Acer, Asus to pull out of netbook market

The death knell may be sounding for netbooks. According to a recent story by DigiTimes, two heavyweights of the netbook world, Acer and Asus, both plan to phase out their existing product lines and pull out of the market. In the site’s words:

Asustek is already set to halt its Eee PC product line and officially phase out from the IT industry after completely digesting any remaining inventory. As for Acer, so far, the company has not yet made any plans to open new netbook projects, indicating that the vendor may also plan to step out of the market.

The site attributes the news to "sources from netbook players," but it says Asus CEO Jerry Shen has officially confirmed his firm’s plans. Reportedly, Asus will use its Transformer tablets fill the void left by 10" netbooks.

Transformers aren’t quite as cheap as low-end Eee PCs, though. The most affordable Asus tablet on Newegg right now is the Transformer Pad TF300T, which costs $379 without a keyboard. Throw in the detachable keyboard accessory, and you’re in for another $134. Total cost: $513—substantially more than the sub-$300 price tags on cheaper Eee PCs.

As DigiTimes points out, Windows 8’s impending arrival might be forcing the hand of some manufacturers. Windows 8 doesn’t support the 1024×600 panel size popular among 8.9" and 10.1" netbooks, and I haven’t heard of a low-cost Windows 8 edition comparable to Windows 7 Starter. Consequently, DigiTimes says shipments of Intel’s N- and D-series Atom processors (which target netbooks and nettops, respectively) are expected to decline by nearly 50% next quarter.

Comments closed
    • christos_thski
    • 7 years ago

    Well, netbooks were supposed to be simple portable computers meant for everyday tasks, and the Atom CPUs made them chug, stumble, and pant even at that. You can’t seriously expect systems that can’t adequately load facebook and youtube (as well as most even moderately heavy websites, at that) keep selling in the market, can you?

    • kitsura
    • 7 years ago

    An eulogy to my Eeepc 901.

    While people were looking for the next fast and powerful desktop replacement notebook, all I wanted was something portable and with long battery life to use on my frequent (monthly) international travels. When Asus released the original Eeepc 700 series I couldn’t get used to the tiny display and with the small storage size and linux OS I didn’t get excited. Then the Eeepc 900 series came out with a slightly bigger display and SSD and a WinXP version so I immediately jumped in and bought it.

    It wasn’t lightning fast but served my purposes of making hotel reservations and looking up google maps. The long battery life also helped with notetaking when I attended seminars. Over the years I upgraded the SSD to a larger capacity and even though it didn’t have trim support, reinstalling WinXP every 3-4 months is not really that big a deal.

    It has served me faithfully these 3 years and I still am using it as my primary computing device when I travel (i did not fall prey to the touchscreen tablet hype). I will continue using my trusty Eeepc 901 until they pry it from my cold dead hands.

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      Ditto. I dropped a 32 GB SSD, 2 GB of RAM, and Windows 7 on mine. Works perfectly for everything on the road.

    • prestonfaiks
    • 7 years ago

    Are 11.6″ laptops considered “netbooks”.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      If you look at the 10″ model, they have a large border around the LCD screen.
      Acer in their 11″ model use a very thin bezel.

      Their 11″ model are also very thin and light, often lighter then 10″ models.

      For me, 13″ is when you cross the line. But I seen 15″ ‘laptops” with netbook processors…

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Yes.

      My netbook has 16GB RAM, an SSD and a 2GB Kepler GPU. I refuse to call it a laptop because it’s [i<]just so cute[/i<] when it's that small.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Seems kinda obvious. They’re going to keep pushing those prices down on the tablets and that’ll give people back most of what they want from a netbook plus giving them a tablet to boot.

    The biggest problem imho is that the cheaper variants that are around the price we’re used to for netbooks will probably be ARM-based, which has its own share of problems for the end user.

    • ZGradt
    • 7 years ago

    It’s a shame. I still like my little Aspire. It’s surprisingly capable for most things I do other than gaming, and even then, it runs emulators reasonably well. I love the price and portability. And the battery life is amazing.

    I don’t really see the allure of expensive ultrabooks or tablets. For the consumer at least. I’m sure the corporations love their fat profit margins.

    • Derfer
    • 7 years ago

    Asus: first ones in and first ones out.

    While I’m sure windows 8 plays a roll it’s really a load of BS because potential netbook customers have been begging for a resolution bump for years, something we know they’ve always been able to do, but just refused to. These manufacturers have only their own rigidity to blame for the death of netbooks.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Its a market that was not well defined.

      Now we see that 60% of people interested in netbook where just to consume media (mainly web stuff) and tablets better fit this need. Those customers are gone forever

      10% got netbook because of the price, but now its easy to find laptop ~$300, gone forever
      10% because of the portability, but they now go with ultrabook (mac book air), gone forever

      So we are left with 20% (BTW, I stole those number from a UBI soft presentation)
      that really want cheap portable laptops (11″ max).

