Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Dec 2008 17:53 UTC, submitted by moleskine
Hardware, Embedded Systems There has been some concern among enthusiasts that the emerging netbook market is nothing but a fad - it's fun and interesting now, but it will die out soon enough. Intel and AMD sure seem to be very careful about the netbook market, but according to figures from DisplaySearch, the market for small notebooks has exploded over the course of a year.
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Banks and others
by nathbeadle on Thu 11th Dec 2008 18:34 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

I don't know if it's just me but this year seems to be the year for banks and other places to give a free netbook type device with each new account or service added.

I'm sure this had an effect on those numbers. It'll be interesting to see next year when they move onto a new give away whether the numbers will still show the same.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Banks and others
by ephracis on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:12 UTC in reply to "Banks and others"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Yeah, in the middle of the financial crisis... Allow me to doubt it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Banks and others
by DrillSgt on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:16 UTC in reply to "Banks and others"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"I don't know if it's just me but this year seems to be the year for banks and other places to give a free netbook type device with each new account or service added."

It must just be you. Banks stopped giving away things for opening accounts many years ago. Though I think it might still be possible to get a toaster now and then.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Banks and others
by DrillSgt on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Banks and others"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Ahhh thanks. I was thinking US Banks, since that is where I live. Nice to see the economy in other countries is doing well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Banks and others
by irbis on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:24 UTC in reply to "Banks and others"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't know if it's just me but this year seems to be the year for banks and other places to give a free netbook type device with each new account or service added.

Please, tell us which banks are you talking about. Also I could be interested in getting a new netbook, and so in opening a new bank account in such a bank too... ;) (although, I wonder how safe such a bank would be that gives away stuff during these tough economic times?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Banks and others
by nathbeadle on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Banks and others"
nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

Royal Bank, TD Bank just to name the two in Canada, plus a friend of my in the UK had this sort of deal as well. It's happening, unless you're in the US from the looks of it.

Reply Score: 2

About margins
by Moulinneuf on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:20 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

it's easier to score decent margins in the 1000-2000 USD range than it is to score in the 300-400 USD range. Simply put, Apple makes more money selling one MacBook than Acer does selling a One.


Apple is an OEM they get there cut after the ODM took there's and since Apple is a special client who use cutting edge parts and special design there margins might not be as high on first generation. They also have to include the price of development of the OS and included Software , plus R&D on new technology.

Where as Acer is an ODM who also deliver OEM to others and use somebody else OS and usually generic/standard parts of the moment. That they use on other models.

it's not as clear cut as you seem to suggest.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Howie S
by Howie S on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:21 UTC
Howie S
Member since:
2005-07-14

Statistics are all in how you interpret them. The fact that netbooks were nowhere a year ago is reason enough to explain the figures. The question is, is it a momentary phenomenon, or will netbooks see further growth? I happen to think that we've only seen the tip of the netbook iceburg.

As I've already stated
http://www.osnews.com/permalink?338625

"I happen to see netbooks as the convergence point between laptops and smartphones. Netbooks will inherit traits from both - that niche of where a "cheaper, smaller, lighter laptop" meets a "beefed-up smartphone."

I also feel that Android will find it's way onto a netbook, sometime over the next year and a half to two years. This will mark a great time, when a lightweight, open source, mobile OS (which doesn't suffer the same fragmentation as most of the Linux market), will finally reach a mass audience.

Reply Score: 2

Handy & cheap vs. clumsy & expensive
by irbis on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:38 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think that the popularity of netbooks is quite natural, and not only a temporary thing. Even laptops tend to be big and clumsy when compared to netbooks. Not to mention big ugly desktop computers that are difficult to make look good in your living room. You can carry your netbook in your pocket. Besides that, netbooks are also cheap and getting more powerful all the time too.

It would be an exaggeration to say that netbooks are the future. But they clearly show one direction that people want their computers to move to: smaller size.

How many computer tasks really require a big 20'' screen on top of a table? Some do, but most computer tasks probably don't. A small screen and computer may be enough. In the future (10-30 years or so) maybe only the most powerful workstations (and game stations) are still traditional desktop computers.

Edited 2008-12-11 19:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

For me, personally, netbooks and desktops are clear cut categories each one having its own merits. Laptops are between and have there own merits also but they are clumsier than netbooks and less expandable or repairable like desktops. In my point of view and my type of usage laptops are becoming irrelevant. For desktops I prefer uATX system but I usually buy full ATX because of price and expansion properties. Laptops are a good, market and though I own one the next buy will be a netbook possibly with 10"/Via C7-M/Ubuntu. If I need extra power I will go for a full desktop (I own 5 and use 2 at work) . Laptops are not for me, I never really liked them and I did not like the MS tax. Of course this is my opinion. Now with Opensolaris, if they sell a custom 8.9" aspire one I am for it. I wish QNX supported some of these models too. I also have to mention that netbooks allowed other/better players to enter the market, like ingenic, ARM, Lemote and we are expecting Genesi (can you hear me???) with a PPC netbook. It is fair and it is nice.

