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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:57 PM

Sayonara, netbooks: Asus (and the rest) won't make any more in 2013

A few years ago some were saying that Apple would be doomed in the PC market if they didn't make a netbook.

Then the iPad happened...

http://www.marco.org/2010/08/19/a-smartphone-retrospective
_________________

Sayonara, netbooks. The end of 2012 marks the end of the manufacture of the diddy machines that were - for a time - the Great White Hope of the PC market.

If you believed ABI Research in 2009, then next year netbooks (initially defined as machines with Intel Atom processors and screens less than 10in diagonally - though the definition became fuzzier over time) will sell 139m. (The original ABI press release with the forecast, linked from the Wikipedia page on netbooks, and still there until May 2011, has disappeared. But you can get a flavour of its optimism from the URL of the press release (which contains the phrase "an era begins") and the research paper it was offering in late 2010 which had forecasts for netbook sales through to 2015 and the names of 23 vendors (including - quiz question - Nokia.)

Still, there's an eWeek article from July in which ABI says that "consumer interest in netbooks shows no sign of waning, and the attraction remains the same: value rather than raw performance."

Actually, the number sold in 2013 will be very much closer to zero than to 139m. The Taiwanese tech site Digitimes points out that Asus, which kicked off the modern netbook category with its Eee PC in 2007, has announced that it won't make its Eee PC product after today, and that Acer doesn't plan to make any more; which means that "the netbook market will officially end after the two vendors finish digesting their remaining inventories."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/31/netbooks-dead-2013

56 replies, 3246 views

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Reply Sayonara, netbooks: Asus (and the rest) won't make any more in 2013 (Original post)
onehandle Jan 2013 OP
randome Jan 2013 #1
MADem Jan 2013 #3
hootinholler Jan 2013 #4
randome Jan 2013 #9
hootinholler Jan 2013 #20
cally Jan 2013 #48
hootinholler Jan 2013 #49
cally Jan 2013 #53
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #6
randome Jan 2013 #10
FreeState Jan 2013 #16
gollygee Jan 2013 #50
DirkGently Jan 2013 #55
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #17
randome Jan 2013 #23
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #44
politicat Jan 2013 #46
HappyMe Jan 2013 #2
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #5
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #22
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #24
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #32
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #31
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #7
Rectangle Jan 2013 #52
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #56
mike_c Jan 2013 #8
randome Jan 2013 #11
Enrique Jan 2013 #12
mike_c Jan 2013 #13
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #14
mike_c Jan 2013 #15
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #25
One_Life_To_Give Jan 2013 #47
dogknob Jan 2013 #21
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2013 #18
hootinholler Jan 2013 #27
enlightenment Jan 2013 #28
kentauros Jan 2013 #38
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #19
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #26
Dems to Win Jan 2013 #29
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #30
MightyMopar Jan 2013 #34
Sen. Walter Sobchak Jan 2013 #37
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #43
SidDithers Jan 2013 #33
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #40
randome Jan 2013 #41
RedCappedBandit Jan 2013 #35
Sen. Walter Sobchak Jan 2013 #36
aikoaiko Jan 2013 #39
Gidney N Cloyd Jan 2013 #42
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #45
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #51
KaryninMiami Jan 2013 #54

Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:00 PM

1. I still don't see typing on an iPad or other tablet as an acceptable replacement for a keyboard.

Am I missing something?

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:06 PM

3. There's that microsoft thing that has the detachable keyboard.

I think typing on an iPad would be hell...

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:06 PM

4. There are bluetooth keyboards available for most tabs

I have a docking keyboard and battery for my ASUS pad which I like very much. Look at the TF700.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:14 PM

9. Then you have to lug all that stuff to the coffee shop. A netbook is only one device.

Looks interesting but there is little storage space available. Will Word & Excel work under Android?

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Response to randome (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:23 PM

20. There are apps that understand word and excell

Really look at the ASUS TF700. With the dock it's like a netbook except the keyboard (and backup battery) detaches. I bit the bullet and got the 64G version.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:25 PM

48. Can you type on your ASUS keyboard?

I've had this tablet for a few years and I have never mastered typing on it. On my old ASUS netbook, I could and did write 5 to 10 page papers for work when traveling. On the tablet keyboard, I constantly make errors and I struggle to type a short email. The cursor jumps around and I look up and have typed on the wrong line. I've had it replaced and checked and supposedly it works fine but I hate it.

I had decided to buy another netbook when I need to replace this one but I guess I can't now.