      Low margin at low volume == death

      But you can still get a great little machine for $250 (Aspire One 722 C60, 4GIG ram, large HD, 1366×768 screen, etc.. super easy to upgrade), next step up is $800 for an 11″ ultra book (much nicer quality) or $1000 macbook air.

      Thats a HUGE gap for 11″ model…. the industry was sleeping ta the wheel. I miss Sony 🙁

      Actually if you look back, nobody been driving this thing.
      Only Apple seem to have been in any form of control of the market in the past 5 years.

      HP and DELL are dead, just front end for some Taiwanese manufacturers.
      Innovation of the year the “Purple PCB”…

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    They make for good currency, anyway. My best friend’s girl gave me hers as payment for helping her spec out a new laptop (a REAL laptop) before she went overseas. Her Vaio netbook wasn’t cutting it at all. Of course, she bought it because it was “cute,” not because she actually looked at the specs to make sure it was what she needed. But as a small internet reader with a keyboard, it does at least have a purpose.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Maybe what this will end up really meaning is that the label “netbook” will be killed, because it has become associated with POS underpowered computers with crummy screens.

    Perhaps somebody will come out with small laptops with better hardware that costs just a little more. That wouldn’t be so bad.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      This pretty much nails it.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    I remember some people criticizing Apple on how they didn’t have a netbook option available a few years ago. How the times have quickly changed.

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    The first netbook (for me) was the Sony Picturebook. Great little system except for the use of Windows ME. I still have it in a box someplace, probably has XP on it now but some stuff like the built in camera and the battery features don’t work correctly outside of ME.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Kinda silly how many people are saying how awesome it is that netbooks are on the decline, who also probably advocate buying tablets. Netbooks filled the role of a cheap computer for people without a lot of money. They filled that niche well and anyone could have a working computer for relatively little money.

    Now you’re locked into buying a relatively gimmicky tablet in this same price range so your favorite OS maker can nickel and dime you off their app store, while still not being able to do everything you could with a full fledged computer.

    This is regression, not progress.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      You’ve been posting a lot of rational posts recently. High five, brother

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        You’re going to get caught in the wake of negative votes if you follow me SSK.

          • Squeazle
          • 7 years ago

          …I don’t think it’s the wake he has to worry about.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Your ellipsis is on the wrong end. 😛

            • Squeazle
            • 7 years ago

            You can put them where ever you want actually. They’re pretty unique in that they are a spoken convention which is directly translated into the written word.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah you can, but that doesn’t make it sound natural. A ellipsis on the front would denote that the idea was already present and you’re simply finishing it up, but the sentence itself requires a bit of comprehension and thinking to figure out.

            You can simply read it with the ellipsis on the front and then read it again with the ellipsis on the end. One way feels more natural then the other.

      • WillBach
      • 7 years ago

      I think this has just as much to do with the falling prices and expanding battery life of “mainstream” laptops than as the “death” of netbooks. Probably it has mostly to do with the profit margins when making such price-sensitive products. If you define netbook as “Atom inside” then they’re being displaced by Brazos. If you define netbook as “super cheap” they’re being displaced by brazos, Celeron, and smartphones. You can get a [url=http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/<]Chromebook[/url<] for [url=http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebook-samsung-series5.html<]$349[/url<] or [url=http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebook-samsung-550.html<]$449[/url<] with a "big core" processor. To be honest, these Chromebook are more functional than the first Eee PC that my wife saved up for and bought when she was a starving student. I still see labor day sales of netbooks for $293.99 on HP's website with Windows 7 Starter, but a Brazos system with Windows 7 Home (64-bit!) is just $410.39. If you get a Windows refund, that's almost the same price as the original (Linux) netbooks.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Battery life could be a contributing factor, but I wouldn’t put all my marbles in that bag.

        Indeed this is an extremely price sensitive niche. Even if you can get a better product for $450, that’s outside the price range of people that would be buying a netbook in the first place. A Chromebook doesn’t run Windows, which is very important to most users.

        MS is doing their best to kill off this niche as other users have noted. Removing starter editions of Windows and pushing the tablet centric version of their OS is doing a number on this.

          • WillBach
          • 7 years ago

          I MS killing off starter editions? If that’s the case it’s really bad. That said, the original netbooks were mostly Linux, and Ubuntu is trying to expand to sell more netbooks and notebooks in retail with Ubuntu preinstalled. If MS does kill starter editions, raise the price of Windows, and enter the OEM market that may be the perfect storm to get Linux / Chrome (a flavor of Linux, really) into the retail channel from major OEMs. Hell, maybe even WebOS…

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            People want Windows. They want something familiar, they want something that runs all their apps. They don’t intend on finding open source alternatives or recompiling their kernel to fix driver problems.

            And Nix in all its variations isn’t going out of its way to make itself compatible with Windows programs, so the cycle continues.