Edited 2008-12-11 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I was sorta with you till here

How many computer tasks really require a big 20'' screen on top of a table? Some do, but most computer tasks probably don't. A small screen and computer may be enough. In the future (10-30 years or so) maybe only the most powerful workstations (and game stations) are still traditional desktop computers.


Browsing the web and reading email is fine on a 12" screen, I don't use my netbook for anything else.

Got a quad core with 8gigs of ram, a 24" monitor and a 17" monitor at work for development. At home I don't like being stuck at a desk, so I have a 17" high end pavilion dv-7 with a 2ghz penryn, 4 gigs of ram, and two 250ghz hard drives. Got an older core 2 duo box as my server with 8 gigs running server 2k8 that I use to as a dev backend (running sql server, an svn server, iis, a file server, etc). For entertainment, I have an HP MediaSmart WHS box which works great for automated backups and media sharing for me and my wife. Also have an XBox 360 equally for rock band, and as a fat client to the WHS box for my TV and stereo.

A netbook is completely inappropriate for anything close to a professional program (CAD, IDE, Image/Video editing) due to being not that powerful and not that big. It is also inappropriate for at home entertainment, due to the rediculesly small screen and small hard drive. What it is great for is for when you want to stay connected, but don't want to lug a laptop around. Even if all you want to do on top of that is word processing, I would go for a lenovo or a macbook before a netbook. The extra weight and size is more then worth the increased comfort and power you get from a good 14".

Reply Score: 1

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

Who needs to be connected? When I am up at the cabin, the web is not on my mind.

But a netbook load with a ton of stuff I like to read in HTML, PDF and even plain text is a joy to have when you are just vegging out on the dock. (Don't talk about fishing - the fish just like teasing me and my bait.)

But additionally, I load in the latest sky maps whenever a new comet shows up, notes on meteorite showers, and don't forget screen shots from Google Maps (Note I use a virtual 4K by 3K screen). All for the best when you are on a canoe trip.

Presently, I am using a laptop but it is pain to use in a canoe and the batteries will not last even 3 hours. A netbook is on my shopping list for sure.

Edited 2008-12-12 05:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

You may want to look into a kindle based on what you use it for. I don't own one, but I have heard nothing but rave reviews about them. 48 hours battery life and 10oz weight would make it great for the cottage.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It is also inappropriate for at home entertainment, due to the rediculesly small screen and small hard drive


True, but the neat thing with netbooks is that they have VGA/S-Video etc output so that you can connect your big LCD monitor to it. Then you have USB for your external disk drives, mice, normal-sized keyboards etc. In a way you get the best of both worlds; portability AND extendability. You cant exactly downsize a desktop system to portable size after the fact.

I would go for a lenovo or a macbook before a netbook.


A lenovo or macbook is also at least $400-$500 more than a netbook. $500 is a lot of money to most people.

Reply Score: 2

Via
by asupcb on Thu 11th Dec 2008 19:52 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

It seems to me like this should be a market that Via would compete well in. What happened to them? It seems like I haven't really heard anything about the Nano lately.

Also has any heard when the first netbooks running pumped-up ARM processors are going to hit the market?

I like netbooks but I'm waiting for them get better battery life first. I didn't really like any of the keyboards until I tried the Aspire One and it really has the best keyboard and trackpad operation of the bunch which is probably why it is the best selling netbook. I just bought a new laptop so I'll probably hold off on getting a netbook until 2010 when we will have third generation Atom processors and new and better OLPC-like screens are standard.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Via
by bnolsen on Fri 12th Dec 2008 05:12 UTC in reply to "Via"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Intel happened to them.
VIA was happy releasing their itx board setups for $300+
Intel walked in with their itx boards with superior cpus selling at $70.

At that time intel's specs were totally open, VIAs were totally closed. VIAs market went *poof* and rightfully so.

Reply Score: 4

Linux distro
by centos_user on Thu 11th Dec 2008 20:03 UTC
centos_user
Member since:
2008-11-16

These are available with a Linux distro right?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux distro
by sbergman27 on Thu 11th Dec 2008 20:16 UTC in reply to "Linux distro"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The two most popular units are the Asus EEE PC and the Acer Aspire. EEE PC comes with a customized Xandros, and Aspire comes with a customized Linpus. Together, they account for about 69% of the total market. Both are optionally available with Windows XP Home.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Linux distro
by MaxKlokan on Fri 12th Dec 2008 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux distro"
MaxKlokan Member since:
2007-12-04

Both are optionally available with Windows XP Home.