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Response to cally (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:48 PM

49. This is the one I have

I love it. Plus there is drag typing on the pad when it's by itself. You don't have to lift your finger, but I find a stylus to be quicker and it munges up the screen less.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:08 PM

53. Thanks. Mine is an earlier version, I think

It's good to know that yours works better.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:11 PM

6. You can use a wireless keyboard with an ipad

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:15 PM

10. Maybe a mini-keyboard would be better but that's still two devices to lug around instead of one.

I'm not afraid to change on a dime but I don't see that tablets can actively replace netbooks.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:19 PM

16. I use mine all the time with no problem

for media consumption, emails, web browsing etc. Typings just slightly slower than a real keyboard for me.

I still need a real laptop for productivity for my work though (graphic designer)

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:50 PM

50. I use my keyboard at home

but when I'm out I just use the screen keyboard. It works well enough.

I had a netbook before this and didn't like the size of the screen.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:45 PM

55. They typically snap on magnetically & clamshell.

Still slightly awkward in that you have to unclip the keyboard to hold the device as a tablet for reading in bed, etc. but then, you can't ever hold a netbook like a tablet.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:19 PM

17. You can get a keyboard for your iPad.

Some of them are set up as a combination case/keyboard - you have a nice case for your iPad, then you flip it open, and the cover's a keyboard.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:27 PM

23. A two-piece device that snaps into one is a better option.

And since I dislike Microsoft 8, maybe that or the Asus TF700 mentioned above is the way to go.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:19 PM

44. The Zaggfolio for iPad would also allow you to carry it in a single piece

The zaggfolio serves as both a case and a keyboard for the iPad and would allow you to carry it as a single piece if that is important to you. The Asus Transformer is also a good device, overall iPads are better but Androids have certain advantages as well including a lower price. It all depends on what you are going to use it for, if you want the slickest interface and the best apps you should go with iPad, the big downside with Apple products however is they are totally locked down and unless you jailbreak your device and void your warranty in the process your customization options are limited plus the lack of a USB port and replacable battery are totally inexcusable. Android devices are generally more open to customization so if that is important to you go with an Android tablet. The new Windows Tablets are extremely promising as they have the ability to run PC software, but I have not used one yet so I don't know how well they run PC software in comparision to a modern laptop.

Don't worry too much about the keyboard however, there are several tablets out there that will allow you to add a keyboard and if you need it as a single piece you can probably find a device to accomodate that.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:00 PM

46. I write novels and do stats on my ipad.

They're pretty powerful. I do use a keyboard case, but not always. (I'm using the screen board now, and I'm a little slower, but not much.) I find the screen keyboard is much better for editing than composing because it does make me slow down.

The big draw for me is being able to put a couple pounds in my bag, bike away from a signal, and get work done. I did it a few times with my laptop, but the combination of weight and heat and battery made it much less practical.

I would be using an android tab (we have an Asus EEE, too) except I really, really like Pages as my working interface.

I have 150k word novels and 30,000 line data sets on this. Yes, I use big iron (as in big iron servers) for larger data sets but I'd be doing that anyway and connecting via terminal.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:05 PM

2. I'm still not going to

waste money on a pad.

Lookie, a new toy for you to buy

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018270506

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:07 PM

5. The problem with netbooks was no optical drive.

Couldn't watch a DVD or play a CD or even install software that came on a disk.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:26 PM

22. When I got mine, I got an external DVD drive for it.

I usually don't need to play DVD movies, and when I want to watch movies, I tend to have them stored on the hard disk.

But when I do need an optical drive, I've got one.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:31 PM

24. But it goes back to that toting extras around with you.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:15 PM

32. There's always a little bit of that.

At minimum, you'll probably want to be bringing the power cord and adapter along - while my netbook has decent battery life, it's not infinite.

Then if you get sick of palm-brushing the touchpad, you might want to bring a mouse along - Bluetooth or otherwise.

If the internal hard disk isn't big enough, and you haven't gotten around to upgrading it, then there's thumb drives, external hard drives & the like.

If you want to watch movies or listen to music, you might want to bring headphones.

I just habitually keep my netbook and its gadgets in a backpack specifically so it's more convenient to carry the accessories.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:07 PM

31. Alot of ultraboos and alot of the new Macbooks have done away with opticals.

 

Opticals are slowly going away. Everything will be solid state eventually.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:13 PM

7. i like my netbook and my iPad

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:06 PM

52. I love my netbook and my iPad-- I look at them as different tools.

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Response to Rectangle (Reply #52)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:17 AM

56. exactly....

one's a hammer and the other is the large pliers I sometimes use as a hammer.....

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:13 PM

8. trends in the consumer computing market baffle me...

...unless the primary driver of sales is media delivery and such. Games? What?

I've been disappointed and underwhelmed by all the tablets I've looked at. I love the tablet size and overall design-- I've lusted after a real tablet computer for years.

