2012 Marks The Death of the Netbook, Asus and Acer Burn Off Remaining Inventory

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 31 2012 2:31 PM
You could argue that the end of the netbook has already happened. Despite a flurry of small, cheap, and generally sluggish notebook computers shipping between 2008 and 2010, very few companies have kept the ball rolling in 2011 and 2012. In fact, these things used to be so popular that U.S. wireless carriers were offering them in subsidized form, but now, you'll be hard pressed to find them on shelves anywhere. As tablets have rolled in and consumer expectations of speed, portability and battery life have changed, netbooks have been pushed aside.

Now, according to a DigiTimes report, Asus' recent intentions to end its EeePC line could mark the beginning of the true end to the netbook. Asus has "no plans" to produce any more EeePC netbooks, which is a huge blow to the netbook sector given that it once had over 20 variations available. As of now, only Asus and Acer are giving any attention at all to the netbook space, but most of those units of late have been shipping to emerging markets like South America and Southeast Asia.

Interestingly, it doesn't seem as if Intel is going to cut back too sharply on Atom CPU production, as it is hoping to find embedded applications -- and perhaps even set-top boxes -- to fill that demand / supply balance. We aren't hearing any official word from netbook makers on plans to official cease production globally, but at least in the U.S. market, you can rest assured that 2013 will likely be a year devoid of these miniature laptops.
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RTietjens replied on Mon, Dec 31 2012 9:17 PM

Well, you're wrong, Ray. There are already new netbooks on the market - but they run Android. No more burdening a low-powered computer with a resource hog like Windows, and much as I love Linux, let's face it - most people won't learn to use it. But they already have smartphones with Android.

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sevags replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 2:33 AM

RT, to which devices are you referring to? The Samsung and Acer Chromebooks? I will admit that these are definitely netbooks their size, cost, and OS prove that. Afterall the first eepc netbook indeed did mot run windows at first qnd was heared more towards internet use like netbooks. However these products are in many ways inferior to traditional netbooks as they can't run a standard OS like windows which means very few compatible programs. An atom CPU in a current netbooks should also be more powerful than the SoC's offered in be current Chromebooks. But most importantly I don't think the 2 current Chromebooks manufacturers are looking for ways of keeping the netbook alive it's more googles attempt at testing the chromeOS waters in a broader study while hoping offering it standard on a system will give it market credibility. On the flip side Samsung and Acer get to test the the waters for multiple reasons; trying a new OS, getting the last bit of a market looking for a cheap tablet with a keyboard, and trying out phone/tablet SoC's on other items.

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