      • deathBOB
      • 7 years ago

      Oh the horror of paying for software!

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        The horror of having all your disposable income sucked away by microtransactions!

      • paulWTAMU
      • 7 years ago

      True, but they’ve been stagnating for years now. I still like the idea but they haven’t improved in what, 5-6 years?

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      They [b<]didn't[/b<] fill the niche well, hence the decline.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        You’re right, they did’t fill the niche, they practically created it if you count price as part of the niche.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Yes… and the decline may be attributed to other factors…

          This is what we call a false dichotomy.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Good point. I have another thing to add. Netbooks not only allow more folks to be able to afford full-fledged computers, but it’s also a big plus for folks who don’t wanna lug a big laptop around. My wife easily gets tired carrying a 14.1″ laptop around, so I got her a netbook which is much lighter. Perhaps those ultrabooks can be as light as today’s netbooks, but I don’t think they’ll ever get as cheap.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      Great points.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      Both should be on the decline.

        • Malphas
        • 7 years ago

        Why?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I do have to ask: are they the same people? I mean, there’s a crowd from 2007 that advocated netbooks, and I thought they were cute toys to be sure (and I do use one on very rare occasion), and there are people who advocate tablets, but I don’t know for sure how much those groups overlap.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        There will always be people that want neat gadgets and gizmos, but there are most definitely people buying netbooks because they wanted a portable computer or they simply wanted a computer.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Way to just ignore the question and say…whatever else.

    • raddude9
    • 7 years ago

    Well done Microsoft and Intel, you have both successfully conspired to keep people who do not have much money from owning a useful computer.

    Microsoft gave us a cheap Windows 7 Starter edition but:
    * Limited the cheap edition to 2GB of RAM but only allowed machines with it to be shipped with 1GB of Ram.
    * Limited the Hard Drive to 250GB max.

    Intel gave us the cheap Atom chip but:
    * Put lousy graphics on it and prevented the use of alternative GPUs.
    * Gave Atom based machines a 1024×600 resolution restriction.

    Nice work guys, those 4 restrictions all added up to a terrible experience. Well done protecting your high margins.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 7 years ago

      I doubt MS and Intel are in the driver’s seat here.

        • raddude9
        • 7 years ago

        Doubt away, but a Netbook with 2GB of RAM, decent graphics and a 1280×720 screen should only cost at most $50 more and give you a far better experience.
        Now, Joe public has come to the belief that all 10inch machines are crap (which is why they are unpopular), whereas they didn’t have to be.

      • jokinin
      • 7 years ago

      That’s why i got a laptop with a dual core based Zacate (E-350), with decent integrated graphics, 3GB of RAM , 320GB HDD and 11.6″ screen.
      It’s not super powerful, but it is shipped with W7 Home Premium, it’s a perfectly usable portable system, yet with low weight and long battery life. I don’t know if you can call that a “netbook” though.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        I bought my sister a bobcat (it came from Lenovo, not the mixed woodlands of North America) and it was epic:

        [list<][*<]Home Premium instead of Starter[/*<][*<]500GB disk[/*<][*<]RadeonHD that actually worked[/*<][*<]1366x768 (doesn't sound like much but it's close to double the number of pixels)[/*<][/list<] Unsurprisingly, it's pink and she calls it Bob; Girls don't often name things that they don't really like.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          That last part explains something for me that I never understood.

    • I.S.T.
    • 7 years ago

    I hope netbooks don’t die altogether. There’s a definite use for cheap as hell Windows machines.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I think bobcat-powered netbooks are great – ultraportables without the premium pricetag.

    Atom-powered netbooks were stillborn and have been of limited use ever since youtube went HD and Adobe put GPU acceleration into Flash.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    Not to mention the transformer doesn’t run x86. That alone is a deal breaker for me.

    While acer and asus made a couple of decent netbooks each, there is a ton of room to improve on them. Maybe giving smaller manufacturers a chance isn’t such a bad thing. I never understood the never ending release of netbooks that were all almost identical.

    What I really want for the next release of AMDs netbook processor is a quality netbook. Good screen, good durability, good cooling, etc. I love the size and weight of netbooks, but, perhaps based on good business reasons, though perhaps not, manufacturers have decided that they have to be really cheap.

    • cjb110
    • 7 years ago

    tbh there are pretty decent laptops for the $400 mark though, which are far more useful than the crippled netbooks.

    Plus there’s more variation in the models, netbooks ended up being too similar.

    My Dell running OSX was excellent though…not as useful/useable as my Nexus 7 when being used for the same tasks though!

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Its like saying “Why does Apple bother making an 11″ macbook air when they already sell macbooks pros”

      The form factor is important, thats why we see this push toward thin and light.
      But untill we see them reach the $250 mark, and the netbooks at been killed off…
      Their is a huge gap in mobile computing.

      Note: Acer didn’t say they would quite the netbook market, just no model updates.
      Most likely because their is no chip from Intel of AMD to warrant any ?