But the key phrase in that statement is "a real computer." I almost never use my computer for media (except for the dedicated VIA machine that I use solely as a home music server), and I haven't played a game on a computer in decades. I use computers for, well, computing-- communicating, writing, thinking, number crunching, etc. I need my computer to provide a decent office platform-- word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software mostly. I also do a fair amount of data analysis, modeling, and numerical processing, so I need to run analysis environments like R and Mathematica. And some software development in a small variety of languages, so an editor and some compiler/debugger IDEs. Also some CG rendering and graphics, and image processing.

I'm not aware of any tablet platform that even comes close to meeting my computing needs. Yet I read more and more frequently that desktop computers are dinosaurs destined for extinction, and laptops and netbooks are being supplanted by tablets that don't provide the same depth of functionality. Does no one use their computers for computing any more?

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:18 PM

11. I'm with you on all that. I don't get it, either.

I can keep up with the changes better than most but netbooks still have real world uses, IMO.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:24 PM

12. they baffle me too, but...

but at least some of your bafflement is unwarranted. It sounds like you simply aren't the right customer for tablets, etc. It sounds like a construction worker saying "I don't get the fuss about electric cars. How am I supposed to haul lumber on a Prius?"

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Response to Enrique (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:34 PM

13. in a fully networked environment today's tablets might work for me...

...simply as portable interfaces to machines that do the actual heavy lifting, but as you say, somewhere in that computing chain there needs to be a truck.

The part that baffles me is that my experience seems to be unusual, i.e. the computer market seems to be moving away from machines that do real computing in favor of machines that are optimized for running a browser and serving up sit-coms on Hulu, presumably because that's what people most want to buy.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:59 PM

14. Pretty much any gaming computer is going to be powerful enough to do a lot of computing

I don't think gaming computers are going away any time soon, even though they are a niche market it's a fairly substantial niche that demands a great deal of processor power both on the motherboard and on the graphics cards.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:15 PM

15. ah-ha!

You're right of course-- high end gaming graphics are so demanding that GPU clusters are routinely used for supercomputing, so all those predictions about the demise of the desktop computer are likely premature.

Still, I do wish someone would build a tablet that does most of what I use computers for.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:34 PM

25. Better off to network the tablet to a desktop somewhere via VPN

For both systems you have to figure economies of scale in the production, there really are more people that just want to chat, browse, video and so forth than there are who want to do heavy computing, it's an inevitable result of computers becoming an appliance.

Let the tablet do what it's good at, connecting via a network to something serving it content and use the network to connect to the heavy duty box that does the heavy lifting. Optimize both systems for the job they are doing and you'll get a lot more bang for the buck on the heavy duty end.

Computers are cheap these days and even free wifi networking isn't hard to come by a lot of places, paid networking via cell service is available at a lot more.

Trying to cram even a light gaming rig into a tablet would be quite an engineering challenge I would think.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:04 PM

47. Heat is the problem

"You can't put in a bigger motor than the radiator can handle. "

Even laptops today are fan cooled. And that is with the 45W mobile processor. Desktop Processors run at 130W.
The Ipad supposedly has a 10 Watt-hr battery. Just running a laptop processor at full power would drain it completely in less than 15 minutes. And without fan cooling it would quickly become too hot to handle. There is not much more surface area than a 45w incandescent bulb.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:26 PM

21. I just had a gaming laptop custom built to produce music and video.

Wheee....

Tablet? You mean a computer with much of its user-moddable stuff disabled or difficult to access?

You'll take my laptop from my cold, dead hand.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:21 PM

18. I use my netbook for internet, word processing (lil bit), simple spreadsheets... nothing else.

desktop at work is for computing.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:36 PM

27. Look at the 'extinction' of the supercomputer and mainframes

Today, they still exist, but are rare filling niche needs. Similar to yours. I have an ASUS TF700 running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) which would be a terrific presentation platform if projectors would accept HDMI (well, those will be along real soon) The rendering, graphics and image processing power is there (most games are rendered in real time and an argument could be made that that is real computing), but apps like photoshop aren't quite there yet but the hardware itself is very capable.

Hmmm, maybe I should port Xwindows and ssh to Android then you could ssh to a real computer, lol.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:39 PM

28. I do.

Tablets look like fun toys, but that's about it. I do have a Kindle Fire; probably as close to a tablet as I'll get. It is useful as an alternative to lugging ten pounds of books on holiday.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:24 PM

38. My guess on the people making these broad statements about tablets

supplanting desktops computers is that they've never set foot inside of an engineering or science-research office. For that matter, they've never seen the offices of your average municipal GIS center, either.

So, where exactly in that tablet "computer" do I plug in my dual 24" monitors again? Sure, you can get add-ons, but by the time you've overburdened that portable device with everything you need for doing decent engineering or GIS design work, you'd have saved money just getting a custom-built desktop computer.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:22 PM

19. I'm using one of the last of Acer's netbooks.

It had the virtue of being dirt cheap, very portable, and with a reasonably long battery life.

The downside is that its CPU is incredibly wimpy.

