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Portables Hardware

Dell Ditches Netbooks 354

Posted by timothy
from the but-what-about-mega-ultra-super-ueber-books? dept.
angry tapir writes "Dell has ceased production of Inspiron Mini netbooks; in effect ending its pursuit of the receding netbook market, at least for consumer sales. When Dell ran through its stock of the netbooks several months ago, it declined to manufacture more units."
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Dell Ditches Netbooks

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  • First no tablets, then no netbooks from Dell? Sorry I still believe there is a strong market for sub $300 laptops. I realize that Dell wasn't a big presences in either market, but that's Dell's failing, not a measure of the market and demand itself...

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:06PM (#38420070) Homepage Journal

      Given that there's 15 inches laptops with higher specifications available for almost the same price, it's no wonder people aren't buying netbooks anymore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        (1) Sometimes a 15 inch device is bigger than you want to carry around.
        (2) What 15 inch laptop is available for $250? That's what my netbook cost and it runs KDE 4.7 in 64 bit with full desktop effects enabled without problems.

      • by mirix (1649853)

        That's part of it for sure, however I think the performance of atom processors left a bad taste, too.

        And if you want a netbookish sub-notebook with a real processor, it costs more than a normal size laptop.

        • And if you want a netbookish sub-notebook with a real processor, it costs more than a normal size laptop.

          That is it right here... Poor performance and high price do not go over well.

          • by green1 (322787) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:37PM (#38420260)

            I'm just not sure there's really much room between the laptop market and the tablet market, people are putting their money on either samll and light, or bigger but more powerful. The netbook really didn't quite fit in either category. Almost powerful enough to be a real computer, and almost portable enough to take with you everywhere... but not quite either.

            • by tepples (727027)

              people are putting their money on either samll and light, or bigger but more powerful. The netbook really didn't quite fit in either category.

              I'm willing to take small and light as long as I can run the same applications on it that I can run on an entry-level desktop PC. For a lot of the things I do on a netbook, there isn't "an app for that."

              Almost powerful enough to be a real computer, and almost portable enough to take with you everywhere... but not quite either.

              My experience differs. To me, it is quite both.

              But perhaps there's another reason that Dell abandoned netbooks. Soon after I bought my Dell netbook nearly two years ago, I read an article in Consumer Reports putting it among the worst in battery life: 3 hours vs. 5 to 6 for some other models.

              • by Guspaz (556486) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:31PM (#38420532)

                That's what the "ultrabook" class is trying to address. They (and devices like them that predate them, like the Samsung Series 9 or the Macbook Air) are largely replacing netbooks in terms of portability. They're typically 11 or 13 inches, and tend to weight 2.5 to 3.5 pounds or so. They're often lighter than a netbook, but have a much larger screen. They also tend to have proper dual-core processors, although they're the ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) kind which means they're clocked lower. Still, a dual-core i5 is still pretty decent, even if it's ULV.

                The downside is price. There are tons of models available for under a grand, but some people want to get the portability for much less. We're not there yet, they still cost too much to make (all ultrabooks use SSDs, so the trick is the cost of enough flash to make that practical), but the cost will probably come down slowly over time.

            • by aXis100 (690904) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:06PM (#38420730)

              I dont agree. I bought a $300 netbook and I love it. the blend of power and portability is ideal for me.

              With a keyboard built in, it is far superior for typing than a tablet, and if you stick it in a simple sleeve it's not that much bigger. Real world all-day battery life is better than any regular laptop. And with dual core and a low end 3D graphics card, it's powerfull enough to play some games on low res.

              If I want something ultra-portable I'll just use my smartphone, and if I want something ultra-powerfull I'll use my desktop PC. The netbook fits in beween perfectly.

              Personally I think tablets are a solution looking for a problem that doesnt exist.

              • by AuMatar (183847) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:30PM (#38420872)

                I bought one of the first generation EEE PCs and loved it. I'd never buy another netbook again. What killed them wasn't tablets, it was smart phones.

                I mean I really want one of two things- a full computer to be usable anywhere, or a computer that can be used anywhere. For the first, they have the laptop. For the second, they have the smart phone. The downfall of the netbook is it won't fit in your pocket. I never actually took my netbook anywhere except vacations because I still had to carry it. May as well bring a laptop then, the only advantage of the netbook was the weight. I have no use for something bigger than my pocket unless I need to do serious work which requires a full sized keyboard, and in that case I want a full sized screen. Tablets and netbooks both fail.