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    I still use my MSI u100 Wind… only for desperate measures or when the itch for some Raiden II or Contra or something irks me too much and I SOMEHOW haven’t charged my DSi.

    • bfar
    • 7 years ago

    Prevalent industry arrogance is what sealed their fate back in 2007, along with a total misunderstanding of what customers were actually looking for.

    Intel built a sluggish hot mobile cpu with cripplingly poor gpu power. MS built a bloated resource heavy and totally unsuitable OS (Vista). The OEMs surrounded all that with cheap plastic, lousy screens and cheap keyboards. The first Netbooks (and many contemporary laptops) ran like dogs, and they were a pain in the ass to use.

    I have an Acer Aspire One with Ubuntu and it still runs like a Lada. Absolutely horrible.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      My Aspire One runs Windows7 & Chrome really well.

      Google Earth on that machine creams any tablets. side by side, an ipad3 is destroyed.
      Not only in raw performance and usability, but also features.

      Office also run flawlessly. Even games like league of legends are smooth.

      Its not a speed demon, but there is little to complain about for a highly mobile windows machine.

      The issue is that people buy netbook without looking at the spec.
      Its like buying a $299 desktop computer and slamming it down because Battle Field3 run like crap.
      And conclude “Desktop computers are absolutely horrible”

      I guess the fault is also the manufacturer not labeling the right usage for a given model.
      Maybe the netbook market needed a label “This is not to watch HD porn or play Crysis.. move along”

    • Prion
    • 7 years ago

    > Windows 8 doesn’t support the 1024×600 panel size

    I must have missed this. What are the limitations on resolution and aspect ratio for Win8 going to be?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      1366×768 is the minimum according to Wikipedia, for touch screens at least. And they require 5-point touch for full support. That doesn’t mean desktops can’t run it with less, but I have a feeling 768 pixels high is the big requirement.

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        Damnit my monitor only has zero-point touch!

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Mine too, yet somehow I manage.

        • continuum
        • 7 years ago

        Considering how anemic 600 vertical pixels was a few years ago when netbooks were first introduced, I am happy to see such panels die!

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Hear, hear! This man (man? woman?) speaks truth!

      • C10 250
      • 7 years ago

      When I installed the consumer preview on a netbook, the desktop side worked great, however, the the metro apps prompted that they require a minimum of 1024×768.

    • siberx
    • 7 years ago

    And good riddance.

    The limitations imposed by the <=10″ form factor and low price were simply too many to produce a compelling computing platform. Cramped keyboards, cramped touchpads, weak processors and small screens – they’re simply not enjoyable or effective to use.

    The simplifications (and technological advances) associated with the current tablet form factors allow manufacturers to produce a somewhat effective computing platform for an almost-reasonable price (these things should all be sub-$300, really) *if* you must have computing in a 10″ or less form factor. I still maintain though that a well-built 12″ ultraportable (or, I guess, a 13″ ultrabook these days) is a very effective compact computing platform with few compromises. Will you pay more than you would’ve for a netbook? Absolutely. If you’re that price-conscious you shouldn’t be looking at computer form factors this small – get a kindle fire or a 15″ generic piece of junk notebook.

      • obarthelemy
      • 7 years ago

      I’m very happy with my $150-200 netbooks. One I mess around with, the other is my home/torrent/FTP/NAS/… server (couldn’t find anything smaller or cheaper, even in a desktop form factor), and gets taken out on weekends and hollidays, minus its external 4GBs, for its 1TB HD full of fun stuff, and its Office+Keyboard.

      A tablet has nowhere near the functionality, not as a desktop and even less as a server, and costs several times the price.

      More expensive and bulky laptops are… more expensive and bulky. I don’t need that.

      I’ve offered Netbooks to a few relatives. They use them more than I thought, ie not only on holiday and in transports but at home by the pool, on the sofa. Those who also have a tablet use the netbooks less, but still do.

        • Firestarter
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]and costs several times the price[/quote<] Not if it's a Nexus 7

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      12 inches is freakin huge to me. I never want to ever see another 12 inch laptop ever again. May my 13inch high end laptop collect dust forever.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 7 years ago

        I’ll take it!

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        LOL, I have a 17″ Asus laptop, so I know how you feel. It’s like dragging around a drive-in movie screen!

        I love it though and wouldn’t want to give it up…however, I do use the iPad a lot more. A lot…like every day.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    $250 for a C60, 250GB, 4GIG Ram, 11″ 1366×768 resolution, 64bit Windows7 (a.k.a windows9)
    HDMI out, multi format sdcard, ***keyboard***
    One screw to access sata and memory for upgrade (installed a 90GB SSD) Total cost $340

    What windows 8 tablet with that much power will cost $250 with a ‘detachable’ keyboard.

    ALL the tablets to dates are lame toys.