I have Lubuntu on it now, a variant of Ubuntu Linux that runs LXDE, a lightweight desktop environment, to keep resource consumption down to a dull roar. Works pretty well in this setup.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:36 PM

26. Going the way of earth shoes and biorhythms.

So sad.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:01 PM

29. When I start liking something, they stop making it. Story of my life.

I love my Hp Mini and will be upset that I can't replace it when it dies.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:02 PM

30. Man, I like my Acer netook. It's all I use.

 

Although it's very recent so it's actually pretty good. It's not some crappy Atom or AMD C-series processor with a shitty small screen. It's got a Celeron 877 (basically a neutered Core i3), 11.6" 1366x768 resolution and I put 4GB RAM and an SSD in it. The $100 in extra memory & SSD makes ALL the difference in the world. It's pretty quick running full Win7 Professional and, for $450 total, it's alot closer in components and performance to an ultrabook than a netbook.

WEI:
Processor 4.7
Memory (RAM) 5.9
Graphics 4.9
Gaming graphics 5.7
HDD transfer rate 7.9

Basically, ultrabooks killed netbooks. And they cost 2X as much - so manufacturers are happy get more money.

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Response to OneTenthofOnePercent (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:26 PM

34. Chromebooks are netbooks that start at $200 but but run Googles's Chrome operating system

 

To store anything major it needs to go on the cloud.

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Response to MightyMopar (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:13 PM

37. Shhhh...

You are disturbing the iPad conquers all narrative.

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Response to MightyMopar (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:19 PM

43. I don't think our infrastructure is all that ideal for full cloud computing

 

Alot of people need to access the full capabilities of their PC without ideal (or any) internet connections. I don't think a chromebook is a good substitute for a chromebook, or even a regular shitty netbook/tablet yet. It can be, in certain situations - but not all (yet).

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:24 PM

33. Not surprised, really. Netbooks have turned into notebooks...

bought my daughter an ACER Aspire about 18 months ago, 11" screen, 500GB hard drive, 4 meg RAM, C60 processor. Only thing it doesn't have is a DVD drawer. She gets 6+ hours on a battery charge. Price was ~$300.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:40 PM

40. That's pretty much what happened.

Part of their schtick was taken by tablets like the iPad.

But also, netbooks evolved to the point where they were little different from traditional notebook PCs.

When netbooks first came out, they were smaller, often ran netbook-specialized Linux distros, had very small storage and computing capabilities. Then they got a bit larger, started running Windows and before long, they were pretty much compact, low-end notebooks. Spend a small bit of extra money, and you've got an actual notebook.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #40)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:53 PM

41. The battery life was what drew me.

If you don't need resource intensive operations, having a battery that actually lasts near 7 hours is great. That's why I have 2 Asus EEEs.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:05 PM

35. ASUS Transformer

is as close to a netbook as far as any general consumer cares.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:12 PM

36. Tablets didn't destroy the netbook, netbooks destroyed the premium on thin and light

They brought a highly mobile form factor to a never before seen price-point. When me and my girlfriend started dating she was still clinging onto a Sony Vaio "Picturebook" that she bought in 2003 for $2800. She finally parted with it she replaced it with a $200 Acer.

"Thin and Light" starts at about $300 now, not $1500+

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:28 PM

39. "We love your asus."

Last edited Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:06 PM - Edit history (1)


www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=Xo8wRKpqAPI


I funny attempt to brand.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:04 PM

42. I have both a netbook and an iPad. Use 'em for different stuff.

And I probably use the netbook far more often, unless listening to pandora counts as 'computing.'

(And I still use my main laptop for anything serious.)

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:28 PM

45. You can get a laptop for not much more than a netbook

A decent laptop. Mine was a Toshiba I got on sale on $485, and it's been great for over a year, and gets a huge amount of use and abuse. And, that's a COMPUTER, not a netbook.

Nook and Kindle HD tablets are less than %300.

Look at smart phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III (which I have) and iPhones.

Where does the netbook fit in?

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:02 PM

51. I have an iPad that I mostly only use as a reader

and a Macbook Air 11" which is my constant companion. I still use my Macbook Pro, but it has essentially become a desktop machine in a docking station, connected to a 26" monitor, full Apple USB keyboard (wish Apple would make a BT keyboard with numerical pad), a BT Magic Trackpad, C-Pen, Fujitsu Scansnap, Canon laser AIO & miscellaneous other hardware.

My newest Windoze machine is a Lenovo Thinkpad running XP, which I use only for some specialized SW that doesn't come in a Mac version. I hate Parallels, Boot Camp & all that kinda dual-use SW, so I just keep the old Lenovo around.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:21 PM

54. Mine still works just fine

4 years old- still love it. When it goes, I will get an iPad I suppose but I am still lovin' my little Netbook!

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