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354 comments

next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420056)

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...

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420070)

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:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420118)

(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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (5, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420174)

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420232)

A Celeron. Yeah, great buy there...

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (3, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420408)

Compared to a netbook with an Atom, it's a steal.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420480)

Compared to a netbook with an Atom, it's a steal.

An Atom-based netbook has its place. Real world 11 hours of battery life with a pretty good keyboard at 2 pounds and a full suite of text-oriented content creation software, for instance.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420534)

Sure, it's just a smaller place than it was. With cheap laptops eating into the buy it because it is cheap end, and ipads and smart phones eating into the care about portability not price end.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420144)

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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420172)

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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (3, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420294)

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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420634)

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?

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420176)

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.

Why would people buy a laptop when there are desktops with higher specifications available for less...

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420224)

Because a laptop works on the train/plane/etc. Because a laptop is portable.

A laptop has clear advantages over a desktop. A netbook doesn't have so clear advantages over a laptop.

Netbooks were great because they were cheap and good enough for web browsing/email. But given laptops are now just as cheap their main advantage just isn't there. Yes they have better battery life and are lighter - but for most people that isn't worth the now price premium they have.

But seriously, are you truly stupid enough to think that the laptop/netbook differences are in the same vague ballpark as the desktop/laptop difference?

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420314)

A netbook doesn't have so clear advantages over a laptop.

Less size and less weight in one's bag, for example. I often have a half hour of downtime on public transit, and I spend that time coding on my hobby projects using a Dell netbook. I couldn't do that on an iPad due to Apple's restrictions. And even if that weren't the case, by the time I pack a tablet and an external keyboard, I might as well be packing my netbook anyway.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420456)

I own a netbook myself, and for the same reasons (my brother's 14-inch Envy is a nice bit of hardware, but I'm not lugging around a 5.5 lb laptop, plus charger, when I can carry around a 3 lb netbook and do everything I need to with an all-day battery), but frankly we're a niche crowd. Most people aren't trying to code or type a novel while riding the bus/train to work, and so don't need something that is both extremely portable and conducive to content creation while on the move.

People like us are going to eventually be served by power-user tablets, like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, rather than low-end netbooks. Dell and HP just don't get the margins or volume on low-end 'books to serve our needs, so it's not surprising that they're exiting that market. Maybe some day they'll learn to build a tablet that doesn't suck, and we'll see them re-enter the tablet market; until then we have smaller upstart companies who are building the products we will need.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420540)

Less size and weight can be achieved without a netbook. Ultrabooks actually tend to be even better than that; they're thinner and lighter than netbooks, but feature larger screens and more performance. The downside is cost; $900-1000 is the cheapest you'll find them.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420572)

Exactly the ones I listed, did just not bother reading the part you didn't quote?

Or do you also think that "not portable at all" versus "portable" is in the same ballpark as "portable" versus "more portable"?

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420318)

The problem is that cheap laptops came down in price, while netbooks have only gone up in price...

The original $200 netbooks running linux were great cheap devices for browsing the web..
The $350 netbooks running windows are just slow and not very cheap windows laptops.

The linux netbooks were seen by users as a new device, similar to how the ipad is perceived, while windows netbooks were seen as being inferior versions of regular laptops.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (3, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420626)

Spot on. I bought my Dell Mini back when they first came out. I was thrilled with its combination attributes. It was a cheap and small computer that I could easily stash in my satchel when I was in the library or going to teach knowing that it would still be running when I pulled it out later. I hate having to lug a full laptop about campus but I don't want to do without a keyboard. I was also very pleased that I wouldn't have to remove Windows from it. While its battery life isn't quite what it was, it is still running well and I am still happy with it. When the Mini finally kicks the bucket, I'm going to have a hard time finding something that fills its niche so well. The combination of attributes that made the netbook so useful to me is, for the most part, no longer readily available on the market.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420462)

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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420560)

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.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420104)

PC manufacturers got tired of churning out netbooks which make them pennies of profit. They all want to be more like Apple so they're focusing on Ultrabooks and Tablets running Windows 8.

I for one cannot wait to get a dockable Windows 8 tablet.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420142)

PC manufacturers got tired of churning out netbooks which make them pennies of profit. They all want to be more like Apple so they're focusing on Ultrabooks and Tablets running Windows 8.

I for one cannot wait to get a dockable Windows 8 tablet.

I docked my penis inside yo mama.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420630)

Did you use the top port, the bottom port or the back port?

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420242)

>>I still believe there is a strong market for sub $300 laptops

You go girl. Don't let those facts dampen your 'belief".

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420244)

You may believe that there is a strong market for a sub-$300 netbook, but, unfortunately, Reality disagrees.

EVERYONE is getting out of netbooks, that market segment has imploded, and moving to Macbook Air clones. If you're going to carry a laptop (as opposed to a tablet) people want real screens and keyboards.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420464)

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?