    Only choice now is Apple with their 11″ macbook air.. a much nicer build, but 4x the price.
    + the time to install windows7 pro

    Edit: 249$ at target [url<]http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NU.SGPAA.003[/url<]

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      There’s a number of options between your Acer unit and the MBA. For instance, I own a HP DM1 which has similar specs as your Acer but with a Core i3. It’s running Mint 13 and MATE wonderfully. Not to mention literally dozens of other models that fall in the $400 to $700 price range that are small and light. You make sacrifices like screen quality or the inclusion of an SSD but overall I haven’t felt any need to upgrade over my DM1. The DM1 has 3 USB ports, HDMI and VGA, great speakers for the size, and a bottom panel that slides off and gives access to all the innards. In terms of value I’ve never owned a better laptop.

      There was an DM1 model with an AMD E-450 at the time I bought mine for about $50~$75 less (depended on the day, I watched the prices for awhile before jumping). I wanted the extra CPU and have no need for more graphics capability in a laptop than watching HD videos (which the DM1 does easily).

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        I was looking at this model a while back and I thought HP was going to phase them out ?

        So netbook are gone truely gone, we have $400 option like the dm1 serie, then $800 for 11″ ultrabook,
        and $1000 for mabook air.

        For people that can tolerate windows8 : ~800 for a tablet + dock ?

        My take… Acer is NOT going to phase out its netbook line.
        So <$300 64bit windows7 ‘laptops’ are still going to be available for some time 🙂

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      A tablet will still be substantially thinner, lighter, much better built, have a better screen, and will almost certainly provide a better user experience. The netbook offers a keyboard and the ability to run legacy windows applications.

      ….I think there’s a good reason the tablet killed the netbook for most people.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Have you seen legacy application like google earth running on a netbook VS the app version on ipad3?

        This just destroyed all your arguments.

        Yes, of course tablet killed the netbook, because the majority of netbook users didn’t need a portable computer. This is what Apple saw and capitalized on while the PC industry was asleep at the wheel.

        But people that need a portable computer have no use of a tablet.

        The issue is that netbook (cheap, small, portable, run ‘everything’) computer are being phased out.
        The alternative are either costly or large. And no, tablets are not an alternative.
        Windows8 x86 possibly, but so far this look to be $800 options.

        Anyways, I’m always baffled when people find it cool to have less product to choose from…
        and pay way more for less…

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          You’re missing a key point – with a tablet you’re not paying more for less, you’re paying about the same for a different feature set and user model. And it’s one that appeals to more people, which is why crappy Aton based netbooks as we know them are dead or dying.

          Secondly I’m not sure how Google Earth – which runs fine on both platforms – ‘destroyed’ my argument. I’ve never used it, and I suspect neither have most people, so how it uniquely dominates all rubrics of value in the global portable computer market remains a mystery to me.

          Lastly, small cheap laptops aren’t dead. Have you looked into the Lenovo x130/x131e? Or the HP DM1? They’re not super cheap like the barest bones netbooks are, but they’re also legitimately nice computers (at least the x120e was, I can’t speak for the DM1 personally). I’ve seen them both on sale for closer to $300. I do agree that fewer options are rarely a good thing, but I had a second gen MSI U100 netbook and it was easily the worst tech purchase I’ve ever made, so the crap netbook is not a product whose passing I would miss in the slightest.

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      While you may be getting downvoted, I am in total agreement with you. Tablets are worthless to me.

      • rootheday3
      • 7 years ago

      Or, for an Intel alternative: [url<]http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/aspireone756[/url<] Sandybridge based Pentium will be way faster than AMD C60 on CPU tasks and in the same ballpark for graphics performance for ~$30 more.

      • ZGradt
      • 7 years ago

      Note that the Target one only has 2 gigs of RAM. Still plenty IMO.

      • designerfx
      • 7 years ago

      Apple isn’t a choice, it’s a bad decision. At least be honest.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        At least admit that the 11″ macbook air is a nice piece of HW…
        possibly the best 11″ computer on the market ?

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          I’d way rather have an Alienware M11x than a MacBook Air, so no, I won’t concede that point. Nice piece of hardware? Sure, minus the Intel graphics.

    • Malphas
    • 7 years ago

    They’ve been saying the netbook market is dead for years now, yet there’s still demand for them. I can’t see Ultrabooks and tablet-hybrids supplanting them entirely just yet.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 7 years ago

    AMD’s C- and E- based ‘books seem to be doing ok. as weak as the atoms, but come in 11-17 inch screen sizes. and mostly importantly, it’s cheap.

      • forumics
      • 7 years ago

      they feel a whole lot more powerful than the atoms too. i don’t remember feeling dreaded and frustrated on my amd netbook ever!

