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IT News Thread, 2012: The year that netbooks died in Other News; ...
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    2012: The year that netbooks died

    Netbooks are officially dead!

    Source: The Register

    Netbooks – those compact, underpowered, inexpensive notebook PCs once hailed as the future of mobile computing – are set to disappear from retailer shelves in 2013, as the last remaining manufacturers of the devices prepare to exit the market.

    According to Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes, Acer and Asus are the only two hardware makers still producing netbooks, and they are mainly doing so to sell them to emerging markets such as South America and Southeast Asia.

    Even that won't last long, DigitTimes reports. Acer has said it has no plans to develop any further netbook products, while Asus announced in September that it planned to discontinue its Eee PC netbook line by the end of 2012.

    Once the last netbooks roll out of Acer's and Asus's factories, it will spell the end of a once-crowded market. Other big-name competitors – including HP, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba, among others – have long since ceased production of the tiny devices.
    Underpowered Intel Atom processors made netbooks useless as number crunchers, while their miniaturized keyboards often made even basic word processing a chore. Their tiny, low-resolution screens made for a cramped desktop experience, and 3D gaming was pretty much out of the question.

    It soon became clear that, given their low-end specs and their impracticality for day-to-day computing, netbooks really had only one clear edge over traditional laptops: price. Manufacturers moved swiftly to nullify that advantage, offering more traditionally sized notebooks with beefier components at prices roughly equivalent to those of netbooks.

    Today, the most popular use case for netbooks – that of a secondary computing device for web browsing – is largely being filled by tablets, which are generally priced the same or even cheaper than netbooks but offer touchscreens, and are therefore more fun to play Angry Birds on.
    Ultrabooks will likely fare better in the market than netbooks did, if for no other reason that unlike netbooks, Ultrabooks won't be a race to the bottom for manufacturers. Instead of being marketed as cheap, secondary computing devices, Ultrabooks will carry premium specs and price tags to match.

    But even Ultrabooks' prices will eventually decline, and according to Juniper Research, by 2016 virtually every notebook will resemble an Ultrabook, leaving the netbook era as little more than a quaint and whimsical memory.

  2. #2

    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    "Netbooks" was the term originally used to describe small sub 10" laptops with atom CPU's and 1024x600 displays. Windows8 has upped the minimum resolution to 1024x768 so strictly speaking none of the 'netbooks' are capable of running it. The final nail in the netbook coffin was Apple's iPad which pretty much killed the whole netbook market dead by selling a usable tablet for £280-400

    I actually see the whole netbook/ultrabook terms as nothing more than marketing drivel to be honest. "Netbooks" tended to refer to underpowered/miserably specced laptops and "ultrabooks" were supposed to indicate high end slim laptops but the reality was most of the ultrabooks were just overpriced laptops with fairly mediocre specs for the money made by manufacturers hoping for a slice of Apple's profits. As always the sensible money has tended towards something between these two extremes.

    Good riddance to both of them IMO

    Most OEM's are probably busy re-tooling their production lines for Windows8 touchscreen tablets/convertibles (Microsoft Surface, Samsung ATIV, ASUS Vivotab) which are a better and more cost effective option for most consumers than ultrabooks/netbooks ever were.
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 29th December 2012 at 01:37 AM.

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    witch's Avatar
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    One of my schools has 40 netbooks and the other has 64 and they are still of use. Slow, yes, but I would not really trust children to carry tablets around without dropping them. And touchscreens in a school just make me feel a bit sick!!

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    I hope someone keeps making them otherwise I will have to buy a spare!! for traveling nothing beats them

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    john's Avatar
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    Lenovo seem to still be making one although its not a Netbook that is the difference and as such its not priced as one and has a full Win 7 Pro license on it I just bought some at work before we shut for Christmas and they look great devices so far and well built with the usual Lenovo build quality.

    Interesting how its taken all year given it was all about Netbook death at BETT back in Jan 2012 and its taken till near enough Jan 2013 to "die" off

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