More Netbook Naysaying

By  |  Monday, December 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

Yet another article declaring that netbooks stink and are on their way out. Anyone want to reconcile all the distaste for netbooks in the industry with the fact that they’re the only category of laptop whose sales are growing rather than shrinking?


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Scott Gulbransen Says:

    Good point Harry. I think most of these things are written by folks like us in tech who want machines that push limits. They don’t think about commercial innovation in terms of how consumers use products.

    Netbooks are great for the purpose they serve. If you’re looking for a high-end machine for gaming, video, photos, etc., not the right fit. But for portability and convenience, they’re great. I bought my 12 year old one for Christmas because her textbooks are moving online. She uses it for a specific purpose and it’s perfect for that. Toss in that it’s only $300, what can anyone complain about?

    Aren’t these the same people who complained and decried FlipVideo cameras and cell phone cameras? How right where they about those?

    Happy New Year Harry…keep up the great work!

  2. Chip Says:

    I’m not sure that it’s a fact that netbooks are the only category of laptop whose sales are growing rather than shrinking. Aren’t Mac laptops growing? (

  3. Alan Ralph Says:

    Suffice to say that the market has spoken, and thus far seems to have drowned out the naysayers. 😉

  4. Mikey Says:

    The naysayers are probably getting their “intelligence” from Steve Ballmer who still thinks the iPhone is a fad and that consumers want overpriced defective bloatware because it comes from Microsoft.

    His track record is somewhat less than stellar;
    Microsoft Mobile

    Eventually even the business sector will go elsewhere. What company really wants to spend money every couple of years to replace versions of operating systems and office suites which are engineered to be incompatible between versions.

    Apple, Google, Amazon and a host of other tech companies not rooted in the past smell blood in the water and will make Microsoft irrelevant in time. Does anyone remember the buggywhip companies and their belief that the horseless carriage would not catch on?

    Many travellers, students and homes do not need another high powered computer when all they are doing is surfing, checking email and light office or school work.

    You techie types know tech you don’t know consumers.

  5. Harry McCracken Says:

    @Chip: Yes, Mac sales are growing–I wasn’t counting them as a category…


  6. IcyFog Says:

    Until I can walk into a store and buy a netbook without Windows, I’m not interested.
    Also why is netbook capitalized and notebook isn’t? Shouldn’t they both be lowercased? Oh wait a second, that’s on the linked cnet story.
    Oh, and Chris raises a good question too.

  7. Mikey Says:

    Harry why would you not count Macs as a catagory?

  8. Harry McCracken Says:

    @Mikey: I was referring to figures that divide the laptop market up by form factor (desktop replacement, ultraportable, etc.). Macs are incorporated into those categories rather than treated as a category unto themselves.


  9. Erick Grau Says:

    Personally I subscribe to the – why to we need such an underpowered laptop? but having to create a Hackent0sh out of a Dell mini 10v recently made me a believer – I want OSX for quick checks of websites and email for $300 + legal copy of OSX of course 😉

  10. Mikey Says:

    Harry – thank you for the explanation on the Macs.

  11. Backlin Says:

    Pff, who honestly wants a $300 small notebook to do basic web and office things on?

    When mainstream smartphones become powerful enough and high enough resolution, then I can see netbook sales sinking, but that may not be for a long, long time. Also, some people (including me) just prefer to edit documents on a traditional keyboard. I would much rather have a netbook with 3G or 4G connectivity.

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