Survey shows strong netbook interest, waning notebook interest

netbooksA small survey conducted by Retrevo shows back-to-school laptop shoppers are interested in netbooks. In their sampling, 34% of respondents indicated a small lightweight netbook would be their computer of choice. The majority, 49%, chose the traditional laptop, while 17% wanted Apple laptops (a.k.a. Macbooks).

Their press release cites the gain for netbooks as coming at Apple’s expense, but that 17% is not too far from Apple’s actual share of the notebook market. The interest in netbooks compared to the total, however, is notably higher than the netbook’s 20% market share reported back in May. Could be just a matter of economics and the desire for portability among students, but 34% is still a big number for netbooks.

Additional info supplied to us by Retrevo:

If you were to buy a laptop, how much would you plan to spend?

Sub $500: 22%
Between $500 – $750: 36%
Between $750 – $1000: 24%
Over $1,000: 18%

If you are planning on buying a laptop, who will pay for it?

My Parents: 29%
Myself: 48%
Both 23%

Features in order of importance (scale of 5-1, 5 = most important)

4.174 Battery Life
3.669 Screen Size
3.357 Weight
3.293 Ability to watch movies
3.179 Style
2.699 Gaming

Notice the percentage of respondents interested in Macbooks is just a point below the percentage who plan on spending $1000 or more, indicating a big overlap given the $999+ price tags on Macbooks. That is almost spot on with the report that Apple holds more than 90% of the $1000+ notebook market. Despite being unscientific, this survey seems quite reflective of the market. With Apple dominating the high price end and netbooks growing on the low price end, it looks like standard PC notebooks are getting squeezed in the middle.