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (1)

imahawki (984044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420584)

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?

What model? I can't find a 15" laptop of any brand for $279.

Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420494)

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.

Phase 2 (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420064)

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!

Re:Phase 2 (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420080)

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

Re:Phase 2 (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420182)

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

Re:Phase 2 (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420364)

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 (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420066)

iPad killed the netbook market.

Re:iPad (2)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420108)

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 (4, Insightful)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:iPad (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420344)

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.

Re:iPad (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:iPad (2)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420402)

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 computers (Not just the iPad) sales have all but ground to a halt with netbooks. To the point where those retailers you mentioned are discounting them to below cost just to move their stock.

Re:iPad (5, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420222)

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

One domino always has to be the first to fall.

Re:iPad (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420278)

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

Tables are a netbook competitor (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420282)

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 simple word processing and spreadsheet tasks one might use a netbook for.

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.

Re:Tables are a netbook competitor (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420394)

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.

Re:Tables are a netbook competitor (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Tables are a netbook competitor (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420546)

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). While the iPad may currently be the best selling tablet, I don't envision that to always be the case, unless Apple is suddenly willing to drastically reduce its price - something history has shown Apple won't do.

Re:Tables are a netbook competitor (0)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420574)

Not sure where you go when you're "out & about", but every second person on the train to work in the morning & home in the afternoon has an iPad. Not just a tablet, an iPad. I rarely see kindles or android tablets.

The only people who have any form of *book are business people with full sized laptops, not netbooks, doing work.

Your anecdote is based in being blind to reality & creating a reality to support your claims. Netbooks are dead, and have been for about a year. I owned one of the first EEEPCs from Asus, hated every moment. The keyboard was too small, the screen was too small, the whole thing was... guess what... too small. Now my iPad, that's fine for the train, my 15 XPS, that's fine for working or gaming on the road. The closest thing to a Netbook I've deployed in my 17 years in IT is the latest generation of Sony Vaio Z series. That's a AU$3000 laptop, a far cry from the price of netbooks, but just as light with a much larger screen & a much better battery.

Re:iPad (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420204)

If you travel a lot, and need a computer primarily for office apps and web browsing, then nothing beats a netbook.

A Macbook Air does.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420320)

I'd expect a Macbook Air to beat a netbook. It's bigger and weighs more.

Re:iPad (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420354)

Sure, if you don't mind paying five times as much.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420210)

I make games on my iPad using Codea. Pretty good for experimenting with game ideas, faster than using Xcode.

Re:iPad (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420410)

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 not eeePC 701 small, but I have enough screen space to be generally useful too.

Linux hardware support is almost there (still need open-source ati driver to support audio over HDMI on R6xx).

Re:iPad (2)

SolemnLord (775377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420498)

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 on the iPad.

The netbook was bought because it was an experiment, and now it's collecting dust. I'm using the iPad all the time, even when I'm working on my regular computers. Between high-quality tablets and dirt-cheap, full-sized laptops, netbooks don't stand a chance.

The iPad Effect (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420192)

It's not just Dell being affected by 'teh iPad!!!' Just look what else Apple's 'magical' device has caused to happen just this week:

* Ron Paul's surging poll numbers in Iowa
* The first signs of the Higgs Boson
* Kobe Bryant's wife filing for divorce
* The end of the Iraq war

Just to name a few.

Ask anyone at your local Starbucks and they will confirm its all true.

Re:iPad (1)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420296)

While true, this only tells part of the story.

The iPad cannibalized the technologically-naive market that had begun to gravitate towards netbooks as a cheap, portable web-surfing laptop by providing a much simpler web-surfing product that was more portable and (arguably) easier to use. Though the recent advent of ultrabooks will be the killing blow for netbooks as they cannibalisde the ultra-portable computing market that netbooks were also marketed towards.

Re:iPad (1, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420514)

Definition of an ultrabook: A MacBook Air copy.

Re:iPad (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420516)

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... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:price... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420194)

Several are more that a cheap laptop, and with lower specs as well. Yep, I really want that.

Re:price... (4, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#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... (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

I have an idea (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420082)

Close Dell and return the money to the shareholders.

Re:I have an idea (4, Funny)

Haven (34895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420152)

But Dell has given us so many memorable market defining products!

Re:I have an idea (5, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420432)

But Dell has given us so many memorable market defining products!

No kidding. Dell was the company that made black cases popular.
Only mistake they made: new products should have been introduced by Michael Dell wearing a white turtleneck.

A depressing trend. (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420092)

So many companies today with little or no foresight on what the future will bring them or demand of them. This is not isolated to Computer companies like Dell and HP, it is a virus eating at the very core of American industry.

