing the move towards Cloud computing.

However, a couple of things about the original Eee PC stopped me from making a purchase – an 800 x 600 screen resolution and an aging and limited processor – both of which have now been addressed by more recent models from Asus itself, along with a host of competitors including MSI and Acer, all three of which run on Intel’s new and improved Atom “Diamondville” processor.

So which of the new Atom-based Netbooks did I go for?

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