    • OU812
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]The most affordable Asus tablet on Newegg right now is the Transformer Pad TF300T[/quote<] Actually that would be the Google Asus Nexus 7 at $199. I know it's not on Newegg but is available at Staples and online elsewhere. [url<]http://www.google.com/nexus/#/7/specs[/url<] The Nexus 7 has much better screen resolution (1280x800 HD display (216 ppi)) than any of the Netbooks, a better processor, and many many sensors. See above link for complete specs. My experience with a Netbook was a slow single core Atom that had Intel integrated graphics and the first time I tried to view a YouTube video I remember it as a series of slides (1-2 fps) instead of an actual video. I got rid of the netbook and replaced it with an used core solo u1300 Gateway 12" notebook with Windows 7 that weights 3 lbs and cost me $160 on eBay. That system had met my needs until the Nexus 7 which now has replaced it.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 7 years ago

      Keywords in the passage you quoted: [b<]on Newegg[/b<]. The Nexus 7 isn't sold on Newegg.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    I actually kinda liked ’em. I bought a 7″ Eee before I went travelling for half a year and I more or less taught myself the fundamentals of *nix on it.

    It was absolutely crap for media consumption and only passable for the web but it was fantastic to tinker with.

    I pulled it out the cupboard a few weeks ago and was shocked how far we’ve come in 5 years!

      • OU812
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]It was absolutely crap for media consumption and only passable for the web[/quote<] My experience exactly and the reason I got rid of mine first chance I got.

        • Narishma
        • 7 years ago

        Depends on what kind of media you’re consuming. My netbook works fine fine for my MP3s and DVDs. And emulators up to PS1 and N64.

          • pedro
          • 7 years ago

          I was rocking the original EeePC. That definitely wasn’t doing DVDs. Granted, about a year later they could, but this was an extremely anaemic machine.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Its not a netbook issue.

        I watched parts of the olympics in full HD in the garden on wireless via windows Media Center on my netbook.

        And its funny how much faster this netbook is compared to a ipad3.

        If you guys think netbooks are slow, wait until you use those ARM tablets.

    • codedivine
    • 7 years ago

    I am rather sad to see netbooks go. For productivity, you are STILL better off with netbooks. You can run MS Office or LibreOffice, and a huge variety of Windows software works just fine on netbooks. Or you can just load up your favourite Linux distro. As a developer, it is fun to able to quickly write/edit programs from a netbook. Sure, you won’t be doing heavy image editing or much gaming on netbooks, but for other tasks they have worked just fine.

    For productivity, I just don’t see tablets being competitive with netbooks, at least not with state of the software on tablets today. It is also sad to see tablet makers overcharge for their keyboard docks ($99, $149 and so on) when they probably cost them like $50 or less to make the keyboards.

    I think Intel and MS killed netbooks, and if the iPad is eating both their lunches now, they only have themselves to blame. Intel never put its heart into improving Atoms where the ARM competition has improved by leaps and bounds in the same time. Intel also paired them with poor graphics chipsets that struggled with even playing video. MS (or maybe Intel?) also put a lot of restrictions on hardware. I was fortunate enough to buy a 10” 1366×768 netbook,but most of them seem to have restricted to 1024×600 screens with poor quality.

    OEMs also did their part by not innovating much with netbooks, especially in the last few years. Never did see a netbook with an IPS screen though they have been standard on tablets since the first iPad. Netbooks became a commodity with cut-throat margins because the OEMs chose to make them commodities.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<] Intel also paired them with poor graphics chipsets that struggled with even playing video.[/quote<] Ya, once intel blocked out the ion chipsets, the appeal of netbooks dropped drastically.

      • JoJoBoy
      • 7 years ago

      Absolutely love my HP DM1. The computer is plenty fast for for basic productivity work, and can get by when I have a short video or a handful of raw pictures to process. Have a number of more professional applications as well including: Solidworks, Revit, Inkscape, Photoshop etc. The thing gets between 4 to 8 hours of battery life which makes air travel much less painful. I have nearly half of my Steam account games installed which run plenty smooth. The computer is a champ for all media content I throw at it as well as being very convenient to move around and connect to tv’s. I won’t trade my little HP for any tablet on the market right now.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    Wait…there’s still a netbook market?

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    Netbooks were the worse idea ever created in the IT industry. They were a sort of knee jerk reaction of the market to the worst recession since the great depression.

    Now it wasn’t the form factor I am talking about. It was letting a single component manufacturer (albeit an important one) dictate everything about the manufacturing of netbooks. I am talking about Intel of course. Reading how they were forcing manufacturers to pick the resolution, screen size, memory, etc. was appalling. The only major choice manufacters had was keyboard and trackpad which was a monumental failure only trumped by Intel’s Atom processor performance.

    I remember the first wave of Netbooks came with a flavor of Linux in order to keep cost down and performance in check (Linux can be configured as a low resource OS). To add insult to injury, MS feeling threaten by Linux marketshare rising, bullied into the market with resource hogging windows, slowing the already slow atom based netbooks down even further.

    It is no wonder that iOS and Android based tablets powered by ARM processors are thriving after the Wintel duopoly raped the netbooks market for all it’s worth (which by the way wasn’t much).