                Netbooks and tablets both are evolutionary dead ends. In 10 years the only computer you own will be a smart phone, and you'll plug it into a docking station when you need a full keyboard (and some of those docks may be laptop sized for business trips).

              • I have an EEE Pad Transformer, so I get the best of both the netbook and tablet worlds ;) That said, I paid twice as much for the privilege... But Dell must surely be in trouble, I mean, they would obviously benefit from as much market coverage as possible, even in smaller market spaces. Tablets are a growing market, and Dell are doing themselves and their shareholders a grave disservice by calling it quits. I loved the Streak 5, their phone/tablet abomination, and I'm disappointed (though unsurprised)

              • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday December 19, 2011 @12:28AM (#38421292)
                I disagree. Tablets serve a purpose. On the other hand, tables are also a netbook that generally haven't been manufactured with a connector on the bottom that allows a keyboard to be added that makes it a netbook.

                It isn't so much of a debate of which will win in the long run, but how long it will take for the inevitable convergence.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Uhhh...I paid $300 for my EEE with the AMD E-350 dual core in Aug (well $350 after I threw in 8Gb of RAM and a nice briefcase style case for it) and it plays L4D, does full 1080P over HDMI, hell i'm even using it to edit audio multi-tracks with Audacity. What EXACTLY do you call a "real processor" anyway?
      • Given that there's 15 inches laptops with higher specifications available for almost the same price, it's no wonder people aren't buying netbooks anymore.

        It is true that the full sized laptops have encroached on the netbook market. But Dell definitely lacks any light-weight notebook options. I had a look at their website, and the lightest Dell laptop that is available in my country is 1.56kg.

        Back in the late nineties I got a sub-notebook that weighed 0.85kg (1.87lb), and have never owned a heavier notebook than 1.1kg since. It seems crazy that with nearly 15 years of technological improvements that Dell cannot offer me a similar or better computer.

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          I don't think any modern notebook can match 0.85 kg, but you can get a 13.3" notebook at 1.1kg (Toshibz Z830 for example), and I suspect we'll see 11" notebooks hitting that 0.85 kg target at some point.

      • Higher specifications? If you're talking about CPU, graphics power, RAM size and hard drive capacity, yes.

        If you're talking about other "specifications", such as:

        -Decent real world battery life
        -Fitting in just about any old bag
        -Being light enough to actually carry around all day without being annoying

        Then there's no 15" laptop that comes close.

        I'm currently using a 12" ultraportable as my main machine, but would actually consider a 10" machine with the same resolution, internals and battery life (10 hours a

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        I was looking for a work laptop to give to my mother for her birthday about six month ago after she said complained her current one to me a few times. We went to a large shop and I offered her a lot of these big laptops (I didn't know that her employer would pay for it but figured I could afford anything below 600 or so). Her verdict was crushing: "Why would I want to lug around something this big and heavy, I'm just a small woman".

        Essentially I sat down with her and talked to her about her priorities. They

    • There is a market for sub 300 dollar notebooks.... they are called notebook computers.....I bought a 15 inch Toshiba notebook for my wife... LCD screen, 250 gig HD, 4 gigs of memory, Decent graphics and an AMD cpu for $279. Why would I bother with a POS netbook when I can get a fully functioning PC with a sane resolution?

    • My guess is they are getting their ass kicked by Asus and don't want to admit they make a lousy product. The EEEs are damned nice little machines, especially the AMD Fusion models and talking to one of the guys I know at the local Walmart he said they are moving those things like there is no tomorrow. 6 hours on a battery charge under Windows 7, 8 hours under Expressgate, plenty of power, plays full 1080p over HDMI, sweet little units. If the Dell Inspiron mini is anything like their Inspiron laptops i can see why folks simply ain't buying, they're junk.

      Maybe they just can't compete with the likes of HP and Asus, who knows. I know I was amazed I could get a fully loaded EEE while adding 8Gb of RAM and a nice little case for it for only $350 but of course that was before the flood, last i checked they are like $439. Maybe they can't score the drives and have given up? In any case i don't think Asus and HP will mind taking the business from dell, not one bit.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:58PM (#38420684) Homepage

      I would be more inclined to look in Microsoft's direction. Microsoft doesn't like Dell selling anything that doesn't have a Microsoft OS on them. Windows 7 can't really run on netbooks. Microsoft wants XP to go away. XP is the only Windows OS that can really run on a netbook. So it would make sense that Dell might be getting some pressure from Microsoft to stop selling netbooks. It wouldn't be the first time Dell bowed to pressure from Microsoft.