I wouldn't say "optionally". They simply come in both flavours. Does your figure refer to the Linux version or to both?
Incidentally, last time I checked at my favourite shop the EeePC was available only with WinXP (both Home and Pro). The Acer One was available in both Win and Linux versions.

[edit] specified the Windows version

Edited 2008-12-12 08:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Linux distro
by Soulbender on Fri 12th Dec 2008 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux distro"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I wouldn't say "optionally". They simply come in both flavours.


Yes, flavour is a much better way to describe it.

Incidentally, last time I checked at my favourite shop the EeePC was available only with WinXP (both Home and Pro). The Acer One was available in both Win and Linux versions.


Too bad that your favorite shop suck. Here almost every shop carries both flavors.

Reply Score: 2

Vertical resolution
by MechR on Thu 11th Dec 2008 21:59 UTC
MechR
Member since:
2006-01-11

On paper alot of these netbooks have as good or better stats than my current computer, so they are tempting. I just wish they made the screens 1024x640 instead of all 1024x600. The extra 40 pixels would've enabled windowed gameplay. Plus there'd be room for a larger touchpad down below, which alot of these models could use.

Some people want 1280x800 on their netbooks, but I am not one of them. That res needs at least 13" to be comfortable. (Incidentally, if you create a 1024x600 blank image on a 13.3" 1280x800 screen and measure it with a ruler, it comes out to 10.4" diagonally. So the 10.2" netbooks should be about right.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Vertical resolution
by Michael on Fri 12th Dec 2008 16:20 UTC in reply to "Vertical resolution"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

Because these systems have so little CPU and GPU power, no concessions are made to gaming in their design. It simply isn't a target application.

That's not to say that games need lots of power. It may be that if these systems really take off a market may open up for netbook gaming. That's something I'd very much like to see.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Vertical resolution
by darknexus on Fri 12th Dec 2008 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Vertical resolution"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, they can fill a certain gaming nitch. Got a lot of old game roms and want a portable gaming system for snes/n64/psx emulation?They're not capable of ultra 3d, but they can still play quite a few games.

Reply Score: 2

Good and bad
by big_gie on Thu 11th Dec 2008 23:03 UTC
big_gie
Member since:
2006-01-04

I just bought an eeePC 901 20GB. Its really nice. The keyboard is a little bit jumpy though, I would have expected it to be better.

The saddest thing on it was the linux distribution on it. Except for the desktop metaphor they used which is nice, the whole interface is too "XP like". The wireless connection is a pain to configure, really counter-intuitive.

Programs are not optimized out of the box for a small screen. Firefox for example shows all its toolbars when it is possible to have it really minimalist (see http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:shrinkfirefox )

I was quite fast to delete everything and put ArchLinux on it. It is soooo great now. Compiz is impressive: not only it is nice to show, but also really usefull (the wall plugin on a small screen is perfect). I don't use a desktop manager anymore (well, LXDE with just the tray, not even a desktop) but only a dock (cairo-dock). The dock is a nice way to show opened windows and launchers on small screen estate.

It is really sad though that I had to ship it back: the battery was not charging... Thanx to "dd if=/dev/sda | gzip ....", I have put back the original disk layout and will put back my installation on the new one!

What surprises me is that I never saw an eeePC in a computer store. But each one I go, either in Montreal or Ottawa, has one or many Acer Aspire One. It is probably why Acer has a stronger growth. Maybe they were able to sign so kind of exclusive contracts with distributors, cutting Asus to online selling...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good and bad
by google_ninja on Fri 12th Dec 2008 00:40 UTC in reply to "Good and bad"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

You never see any Asus machines at most major stores. No idea why. Acer has the channels, which is why you tyically get one or two in any given bestbuy or futureshop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good and bad
by big_gie on Fri 12th Dec 2008 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Good and bad"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

Exactly. And this is probably why their is more Aspire One sold than eeePC.
"Look honey, this laptop is so small! It could be great for the kids"

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good and bad
by B12 Simon on Fri 12th Dec 2008 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good and bad"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