    R.I.P. Netbooks and good riddance.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Like you said, the form factor of netbooks isnt bad. People love 8-10″ tablets.

      I owned one of the first breed of 10″ EeePC’s and it was perfect for what i needed at the time. Just something to watch a film on, or go on the internet that was small enough to fit into my rucksack but big enough to browse the internet without squinting. I dont need that now as im not moving about so much but it was perfect for it’s time. Mine came with XP but i put Ubuntu on it and was great. Taught me a lot about using Linux as well.

      Now though if you are buying anything other than a tablet you are some uncool moron who is not allowed entry into starbucks.

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        I will not comment on your feelings towards tablets because they are not relevant to this particular conversation, but I agree with your comments on Netbooks. The form factor was not the problem. And you were smart enough to discover that the Netbook experience was greatly enhanced by replacing Windows with Linux. Kudos to such a wise choice and the education experience to boot.

        Edit: Actually commenting on tablets is relevant since I brought it up. I guess your obvious bias towards them being fad devices that people are impulse buying to be “cool” in your words turned me off.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]They were a sort of knee jerk reaction of the market to the worst recession since the great depression.[/quote<] The very first Ee PC came out in 2007, so no.

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        The last recession started officially (by GDP decline of two quarters) in December 2007.

        [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States[/url<] The first Netbooks came out in late 2007. [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netbook[/url<] Since these things are not "felt" by hard and fast timelines, people were starting to feel the effects of the economic down turn before December 2007. Companies can foresee these things even earlier. So yes.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          So Intel & Asus was aware of the US mortgage industry crumbling in 2006 when they designed netbooks?

          And can you imagine the meeting?
          “Our financial analyst expect a major recession in 2 years.. We need to design and build very cheap laptops by the end of 2007”

          Sorry, netbooks where not based on the recession. There where to be ‘mobile web’ devices.

            • jdaven
            • 7 years ago

            I would not say that the companies knew in such detail the causes or the severity of the coming global recession but I believe they had a general idea that hard times might be ahead.

            To be thorough, I also believe that these products were targeting emerging markets outside of the US where people have less disposable income. I believe the one laptop per child initiative helped jump started this since the idea of a $100 laptop frightened the corporate elite a little too much.

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            I would say you vastly overstated your case on the first time around.

            1) Recessions are classified retroactively, meaning, the data had not been compiled and analyzed until mid-2008, well after the original 7″ Eee had been wildly successful but EOL’d and the 9″ models were on the market. Even though people were expecting a realignment in the housing market, nobody quite anticipated the crash in September 2008 or the global impact it would have, certainly not Asus when they launched the original Eee.

            2) As you have now noted, the OLPC initiative had already been out there for a while — since January 2005, in fact. Asus then commercialized an idea that was already out there and gaining industry support (Intel was an OLPCA member for part of 2007-2008).

            3) Prior to netbooks, the only choice for mobile computing was a smattering of PDA-type devices, and ultrabooks typically costing $1k+. So of course the first company to fill the void was going to make bank. Asus did, and when all other competitors saw how successful the 7″ Eee was, the 9″ (and then 10″) models quickly appeared everywhere.

            4) Prior to the CULV, the Atom was the only low-to-medium cost CPU that could give [i<]reasoanble[/i<] (not fast) performance without putting out a bunch of heat and chewing the battery to death. Recall that the 7" Eee used a downclocked Celeron and it still got pretty hot.

            • swaaye
            • 7 years ago

            The predecessors to the cheap modern netbooks were things like restrictive HP and Sharp Zaurus palmtops and very expensive subnotebooks like the Sony Vaio TR1A. Netbooks created a new budget subnote that was extremely flexible and cheap. There really wasn’t much to complain about in the 9-10″ EeePCs compared to that older stuff.

            But unsurprisingly there are people here who have little interest in very small PCs and want to repeatedly share their stance on the subject.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Asus announced the Eee PC 701 and 1001 at COMPUTEX 2007: June 5 to June 9, 2007. They were an outgrowth of the OLPC project as others have said, and that had been going on even longer.

          If you had said that netbooks [i<]sold[/i<] well due to economic conditions, I would have agreed. But to say that they were a reaction to economic conditions which happened later is wrong. p.s. [url<]http://xkcd.com/386/[/url<]

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Just a miserable attempt at a backtrack there.

            • jdaven
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, because admitting that I was wrong about something a few minutes after posting and then owning up to it, is a terrible use of the edit feature.

            /sarcasm

      • Bauxite
      • 7 years ago

      True, if you consider only “official” netbooks, which like you said means atom.

      There were plenty of models that were great deals at particular times, and they were all “unauthorized” netbooks 🙂

      For awhile it was the core 2 culvs that actually went up in price for a bit, then were swiftly killed by intel with no follow through on the cpu front. At times they were barely more or less than atom systems with half the specs.