    • the trouble is because they're smaller people want to pay less. Odd thing really, since it used to be the other way around :). But then again there's also the perception of less functionality. Whatever. But I think it was Sony that made the point that netbooks are bad for the industry. They drive down the value / price and profit margin of regular laptops. Dell's big enough they compete with themselves. My guess would be they were finding that cheap netbooks were cannibalizing the sale of more expensive lap
    • by nomadic (141991)
      The weird thing about netbooks is there were sub $200 netbooks for a while but every manufacturer started upping the stats and prices on them and basically turned them into regular laptops.
    • by cgenman (325138)

      If Dell stays in markets that it can't compete successfully in, it will definitely be in trouble. But nobody but Apple makes money on Tablets, and nobody seems to make money on netbooks. Getting out of both seem like good ideas.

      Generally, not cutting losses is how companies get into trouble.

  • First they admit that they don't know how to make a compelling Android device (yet want to blame it on Android).

    Now they are dropping netbooks.

    Makes you wonder what they will give up on next!

    • Reminds me of their "Dell DJ" attempt at competing with the iPod.

    • What they will NOT give up is the Microsoft subsidy... I mean cross marketing. They make a lot of money on preloaded crapware.
    • by reub2000 (705806)

      Try using one with the mouse buttons in the trackpad area. Dell was a minor player in the netbook market, so this isn't such a big deal.

  • iPad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:05PM (#38420066)

    iPad killed the netbook market.

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      iPad killed the netbook market.

      I doubt it.

      Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing Acer continue with their Aspire One line either. They'd be just focusing on their Iconia tablet line.

      • Re:iPad (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nightfell (2480334) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:27PM (#38420198)

        iPad killed the netbook market.

        I doubt it.

        Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing Acer continue with their Aspire One line either. They'd be just focusing on their Iconia tablet line.

        The iPad completely killed the mass netbook market. Now it's little more than a niche. Acer is a discount computer maker, so they'll continue to make discount computers, but people won't be buying netbooks anywhere near the level they once were. And this is all thanks to the iPad.

        As for the Iconia, you're missing a key point. The *iPad* killed the netbook, not the tablet. Nobody wants Iconia tablets, they want iPads, and maybe Fires (it'll be very interesting to see how the Fire plays out over the next year).

        • by IANAAC (692242)

          Acer is a discount computer maker, so they'll continue to make discount computers, but people won't be buying netbooks anywhere near the level they once were. And this is all thanks to the iPad.

          What do you think Dell was, high end? Equating a high-priced tablet to a low-priced netbook by inferring that it killed the low-priced market makes no sense.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Dell has gone back and forth. When Dell started in Texas it was an grey market IBM dealer. Later it became the high end of the grey box manufacturers. Dell's server stuff was always pretty good but it allowed the consumer line to be driven down to margins where service was frankly terrible.

            It is hard to know what Dell is anymore. I'm not sure Dell even knows.

        • Re:iPad (Score:5, Informative)

          by mjwx (966435) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:54PM (#38420358)

          The iPad completely killed the mass netbook market. Now it's little more than a niche.

          LOL.

          Keep telling yourself that.

          Whatever you do, dont visit the local electronics retailer, you may see something that would prove your delusion very wrong, like a lot of netbooks.

          The thing is, a lot of people still buy netbooks, they are for people who dont want nor need a full sized laptop. People who travel and want to run windows programs. Ipads on the other hand require computers to do nearly anything, most people I've seen travailing with an Ipad also have a laptop or netbook to run the Ipad.

          Why is Dell giving up Netbooks, simple, netbooks dont fit into the Dell business model. Dell makes most of its sales online, so they have to pay for individual shipping making them uncompetitive in this market. They sell very little through retail channels, When I head to the local electronics retailer (Dick Smith, Havey Norman, Bing Lee) I see a lot of Asus, Toshiba, Emachines (Acer) and HP netbooks at half the price of an Ipad. Combine this with the falling price of full sized laptops and the fact that the business market is their core market and businesses dont buy netbooks (or tablets).

