There’s been a lot of talk over the last few months about whether there’s a future for netbooks or whether the iPad and other tablets will kill the tiny portable notebook market. I personally believe there’s room for both product categories — there are some things that are always going to be easier to do with a physical keyboard, while other activities that work best with a touchscreen and/or an “always on,” internet connected device.

Apparently Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin agrees with me. While Acer plans to launch a line of slate computers soon, Digitimes reports that Lin says netbooks won’t die anytime soon. Instead, he expects them to become a stable segment of the notebook market.

Lin suggests that netbooks will account for about 20% of notebook shipments this year, and while he doesn’t expect any major growth in the netbook space next year, he doesn’t expect figures to drop too much next year.

Of course, this is just one guy’s opinion, but you have to think he might know something about the netbook space, since Acer is one of the dominant players in the netbook market as well as one of the top global PC makers in terms of the number of computers shipped.

It’s also good to know that Acer doesn’t plan to stop making low power, low price netbooks in the near future. Many companies seem to be focusing there efforts on pricier 11.6 inch and 13 inch laptops with ULV processors. While the performance boost is certainly welcome, it’s nice to have a range of portable computers to choose from, including small, cheap, and low power machines as well as notebooks with beefier specs and price tags.

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4 replies on “Acer isn’t giving up on netbooks anytime soon”

  1. I think everyone was taken out at the knees when netbooks took off with very high sales they cut deeply into laptop/notebook sales. They were shocked that and idea that had been kicking around for way too long that never works was working.

    With tablets there was an equally slow burn, but I think the ramp up will be faster. It only took Apple planting their flag before EVERYONE too tablets seriously almost instantly. There wasn’t Dell, Sony and Toshiba and Lenovo playing the wait-n-see game as they did with netbooks.

    Even I’m shocked at the sheer amount of tablet design and creation happening. I think very few companies are doing it right, but I think it will only take until next summer for everyone to start heading the right direction.

    My early guess is the short term leaders in tablets will be Apple, Samsung, and Notion Ink…maybe Blackberry.

  2. Your analysis about the future of netbooks is right on. I have an iPad and a first generation Lenovo netbook. I use both, but I don’t use the netbook everyday. But when I want to write or research an article I am working on the netbook is irreplaceable. Multitasking and a good keyboard are esseentials for my production.

    There is room for both. Each has its uses.

  3. Hope that somebody makes the long talked about smartbook too. The recent tablet madness may have left the smartbook as merely prototypes. Too bad.

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