Many have predicted the slow demise of netbooks due to the emergence of tablets, but Acer doesn't share that view. In fact, Forbes blogger Elizabeth Woyke got a rather catchy quotation about the subject from an Acer spokeswoman: "The death of netbooks is overstated. . . . We may not see the same explosive growth [in the category] as before, but the netbook price point is still killer."
Woyke also talked to Acer Senior Product Manager and Brand Manager Eric Ackerson, who noted, "Tablets have impacted overall netbook sales, but we're not stepping away from the [netbook] segment." Ackerson still sees room for netbook sales in the U.S. and abroad. Another Acer Product Manager, John Karabian, also pointed out that netbooks are inching toward the performance level of full-blown notebooks despite costing substantially less.
There is some truth to that last point. Intel's Atom processors might not be climbing up the performance ladder all that quickly, but AMD Fusion APUs are another story. Acer's own Aspire One 522 netbook, which we reviewed in February, delivers a solid mix of CPU and graphics performance thanks to the AMD C-50 chip inside—and it only costs $329.99, which is a good $170 cheaper than the iPad. The iPad doesn't have a physical keyboard, touchpad, and 720p display, either.