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Netbooks: They’re Dead! They’re Alive!



frankenstein-thumb.pngThe little mobile companions we’ve come to know as Netbooks have been declared dead, brought back to life, had a funeral, and been resurrected yet again. Whether you love or hate them, the Netbook is pulling a Frankenstein when it comes to dying and coming back to life. Let’s look back to January of this year and weigh in on the Netbook’s early identity crisis, declared death, and resurrection to determine if these little suckers are here to stay or not.

Netbook’s Death and Resurrection

  • Peter Glaskowsky at CNet News writes, “The truth is, the Netbook is dead, and good riddance. The concept of the Netbook was based on a tragic misunderstanding: the belief that tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people worldwide wanted a portable computer that was small, power-efficient, and (here’s the misunderstanding) not good for much beyond accessing the Internet.” This comment comes from his article titled, “The Netbook is dead. Long live the notebook!Verdict: They’re Dead!
  • A Article titled, “What Defines a Netbook,” states, “If the device is created primarily for accessing the Internet and remains relatively affordable, it remains a netbook regardless of higher specs and the ability to play 3D games.Verdict: They’re Alive!
  • Loren Heiney at the Incremental Blogger writes, “So I still believe that the Netbook needs better optimized software (as well as more pen and touch options which may be coming down the road), but you know what? For most people, it’s not a bad machine.” This comes from his article titled, “OK, I admit it. I was wrong. Netbooks have their place.Verdict: They’re Alive!
  • An article written as part of Engadget’s Entelligence Series by Michael Gartenberg titled, “Netbooks, R.I.P.,” brings doom and gloom to Netbooks. He writes, “Tiny, underpowered laptops have been around for more than a decade, but few people bought them because there was a premium price associated with them.” Verdict: They’re Dead!
  • Article, “Surprise Hits: Netbooks are the future of computing,” by Anthony Massucci. He writes, “The industry might not have seen netbooks coming, but now that they’re here, they’re not going anywhere soon.” Verdict: They’re Alive!

Whether people want Netbooks to die is a different issue as to if they are alive or not. I would be a very rich man if I had a shekel for every time Engadget or Gizmodo blogged about the newest, almost identical, Eee PC cloned Netbook to be released. So what’s the deal? Are we crying over spilled milk or is the Netbook dead and gone? Hit up the comments to share your two shekels.



  1. Xavier Lanier

    07/07/2009 at 10:48 am

    I think that “netbooks” certainly have their place, but the lines between netbooks and notebooks are only going to become more blurry.
    The best thing to come of the netbook craze is that consumers have more choices in the sub-$600 price range.


    07/07/2009 at 12:49 pm

    Xavier may well be on to something. I long viewed laptops in the 15″+ range as to large for its intended use, portable computing.

    But until recently it was almost as if the pricetag was the inverse of the screen size when it came to laptops.

    What worries me is not that netbooks are becoming more powerful, what worries me is that the price have climbed ever closer to the 15″ laptop.

    That is, why cant the netbook stay smaller and less powerful then the laptop, yet keep getting stronger at the same rate as the laptop?

    I cant say i see the laptop loosing customers to the netbook, unless the customer is badly misinformed about the product, or just looking for a cheap computer for the sake of having a computer (rather then having some specific goal in mind and finding the best product for that job).

    If the latter is the case, that people still buy a computer to show it if rather then specifically use it for something (or have a interest in computers in general), i wonder if not we have walked right back into the early 80’s…

  3. SAM

    07/07/2009 at 10:07 pm

    Do you mean,
    Forward to the past?

  4. Jonathan Sterling

    07/18/2009 at 11:30 am

    I think what we are seeing with the netbook phenomena is quite simply people want a portable easy to use computer that doesn’t cost them a bunch. I think that what will eventually happen is tht the machines will get better but stay the same size. Don’t believe me? Think about the TV…50 years ago they were very expensive, 40 years ago color was just coming out and they were still expensive but the prices had begun to drop, by the 80’s everyone had a moderate sized one and they were running about a third to half of the price. Mid 80’s there were battery powered ones that you could put in your pocket for $100. The netbook is an evolutionary step that is allowing more people to have a computer and have access to the information on the internet. In today’s TV market, just about everyone has at least one small TV set. At the same time you buy more power and features and size the cost goes up. Netbooks are here to stay and will become more mainstream and popular becuase they are a step up from the PDA.

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