Re:A depressing trend. (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420220)

So many companies today with little or no foresight on what the future will bring them or demand of them.

So let's hear it, Kreskin! What will the future bring a consumer electronics company whose business strategy is based around a race to the bottom, perpetually paring away the margins on an underperforming product that is completely undifferentiated from its competitors' products in every way except price?

This summer I needed a portable computer, so I walked into a Best Buy and walked out with a 14" laptop with the latest generation of Intel processor and graphics, 4GB of RAM, a 640GB hard drive, a full-sized keyboard, and the usual bells and whistles, for about $550. I guess I could have saved myself a couple hundred bucks and got a netbook with specs that barely meet the minimum requirements for Windows 7, but honestly, why would I? Battery life? If I turn the screen brightness down a little bit, my laptop's battery will run for almost eight hours. Size might be the only valid reason, but the laptop I ended up with is still small enough to fit into my little canvas shoulder bag, and it weighs just over 4 lbs, so even that is a poor argument.

Simply put, as the cost of traditional laptop form factors has fallen, netbooks seem more and more like a category whose time is past. For consumers, netbooks seem mainly like "disposable" cheap computers with specs so low that they're probably a waste of money, even at $300. For manufacturers, maintaining a netbook product line is just as costly and risky as maintaining a line of traditional laptops, except the margins are far lower. It's a lose-lose.

Re:A depressing trend. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420612)

Replace the HDD with an SSD. Go into the BIOS and set it to economy mode. Your battery life goes way up. Windows has some settings that help too.

Re:A depressing trend. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420622)

Netbooks need to come in at sub 200 dollar mark. Anything over that and they compare piss poorly with a regular laptop. The screen should be 7-10 inches and it should be light as possible. Instead they're calling something almost the size of my old 12" iBook a netbook and it's not. If it's almost the size of a laptop, nowhere near the performance and it costs almost as much then it's not going to sell. Simple enough really, you'd think even the fools that pass for marketers in these companies would get it.

The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420096)

Now I believe the mobile computing future really belongs to tablets. The only difference between a netbook and a tablet is a keyboard. So all a mobile user needs, hardware-wise, to bridge that gap is a keyboard. This can be supplied via an optional "dockable" keyboard. On the software side, there needs to be good support for the usual types of productivity software such as word processing and the occasional "presentation".

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420188)

So all a mobile user needs, hardware-wise, to bridge that gap is a keyboard. This can be supplied via an optional "dockable" keyboard.

I can't imagine no keyboard... and having a tablet with a keyboard seems like those combination car/truck things they used to make... and it wasn't any good at either... it was a crappy car and a crappy truck.

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420248)

Pretty much. There isn't much I don't need a keyboard for, and when I'm watching something it doubles as a 'tablet support device'.

On the el camino front - due to the same fact that leads people to believe Australia will survive nuclear war, they also missed the memo that "utes" are out of style.
see here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420216)

I guess you are right. There are plenty of keyboard cases available for them, you can't search a tablet at Amazon without it recommending you one of those. (Even for the EEE.) Also, it makes the keyboard removable, for whatever you want to do without a keyboard (reading a book probably).

But that is not the "only" difference between them. Netbooks must run windows, so their battery life is way lower, and I've not seen a netbook that connects to 3G yet.

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420300)

Plenty of netbooks connect to 3G.

My HP mini 5102 does, for example.

And it has 8+ hrs of battery life. And it runs Windows 7 so I still get Office, and all my other native windows apps (including ones I need for my job, like vSphere Client.)

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420372)

The only difference between a netbook and a tablet is a keyboard.

That and the operating system, and the manufacturer's restrictions if any on what applications may be run.

On the software side, there needs to be good support for the usual types of productivity software such as word processing and the occasional "presentation".

But very little for the apps that I run. Yeah, I know, sample size of one, but is there a counterpart to, say, IDLE (a Python code editor and debugger) on Android or iOS? Before I go out and buy a tablet to run SL4A, how good is SL4A?

Re:The future belongs to tablets (with optional KB (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420474)

The only difference between a netbook and a tablet is a keyboard.

That and the operating system, and the manufacturer's restrictions if any on what applications may be run.

That and the fact that you can tilt a netbook and nothing happens. And the touch screen.

And of course all of these features together: a small but wide screen that can be tilted might also be bearable for text, a small screen that doesn't is a pain and only useful for people without friends to watch movies.

Dell, (4, Insightful)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Dell, (0)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420386)

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.

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

First off. Never put a comma in front of and.

Secondly, there is little difference in this regard between Apple and Dell. They both do a little design work out of the US and export the rest to China. They even use the same Chinese manufacturer.

Re:Dell, (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420438)

First off. Never put a comma in front of and.

There's no such rule.