IMO price is the big factor in Acer's success. In the UK both models are widely available in mainstream shops. While the 901 is superior the 512MB linux Acers can be had for under UKP200.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good and bad
by darknexus on Fri 12th Dec 2008 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Good and bad"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Interesting. Best Buy where I'm currently living in Pennsylvania seems to have nothing but EEE PC netbooks. No Aspire Ones, no MSI Winds, and No HP Mininotes. But they usually have five or six EEE PCs on display, though they don't seem to have any Linux models.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good and bad
by google_ninja on Fri 12th Dec 2008 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good and bad"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

maybe its just a canada thing. Asus has no presence in any of the major retailers except for motherboards and video cards

Edited 2008-12-12 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good and bad
by phoenix on Mon 15th Dec 2008 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good and bad"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

maybe its just a canada thing. Asus has no presence in any of the major retailers except for motherboards and video cards


Maybe an Eastern Canada thing. ;) The FutureShops and Staples here in BC carry a lot of ASUS gear, including the eeePC.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good and bad
by Howie S on Fri 12th Dec 2008 02:09 UTC in reply to "Good and bad"
Howie S Member since:
2005-07-14

> What surprises me is that I never saw an eeePC in a computer store. But each one I go, either in Montreal or Ottawa, has one or many Acer Aspire One.

In Ottawa, have you tried Laurier Computers? - Their website (laurier.com) says they moved recently. They were one of the first retailers I saw carrying the original EeePC when it came out late last year.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good and bad
by big_gie on Fri 12th Dec 2008 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Good and bad"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

Thanx! ;) I just checked on their web site but they only offer the eeebox. Seems the eeePC is too "old" ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good and bad
by Howie S on Fri 12th Dec 2008 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good and bad"
Howie S Member since:
2005-07-14

You're welcome ;)

Yeah, I saw they only list the EeeBox on their website. If you are really interested in the EeePC, if I were you, I'd give them a call. They seem to deal with a lot of Asus products, so I imagine either they have the EeePC in stock (but just didn't list it on the front page of their website), or they could easily order one for you. Just my $0.02

Reply Score: 1

Both
by Earl Colby pottinger on Fri 12th Dec 2008 05:16 UTC in reply to "Good and bad"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

BestByte (not BestBuy) has both on display, but it is not part of a chain.

Reply Score: 2

i tried
by pixel8r on Fri 12th Dec 2008 03:29 UTC
pixel8r
Member since:
2007-08-11

I jumped in early and bought one of the original eee 701's. I thought I didn't need a powerful laptop and that I'd be fine. But I quickly discovered that in order to get any value from the laptop, I needed a much more capable one.

Admittedly this is more my lack of foresight than any fault of the product, but I wonder how many other netbook sales go down the same path of discovery.

Reply Score: 2

RE: i tried
by B12 Simon on Fri 12th Dec 2008 10:54 UTC in reply to "i tried"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

I drooled over the idea of the eee 700 but wasn't keen on the screen. I'm glad I waited til the 9" netbooks came out.

Reply Score: 2

Predictions as Fact?
by BrendaEM on Fri 12th Dec 2008 11:32 UTC
BrendaEM
Member since:
2005-11-23

The article is offering theory and opinion as fact, saying that they are a fad. On a whim, I did some research yesterday morning, by checking the portable computer sales figures at Tigerdirect, Amazon, and Newegg. What I have found that netbooks are filling most of the top portable computer sales.

Even though I love small computers, such as the ancient Sharp PC1500, and a Sharp Mobilon, I never thought that Americans would accept a 10" form factor. Now that it's here, it may stay just like 12", 15", and 17"

At my local coffee shop, of the poeple who have netbooks, they like them a lot, and I am also seeing people who have them want more than one. I suspect that some of the increased sales is from people buying more than one.

I am predicting that as the time the netbook boom would have started to drop, the dual-core Atom processors will be out to keep people buying, if the thermal designs of the small machines can take it.

[I have a Thinkpad T61p Core 2, 2.2gz, 200mb HD, and yet I plan to get a Lenovo S10 because it's as much as I want to carry to the coffee shop sometimes, and it seems better suited for contact management and email because it's smaller.

I, like many people are watching to see if Lenovo will get off their A$$es and start shipping 6-Cell batteries in the box!]

[OT: generally, netbooks need more concavity in their keys. When you have small keys you need tactile feedback for the key edges. I wrote over 30,000 words on the Sharp Mobilon, which had smaller keys than a netbook, but I could feel where they are. On milimeter of key dish would make quite a difference.]

Edited 2008-12-12 11:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

using netbook for work
by Different on Tue 16th Dec 2008 09:52 UTC
Different
Member since:
2007-07-03

While it's true netbook is unsuitable for running graphic intensive software such as AutoCad, you can still pretty much run higher range software by running through a terminal server such as ThinServer XP

http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm

Reply Score: 1