          • by VJmes (2449518)
            Dick Smith, Harvey Norman & Bing Lee all sell last-generation electronics including laptops. It's how Harvey Norman are able to offer two-for-one deals on their netbook/notebook range.

            I can also attest to the fact that while stocks of netbooks are high, they certainly aren't moving off the shelves. As I said before laptops are far lighter and smaller than they've traditionally been and more recently this new lighter form-factor has not cost the system performance, between those laptops and tablet comp
        • Re:iPad (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:35PM (#38420558)

          The iPad completely killed the mass netbook market. Now it's little more than a niche.

          I recently attended a large medical conference, and it was quite interesting to watch the people when they were between sessions. There were hundreds of people sitting around with their computers out, and it amazed me that the majority of them used netbooks. The Ultrabook/Macbook Air made up a close second place, while there were only a handful of the 15" luggables. The really surprising thing was how few people had iPads. I guess you can't beat a keyboard for writing notes.

          You may consider this to be a niche market, but anyone who has to travel and walk around a lot while carrying their computer will appreciate the netbooks for their weight. The fact that they are inexpensive means that you don't have to worry about the netbooks getting broken while you are travelling.

        • by Xest (935314)

          I'm not sure why people pursue this myth that the netbook market is even dead.

          It's a market that grew rapidly, to far higher numbers than tablets have even with the iPads success.

          Whilst there's no doubt sales growth has slowed, possibly declined this doesn't change the amount of netbooks out there, but fundamentally the slowing of netbook sales is explainable because:

          1) Most people have no reason to replace their existing netbooks. Many bought in the last 3 years are still good enough today, why replace it?

      • Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing Acer continue with their Aspire One line either.

        One domino always has to be the first to fall.

      • In it when we say a technology is dead, it doesn't mean there isn't anyone selling new products. But more to the fact that public interest is rapidly declining.

        The mainframe is dead but IBM is still making them and selling them too
      • iPad killed the netbook market.

        I doubt it. Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing Acer continue with their Aspire One line either. They'd be just focusing on their Iconia tablet line.

        When a bunch of vendors try to create/enter a new market, and then most of them change their minds, I think it is fair to say the market "died" to some degree. It may be more accurate to say that tablets killed the market. The iPad being the first demonstrable case of a tablet being effective competition to a netbook. Its hard to image a potential netbook customer not wondering if a tablet would be a better idea.

        Personally I find an iPad with an external bluetooth keyboard to be quite capable at the simp

        • by IANAAC (692242)

          I think a tablet is a complementary product for desktops and laptops, and it is a competing product for netbooks. I also think this will eventually change. In the future I expect some tablet device to basically be somewhat similar to the CPU "box" of a desktop. When mobile it acts like a tablet, when at your desk in its dock its just the "CPU" with external storage, keyboard and display connecting to it. Not terribly different than connecting a laptop to a full sized keyboard and monitor when at your desk.

          I think you're right in saying that a dockable tablet will eventually replace netooks. But I don't think we're there yet, because when "docked" with a keyboard, it still isn't as useful as a netbook or a notebook, if only because the tablet applications themselves aren't as powerful as their desktop equivalents or don't translate well to a desktop experience. When I'm out and about I don't see many tablets. I do, however, still see a lot of netbooks. Yes, there may be a lot of tablets used at home or in bus

          • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:08PM (#38420422)

            I think a tablet is a complementary product for desktops and laptops, and it is a competing product for netbooks. I also think this will eventually change. In the future I expect some tablet device to basically be somewhat similar to the CPU "box" of a desktop. When mobile it acts like a tablet, when at your desk in its dock its just the "CPU" with external storage, keyboard and display connecting to it. Not terribly different than connecting a laptop to a full sized keyboard and monitor when at your desk.

            I think you're right in saying that a dockable tablet will eventually replace netooks. But I don't think we're there yet, because when "docked" with a keyboard, it still isn't as useful as a netbook or a notebook, if only because the tablet applications themselves aren't as powerful as their desktop equivalents or don't translate well to a desktop experience. When I'm out and about I don't see many tablets. I do, however, still see a lot of netbooks. Yes, there may be a lot of tablets used at home or in business, but that's not what I'm still seeing out in public.

            Apple adapted their Mac word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications for the iPad. Personally I think they are pretty capable and a good user experience with an external keyboard at least. With the onscreen keyboard I would only suggest brief usage. YMMV.

