TR survey results shed light on netbook buying patterns


— 3:37 PM on February 3, 2009

Our netbook survey has been up for a week now, and since the vote counter doesn't seem to be going up much further, we thought we'd share the results with you.

Almost 1300 folks responded to the first question, with 42% of them saying they owned a netbook, purchased a netbook, or helped purchase a netbook some time in the past year. We got fewer votes for the other questions—625 to around 750—but the results nonetheless paint an interesting picture of netbook users.

67% of respondents said they bought the netbook for themselves, and 79% said the netbook's primary user is male.  Notably, that means nearly of third of respondents helped others acquire netbooks, and quite a few of those people were female.

The vast majority of users—69%—rely on the device primarily for web browsing and communications, while a 14% use it mainly for word processing. Only a handful of people use their netbooks primarily for other tasks, like gaming or watching videos.

In our last two questions, we first asked voters for the most important attribute they considered when making their initial choice, and then we asked what they'd prioritize in their next purchase. While only 6% were concerned about display resolution at first, 12% think it'll matter most next time. The same goes for performance: only 8% based their initial netbook pick on horsepower, but 27% say they'll prioritize either CPU or GPU performance for their next purchase.

Paradoxically, respondents seemed to worry less about the keyboard, for future purchases, than they did before buying (or helping someone buy) a netbook. The number-one concern was clearly battery life, though, both for past purchases (36%) and future ones (31%).

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