Dell Leaves the Netbook Business without Saying Goodbye

Dell was hoping to slip quietly out the door of the netbook business, much the way former Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein tried to duck out of Fenway Park in 2005 donning a gorilla suit. Epstein would stick around six more years and provide Red Sox Nation with another World Series. Dell, on the other hand, appears genuinely finished with netbooks.

If you head over to Dell's Mini 10 Netbook product page, you'll see a big yellow exclamation point alerting you "this product is unavailable." That prompted whispers that Dell was done with netbooks, and when those whispers turned into a loud roar on the Internet, Dell apparently decided to set the record straight.

"Dell confirmed for us that it is no longer making consumer netbooks (the business-aimed Latitude netbooks are still available on," The Verge reports. "Not only are the Inspiron Minis being put in the grave, but the company confirmed for us that it will not be releasing new netbooks based on Intel's forthcoming Cedar Trail platforms. In other words, it is done with the category."

That doesn't include Dell's convertible Inspiron Duo, which will be restocked after the holidays. Otherwise, Dell is done with netbooks, and it's a trend we wouldn't be surprised to see other bulk OEMs follow suit. The sexier option right now is the Ultrabook category, which is arguably just as portable (bigger screens but thinner profiles), but have a higher profit margin.