Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Apr 2009 11:42 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems After the rather unexpected success of the netbook, manufacturers started looking for more ways to capitalise on the cheaper end of the market. Many of them are now putting netbook internals (the Atom platform) in desktop computers, such as nettops and cheaper all-in-one solutions. According to several analysts, this is going to be one of the few places where the desktop market can grow. And while we're on the subject of hardware, TechRepublic took the Dell Adamo apart to see its internals.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Apr 2009 12:42 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

The move to high volume Atom based computers (outside of Netbooks) will be an interesting phenomenon in that it might actually force software vendors to make their code more efficient and compilers produce cleaner code. What will also be interesting is whether this will squeeze Microsoft to reduce their price for Windows 7 - with maybe the requirement that it can only be used on an Atom based computer. So how Microsoft will respond will make interesting reading - and how it will effect their bottom line as the bulk of end users slide towards the cheaper devices.

The million dollar question will also be how Apple will respond. Right now there is is a very small difference between Apple and PC laptops; case in point was at Noel Leeming where there is only around a $200 difference between a Sony laptop and a MacBook Unibody. The question is how Apple will respond once that gap starts to come really large when the peformance gap between the Core 2 and Atom begin to close. Will Apple respond to this by launching a range using Atom based low cost laptops at the sacrifice of their sacred margins?

Born out of that is also the question regarding how the current Atom netbook producers are going - and whether the Atom based netbooks are cannibalising their traditional laptops. If there isn't cannibalising - could Apple sustain introducing an iCheap range?

Its interesting how the launch of a little device and a low cost CPU by Intel is raising questions as to the shape of the computer world in the future.

Edited 2009-04-14 12:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by chekr on Tue 14th Apr 2009 12:49 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

It was the OLPC that inspired the netbook revolution not intels CPU (particularly the fact that OLPC uses an AMD Geode)

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Apr 2009 13:16 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It was the OLPC that inspired the netbook revolution not intels CPU (particularly the fact that OLPC uses an AMD Geode)


And yet no one could purchase the OLPC as a usable computer - show me a website I can buy one and have it shipped to New Zealand. The ASUS was the first commercially available consumer netbook and it rolled on from there.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by fithisux on Tue 14th Apr 2009 18:07 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Respect to AMD!

Today I bought the ordered AA1 D150X. After reading dreadful things about normal notebooks I decided that It is good for portability and has less problems. I am waiting to judge for myself.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Kroc on Tue 14th Apr 2009 12:50 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Speed is more than just the chip clock. Case in point: Windows runs better on a Mac than on most PCs.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Apr 2009 13:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Speed is more than just the chip clock. Case in point: Windows runs better on a Mac than on most PCs.


True; a lot of the problems that end users face have less to do with Windows and mostly to do with the garbage that exists in the legacy BIOS world. Its annoying that the PC world still hold onto BIOS when there should have been a movement to UEFI long ago. It won't be the panacea to fix all ills but it would be a good start to finally remove the cruft and hopefully result in a stable Windows experience.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Adurbe on Tue 14th Apr 2009 12:52 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

programmers have been lazy for years regarding optimizations. Why? Moors Law.

The PC would soon enough be powerful enough that you wont notice the sloppy code. The Atom has suddenly popularised a slower, less powerful cpu. This SHOULD change coding habbits/ephasis if the platform really takes off.

Of course, photoshop would never aim for this market. Im mor hopeful about the likes of Office....

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Kroc on Tue 14th Apr 2009 13:18 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Programmers have been lazy for years because of deadlines, budgets, managers, conflicting demands, job-security, 100-hour working week, women and children, marketing men, bad education and 'agendas' and finally the computer landscape changing almost daily.

Moores law has little to do with it in reality IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Apr 2009 13:41 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

programmers have been lazy for years regarding optimizations. Why? Moors Law.

The PC would soon enough be powerful enough that you wont notice the sloppy code. The Atom has suddenly popularised a slower, less powerful cpu. This SHOULD change coding habbits/ephasis if the platform really takes off.

Of course, photoshop would never aim for this market. Im mor hopeful about the likes of Office....


In-Order CPU's will always punish sloppy code and sloppy compilers - maybe we'll see a return to the drawing board to design better compilers where the focus is on quality rather than speed. I wonder how well LLVM will be like when it comes to compiling the Atom. Photoshop will never run well on such a processor but there should be no reason for for Office or any other run of the mill application to perform acceptably.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by RandomGuy on Tue 14th Apr 2009 13:46 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Born out of that is also the question regarding how the current Atom netbook producers are going - and whether the Atom based netbooks are cannibalising their traditional laptops.

I'm pretty sure they are. Still manufacturers would rather see _their_ netbooks cannibalise their notebook market than netbooks from a different manufacturer.

The same cannot be said for Apple since most of their hardware sales are probably OS related.

Anyway, I don't believe that nettops will be quite as successful as netbooks. As some people already mentioned the price difference is just not comparable. I can get a perfectly fine PC that runs circles around any nettop for just a few hundred bucks more. The same can not be said for netbooks. If you want a laptop with the mobility (<=12") and battery life (>=7h) you can get with netbooks you have to pay 3-4x as much.
Netbooks took off because they satisfied a demand that had been ignored _for_years_:
A laptop that's portable and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
The same cannot be said for the desktop market where prices are reasonable and size isn't that much of an issue. And even if there existed a similar demand in this market I think it would be smarter to look into docking stations and external drives to complement netbooks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Apr 2009 15:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm pretty sure they are. Still manufacturers would rather see _their_ netbooks cannibalise their notebook market than netbooks from a different manufacturer.

The same cannot be said for Apple since most of their hardware sales are probably OS related.

Anyway, I don't believe that nettops will be quite as successful as netbooks. As some people already mentioned the price difference is just not comparable. I can get a perfectly fine PC that runs circles around any nettop for just a few hundred bucks more. The same can not be said for netbooks. If you want a laptop with the mobility (=7h) you can get with netbooks you have to pay 3-4x as much.
Netbooks took off because they satisfied a demand that had been ignored _for_years_:
A laptop that's portable and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
The same cannot be said for the desktop market where prices are reasonable and size isn't that much of an issue. And even if there existed a similar demand in this market I think it would be smarter to look into docking stations and external drives to complement netbooks.


True, although if these companies made it cheap enough with video in and out - they could turn it into a DVR device where the selling point would be 'unlimited storage' through a daisy chain of stacked hard disks hooked up to the USB port.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by google_ninja on Thu 16th Apr 2009 16:51 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Born out of that is also the question regarding how the current Atom netbook producers are going - and whether the Atom based netbooks are cannibalising their traditional laptops. If there isn't cannibalising - could Apple sustain introducing an iCheap range?


Honestly, I don't see that happening. The company has been built on shipping top knotch end to end user experiences for so long, they would probably be willing to pay money so that people don't see OSX struggling for resources. They make money by selling small amounts of high end machines with large profit margins.

Don't think its impossible, and definately something I would like to see, but don't think its gonna happen. Been seriously considering picking up an asus eee 1000h and putting osx on it, hear everything works great on it except for the sound card.

Reply Parent Score: 2