            • by IANAAC (692242)

              Apple adapted their Mac word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications for the iPad. Personally I think they are pretty capable and a good user experience with an external keyboard at least. With the onscreen keyboard I would only suggest brief usage. YMMV.

              I don't have either a Mac or an iPad, so I don't know...

              Do the iPad word processing/spreadsheet and presentation apps compare favorably with the desktop Mac versions? I know that the Android versions don't come anywhere close to Windows desktop Office or Open/LibreOffice versions, which you can currently run with no trouble on a netbook.

              You can pretty much run any kind of desktop application on a netbook. The same can't be said for a tablet (again, I don't own an iPad - I'm talking tablets in general).

    • Re:iPad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:18PM (#38420150)

      Nah, netbooks are still great for portable work. If you travel a lot, and need a computer primarily for office apps and web browsing, then nothing beats a netbook. Tablets are more oriented towards media consumption -- games, video, that sort of thing.

      • Nah, netbooks are still great for portable work. If you travel a lot, and need a computer primarily for office apps and web browsing, then nothing beats a netbook.

        I switched from a netbook to a E350-based 13" MSI 'laptop', and I couldn't be happier. Still have the battery life I loved, but the CPU is pretty fast. It's halfway between the weight of the 10" netbook I had 3 years ago and the one I bought two years ago.

        It's still light enough and small enough that I never regret putting it in my bag. It's n

      • I travel a lot. I happen to have a netbook (HP Mini), and an iPad. The netbook has a third of the battery life, is heavier and bulkier, has worse controls, and because the screen is held further away than the iPad it's also harder on the eyes. The keyboards are miserable on both, but the thing is that I can (and do) hook up a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I can't get rid of the netbook's keyboard. I have the iWork set for my iPad, and I'm productive enough with them. Browsing is completely superior

      • Tablets are more oriented towards media consumption -- games, video, that sort of thing.

        Wow, someone still labors under that misconception? Who thawed you out of cyro-sleep?

        First of all, tablets never had the problems you mentioned. Even back in the distant days of Windows tablets artists liked them. Now with the iPad that is still true, but it's useful for so much more content creation beyond art - movies, music, and even REAL writers [technologizer.com] find they like to use the iPad [zdnet.com] for serious writing.

    • iPad killed the netbook market.

      Perhaps - although, after everybody gets a $500-600 tablet, I think the small sub $400 notebook market will revive. Tablets are the cool thing for people that don't have them. Somebody gave me an iPad, it's great for the kids to surf YouTube on, but absolutely sucks for typing - and, thanks to iOS - is not a replacement for a PC that can do things like Flash based websites. (Who needs that? Start with: Ticket to Read, SpellingCity.com, etc.)

  • price... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:06PM (#38420068)

    Most people stopped buying them because the manufactures forgot why people were getting them in the first place. They were cheap 'semi capable' computers. Some people bought them because they were small. But many bought them because they were 200-250 each. Then the price went up to 300-400 each. Basically borderline get a cheapo laptop... That has a better screen and better processor...

    • Several are more that a cheap laptop, and with lower specs as well. Yep, I really want that.
    • Re:price... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by couchslug (175151) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:31PM (#38420526)

      "Most people stopped buying them because the manufactures forgot why people were getting them in the first place."

      Or because the manufacturers KNEW why people were buying them in the first place and preferred to guide them elsewhere.

    • Re:price... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:40PM (#38420594)

      That's exactly why. I bought a used acer aspire one ZG5 model, one of the first netbooks recently for $100. I wiped XP off the little 8gb Solid State Drive and installed Peppermint2 OS on it and I friggin' love it. It weighs nothing, it's fast, it has a bright screen and even though its old now the battery lasts over 3 hours of web surfing. I've been hanging out in hospital waiting rooms a lot lately and it makes sitting there waiting all day a lot easier. I've got heavier machines for productivity, I just needed a netbook. Nobody really sells one anymore but there are lots of used ones around for cheap. Many people bought netbooks with the wrong expectations and they're in mostly good shape since they haven't been used much. The one I bought looks brand new.

    • profit... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bcrowell (177657)

      The subject line of your post was "price..." The subject line of my reply is "profit..."