Re:Dell, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420518)

I suggest that you learn about the Oxford comma. It's useful and certainly can come after the word 'and'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma [wikipedia.org]

The GP's usage is correct as the comma separates a subordinate clause from the main sentence and would be a natural place to pause during speech.

Re:Dell, (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420530)

Apple is a software and design company. It used to be a hardware company, but earlier this decade Jobs realized that hardware is largely commoditized, and the vast majority of consumers are largely unaware of the parts that aren't commoditized. So, they outsourced their hardware manufacture to China and turned to software (and, arguably, marketing) as their biggest differentiating factor.

Dell, on the other hand, still thinks it's a hardware company, but it's a hardware company that has outsourced its hardware design and manufacture to China, which at this point means it really is nothing but a sticker being attached to commodity hardware. HP is the same way, although Meg Whitman seems to be trying to turn that around. We'll see if she manages it.

Re:Dell, (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420640)

This is false. Apple is a hardware company, because hardware is what they make money from, they put a substantial effort into specialized and unique hardware and software. Revenue comes from hardware, and software is there to make hardware sell, but hardware design is core to Apple and always has been. Even IBM doesn't manufacture all its own chips from bare sand the way it used to.

Dell is a logistics, sales and and support company.

Re:Dell, (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420624)

There's a pretty big difference between Apple and Dell.

Apple has many employees who design chips and certainly motherboards from scratch. (remember they have CPU designers who used to work on PowerPC chips and probably now do similar for their ARM cpu's)

They design all cases, often with non-standard materials and innovative manufacturing techniques and do thermal modeling. They design their own mice and keyboards and power adapters unlike Dell who specs out to a generic manufacturer.

Re:Dell, (1)

timestride (1660061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420648)

Nothing more than a brand? Perhaps on the consumer side, but they are one of the only soup to nuts technology providers for large enterprises. IBM got out of the PC/laptop business and HP put the future of their PC/laptop unit in question while Dell has shown they are committed to staying in the market. If you want to consolidate your vendors and purchase servers and laptops from the same company, Dell is the only obvious choice currently. A few years back they miss stepped by offshoring their tech support, but they have since brought it back to the states and quality has improved. With their purchases of EqualLogic and Compellent, Dell is also becoming a force in the SAN market. Other strategic purchases such as SecureWorks, Force 10, and Kace shows that Dell is willing to diversify to continue to stay relevant while continuing to server their core x86 market.

Netbooks still have their uses... (4, Insightful)

herrnova (2534538) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420290)

Honestly, get a Macbook Air (13"). From someone who used to say they would never use an Apple product, after being giving one and using it for sometime, I wouldn't go back.

All other things aside, Apple's laptops are better at portability, weight and battery life. Nowadays, processors are as fast as you need, these three characteristic really do make a laptop more enjoyable.

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (1)

herrnova (2534538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420350)

I've had a 13" Macbook pro, got it after a friend upgraded, and while it did seem like a decent laptop, I kept running into problems, such as being able to type umlauts and the Eszett, as swiftly as I can using Windows 7 with the International Keyboard turned on. It's the little things, but they added up quick. Yeah, I'm sure there are workarounds, but I'll stick with PC's

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420536)

Option+s for ÃY and option + u then vowel for umlaut.

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420556)

International characters are much faster for me on the Mac (link [psu.edu] ).

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420374)

Honestly, get a Macbook Air (13"). From someone who used to say they would never use an Apple product, after being giving one and using it for sometime, I wouldn't go back.

All other things aside, Apple's laptops are better at portability, weight and battery life. Nowadays, processors are as fast as you need, these three characteristic really do make a laptop more enjoyable.

Are Apples laptops locked down, or can you install any OS you like?

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420436)

Are Apples laptops locked down, or can you install any OS you like?

You can install any PC OS you want in Boot Camp or VirtualBox. You just have to somehow convince the one holding your purse strings that a MacBook Air is worth the price tag compared to an ASUS or Acer.

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420590)

You just have to somehow convince the one holding your purse strings that a MacBook Air is worth the price tag compared to an ASUS or Acer.

Given that the equivalent ASUS, the UX31, is, at best, only about $100 cheaper than the Air, that shouldn't be too difficult.

Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420488)

The problem is that the price and availability of the netbooks is going to get worse, because there aren't enough people like you.

not a big surprise (1)

ronpaulisanidiot (2529418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420328)

for some people the netbook was an answer in search of a question. asus got it right (for the most part) and then everything after it was a copy. whether netbooks will be killed completely by tablets remains to be seen.

Netbooks are extremely popular in the Third World. (4, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Take not Google (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420600)

With so many manufacturers setting their sites on mobile devices, ultra-light/portable laptops/netbooks are going the way of dodo. Yet, Google is still trying to expand its Chromebook line of netbook which are, in essence, overpriced [amazon.com] netbooks that only run Google Chrome.
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