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Does 2012 Mark the End of the Netbook? 336

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.
Voline writes "Digitimes reports that Asus and Acer will not be producing netbooks in 2013, signaling the end of a product category that Asus began five years ago with its Eee PC. The Guardian looks at the rise and fall of the netbook and posits some reasons for its end. Reasons include: manufacturers shifting from Linux to Windows, causing an increase in price that brought netbooks into competition with full-on laptops that offered better specs for not much more money; the global recession beginning in 2008; and the introduction of the iPad and Android tablets."
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Does 2012 Mark the End of the Netbook?

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  • Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:07PM (#42435337)

    Samsung ChromeBooks, Apple 11 inch devices. Tablets with keyboards not running windows 8 or 7 for everything else...

  • No Vision (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:09PM (#42435371)

    The problem is that they don't know how to make a netbook. I think there is a valid market for a device the size of the original Acer ZG5 netbook. The problem is that the hardware companies allowed Microsoft to define what a netbook was and not the market. I'd love something the size of my Acer ZG5 that had a quad i7 and 8GB of ram and came with linux installed but that never happened. Underpowered Atom based machines with 2GB ram at nearly the price of a dual core equiped laptop. Who wants that? No one and I can't believe they could not figure that out.

  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:17PM (#42435469) Homepage
    Yes, but you have to realize that sysadmins don't represent a large segment of the market.
  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:17PM (#42435471)
    I bought a netbook because I wanted a really small laptop, and netbooks were the only ones I could find which had a nine inch screen. The problem was that everyone focused on making it as cheap as possible, and as a consequence used components with very low performance. I wouldn't mind a modern laptop with good performance at that size.
  • Re:Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:19PM (#42435509)

    Yeah, Apple's 11-inch devices are roughly a form factor that would be considered netbook-sized a few years ago. Slightly on the large end for screen size, since I think of 8-11" as typical netbook size, with the majority being 9-10". But spot-on for weight: the 11-inch Macbook Air weighs less than most 9-10-inch first-gen netbooks did. So the market got somewhat cannibalized from the top end by those kinds of devices. And from the bottom-end, the casual user who wants to browse the web occasionally in a coffee shop, everyone now has smartphones, and many people have iPads and similar.

  • Re:Nah (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:23PM (#42435559)

    How did this get modded up? The citation is from 2011, and what does the kin have to do with anything? I will stipulate google tv was pathetic, also completely out of scope for a discussion about netbooks.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:24PM (#42435565) Homepage Journal
    The list for me was pretty simple:
    • Touchpads suck
    • Windows sucks
    • Few could competently handle a presentation and a spreadsheet or word processing document being open simultaneously
    • The battery life wasn't that great compared to a regular laptop that cost and weighed only slightly more
  • Re:No Vision (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Monday December 31, 2012 @04:26PM (#42435579)

    So... you want a macbook air?
    Yes, the dimensions are slightly different, but it does come with a UNIX pre-installed.

    Apple isn't perfect, but they are the only company that has focused on high end hardware instead of racing to the bottom of every market.

  • I love my EEEPC. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hendrikboom (1001110) on Monday December 31, 2012 @06:14PM (#42436517)

    I'm still running my ASUS 1000HE eeepc as my everyday computing device. I chose it because it was the first EEEPC that really was completely Linux-compatible, needing no proprietary drivers at all. It's easy to carry around, it runs fast enough for most of what I want to do, and I run Debian testing on it. I've never had a problem with its battery life, and am glad that ASUS emphasized good battery life instead of overpowering it with hyper-fast processors and graphics -- mostly unnecessary for what I do. Yes, there's still a Windows lurking in a small corner on the hard drive, used only for running Adobe Digital Editions because Adobe broke their promise to implement it for Linux once the publishing industry standardised on it.

    I'm not sure I want much changed about it, except maybe a bigger hard drive. But I do use sshfs to access a bulk storage machine in my basement, and that seems to take care of that. sshfs works even when I'm in a coffee shop.

    I use it mostly for writing English text and for software development. It's the machine I wrote and debugged my Pixel cup Challenge game on last summer. It contains my working monotone and git repositories and a variety of programming language implementations.

    I could use a larger screen, but only if the larger screen fits into the same form factor for carrying around in my backpack. Looking at a 18-inch screen can be good, but lugging it around isn't. I do a fair amount of writing and programming in coffee shops.

    If I were to have to replace it, I'd want another like it. Too bad if they're disappearing from the market.

    It's wonderful little machine.

  • There's a difference. Netbooks can run PC operating systems such as Windows and GNU/Linux, which means they can run PC applications. The vast majority of currently popular tablets can't; instead, they run a "mobile operating system" designed around all maximized windows all the time, no scripting or automation, and in many cases a walled garden.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday December 31, 2012 @08:02PM (#42437389) Homepage

    Search Alibaba for "Netbook": [alibaba.com] "185,881 Product(s) from 2,239 Supplier(s)". You can buy individual items. "Hot sell Mini Notebook 10.2 inch laptop Atom D425 Processor 1.8G Memory 1GB HDD 160G netbook wifi camera - US $217.00 / piece " [aliexpress.com], from Shenzhen Lihaicheng Tech Co., Ltd. Many sellers will ship directly to the US. Quality may be iffy, but there are seller reputations, and it's probably no worse than eBay.

    Some of these are probably the same machines the big names were selling.

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