      Then there were various sensible configurations of brazos systems priced to move, even now some e350/450 models are appealing. For windows there are a couple gpu-enabled media players that really let them shine, they will play files no tablet can touch.

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      First statement is ridiculous. There have been many far worse and actually damaging ideas in IT.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      I’m going to outright disagree with your sensationalist first paragraph, the second I’ll actually respond to…

      Perhaps, but they were still a reasonable alternative to a full fledged laptop for most users who didn’t have a lot of money. When you compare it to something gimmicky like a tablet they try to hook people on now, it’s god send.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Damn; I was looking forward to a next-gen 10″ Windows-based netbook to replace my HP mini10, which has been a valued companion on many a trip. I just don’t need a $600 Ultrabook for most client visits, and I suspect that many a college student would be better served by a $300 note-taking/essay-composing device (and their parents’ reassured by its inability to play games). But I do need to be able to run, say, MS-Project, and QuickBooks, and several other programs that I don’t expect to see on tablets anytime soon.

    As the article says, the blame for this looks to be squarely at Microsoft’s feet – which they are furiously busy shooting themselves in.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Finally someone that understand the market.

      I have an aspire one 722 , I would have gladly paid an extra 50$ for a matt IPS screen,
      but other then that, its a freaking amazing little machine.

      With a cheap 90GB SSD, this thing fly. (took the 250GB HDD out and use it as a backup external drive)

      So for $360 ($250 aspire + $90 SSD + $20 hdd case) its an amazing value. SSD, 11″ 1366×768 (thin frame border), nice full size keyboard, HDD backup drive, 4GB ram, etc…

      I’m sure the webcam is not that great, since I have yet to skype on that thing.

      No way I would trade this for a tablet, specially after I played with an ipad3.

    • Dposcorp
    • 7 years ago

    Makes sense….8-10″ tablets are cheaper to make, and will be able to run Android or Win 8, based on the internals, and probably both on the same system some time soon.
    A single keyboard dock would fit both as well.

    • atryus28
    • 7 years ago

    Good bye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I never liked them to begin with and only one person of the numerous people I knew who bought one, still likes them. I never really saw the point and with Ultra thin laptops being all the rage now they serve little purpose (other than price). I’m sure there will be some who still think they should exist but I personally do not.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      What thin and light 11″ laptop do you suggest with decent graphic power for ~$250 ?

        • odizzido
        • 7 years ago

        My question is what non-netbook do you suggest at 10 inches at all? Do they even exist?

        Personally I’d love to have a 9 or possibly 8 inch laptop(I’ve never tried an 8 inch one so I don’t know how they feel yet) but they had a very short shelf life. I know netbooks can be that size, my sister has one, but nobody makes them anymore.

        • rootheday3
        • 7 years ago

        How about the Acer aspire ao756 – Sandybridge based Celeron – selling at best buy for $280..
        1366×768, 11.6 inch

        • atryus28
        • 7 years ago

        The last one I helped someone buy a year ago is no longer made but it was about $280. It actually had a low power celeron in it that smoked the single core atom they had originally. I have no idea how anyone does anything useful on such a small screen and the power of the 8″-10″ usually sucked. Anytime I had to work on one for someone it had no screen real estate at all and I’d rather use a phone or tablet then. I made note that it was personally useless to me and the people that bought them (family members and friends who thought they would be nice tiny laptops) eventually tossed them because they sucked. I hate the new trend of tiny low res screens. I want more screen real estate not less. I am not a “consumer” of media and such so these tiny little things generally suck and for the purpose I would use them I’d rather use my phone. It’s resolution is almost the same as these 8-9″ screens.

        I have no problems with net books for certain things or mini ITX as I use a dual core atom in an untangle server, but the netbooks just suck to me.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      My CULV-based 1810TZ was (and is) definitely a superior experience to my Atom-based AspireOne, but guess which one was on the market nearly 18 months sooner?

      I know of several 9-10″ netbook units that are still in service among my own circle of friends and acquaintances. Not everyone has need of raw computing power, while most people do value portability.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Kind of weird to see ASUS pull out – they created this market. Then again, netbooks are not a money maker.

    edit: not to mention that the Transformers are a higher-margin device that does the exact same thing and more if you get the dock.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      How do you install Windows7 and Office on a Transformer?
      How about the full version of Google Earth ?
      Can I play games like league of legends on it?
      etc…

      Those device are just glorified PDA, with touch-touch gaming.
      More $ for less functionality , does that make any sense ??

      I can see people upgrading from netbook to ultrabook, but my guess is few can…

      My next netbook will most likely be a macbook air (11″) type machine.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Kind of weird to see ASUS pull out[/quote<] Maybe not when you consider the incredible resources being expended by the U.S. and the U.K. to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for the alleged crime of failing to pull out of a pair of Swedish asus. Who needs that hassle?

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        OK, that was bad.

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