      Say that on a TV game show you're asked to name as many luxury cars as possible in 60 seconds. It's easy: Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, Lexus, Porsche, ... Notice how almost all of those have been on the market for a really, really long time. Now try the same thing with low-end cars. Uh, ... Chevette, Hyundai Excel, VW Bug, AMC Gremlin, ... Notice how most of those are no longer on the market.

      The similar tension, uncertainty, a

      • Re:profit... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:24PM (#38420846) Homepage

        Say that on a TV game show you're asked to name as many luxury cars as possible in 60 seconds. It's easy: Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, Lexus, Porsche, ... Notice how almost all of those have been on the market for a really, really long time. Now try the same thing with low-end cars. Uh, ... Chevette, Hyundai Excel, VW Bug, AMC Gremlin, ... Notice how most of those are no longer on the market.

        You do realize you're comparing companies with car models? "Porsche" isn't a car, it's a company, like Hyundai or Volkswagen.

        And the Bug was made from 1938 to 2003. Hardly a good example of a model who didn't manage to stay long in business.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:08PM (#38420082) Homepage Journal

    Close Dell and return the money to the shareholders.

  • Dell, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:16PM (#38420134)

    Currently Dell is a brand , just that, nothing more , after exporting all the know how to asia Asus took over, and now there is nothing left except the round logo. Close, move along corporation.

  • by herrnova (2534538) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @08:35PM (#38420240)
    I'm actually considering buying a netbook before the next semester starts. I've used my 17" and 15.6" laptops to take notes during my lectures, and when I'm in a big lecture hall with large tables, either one works fine, but when I'm usually in a regular classroom with regular desks, they are both too big to be practical. I've also tried using my android tablet with keyboard-case to take notes, and it just ended up being a PITA. While it may work for some people, its not for me. An iPad is not an option for me. So, instead of taking notes by hand, which is a pain in the hand, I'll probably be picking up a decent cheap netbook. Not because I want a full time laptop (which I already have), or want to play games on it (which is what my desktop is for), but because it's the best tool for the job. Pretty much all it will have installed is an office suite, web browser, and any software required for my classes. It doesn't matter that for another $50, I can get a 15.6" dual core laptop with decent ram and storage. I don't need any of that. I am sure there are others that feel the same. The netbook may not be practical for everybody, but it does have its use, especially at the ~$200 price range.
  • by goruka (1721094) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:41PM (#38420596)
    Here in South America, netbooks outsell notebooks by a wide margin. They are much more capable than cheap tablets of the same price and much cheaper than actual fully featured computers. They are also used a lot by business people who don't really want to carry around a full computer.
    • This idea that because Dell isn't doing them somehow they are "dead" is stupid. Dell is a big company no doubt but their mainstay is desktops and in particular corporate systems. I can understand why too, they do corporate support right.

      They were never big in the Netbook market. They got in it late, never really had very good offerings, and so on. ASUS is the real big name in netbooks. Acer, MSI, and HP are also all quite big, and Samsung is in there as well.

      What with working at a university in IT, I know a

  • The idea of "netbook" is a small laptop that is not intended to work as a desktop replacement. The original netbook, OLPC, was an educational project, however there is nothing that prevents this class of devices from being used as consuner (facebook/youtube/media/text editing) or business (web applications, note taking) device.

    Now, what all those three groups of applications have in common? They GIVE ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING REASON TO RUN WINDOWS. But noooo. Dell just had to market those netbooks the same way Microsoft marketed Windows CE/Mobile/Phone -- "they run Wiiiiindows!!!". Except, of course, Microsoft was lying through its teeth because no Windows application would run on a phone, and netbook manufacturers were only half lying because Windows applications would run, just crippled by lack of desktop screen resolution and performance.

    Apple and e-book readers' manufacturers had proven that consumers have absolutely no problem buying devices with ridiculously low performance, as long as those devices are intended and marketed for uses where such performance is appropriate. Thousands of bluetooth keyboard makers demonstrated that the most overpriced and crippled netbook ever -- a combination of iPad and a bluetooth keyboard in a leather case -- is a viable product. Now, Dell, Acer, MSI and other faithful Microsoft servants JUST HAD TO STUFF WINDOWS 7 WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG, and then feel surprised that a $400 device with $250 functionality does not sell.

    Let it be a lesson for future hardware manufacturers -- if it's not a business or home desktop, or an equivalent of one, don't ever plan to ship it with Microsoft software.

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