I first started this blog around the time that the first netbooks appeared, and I must say I went with them in much gusto. I went quickly through the little 7″ Asus eeePC, through MSI devices and the Asus Seashell line. They were very good, ultralight laptops that did the job for me. One thing though did impact their success and that was the artificial limitations that people placed on them, through limiting them to 1GB RAM or the 1024×600 pixel screen. Now it seems that people are pronouncing them as dead…
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.
In some ways this article (and others) are right in that Netbooks in their limited form are dead. However the original intention of these devices was to create a small, low cost, lightweight and effective portable computing device and it is in this respect that they have had a major success. Laptops in 2007 were big, heavy devices with limited battery life that cost upwards of £600. Today laptops are lighter, with much longer battery life, and cost between £300 and £500. Additionally back in 2007, the screen size that people craved for was 15″ whereas it is now 13″ or even below.
Netbooks, in my view, are not dead. They have evolved and what we call a laptop today is in fact a Netbook evolved away from artificial limitations of stupid low memory or low pixel number screens. Maybe one of the reasons that I found the netbook so useful is that I made use of upgrades on the hardware and software to make them ultralight laptops. Hey the Ultrabook and Sleekbooks are their logical conclusions in my view.