The launch of Windows 8 pretty much spells the end of the 10 inch netbook. Over the last year most major PC makers had stopped selling inexpensive mini-laptops with 10 inch screens, Intel Atom processors, and Windows 7 software, but Acer, HP, and Asus had continued.

Now HP is no longer selling 10 inch laptops through its website, Acer’s Aspire One page only shows 11.6 inch models, and the Asus Eee PC website is starting to look like a graveyard, with no new models designed to run Windows 8.

Netbooks

The move makes sense. Most older netbooks had 1024 x 600 pixel or lower resolution displays, while Windows 8 requires 1024 x 768 pixel or higher resolution screens. And PC makers tend to stop shipping computers to consumers with older versions of Windows once a new version is available.

Another way Microsoft played a role in killing the old idea of netbooks was to emphasize new touchscreen-friendly features in Windows 8. Many new Windows 8 computers feature touchscreens, which drives up the price.

Intel also played a role, by pushing its new Atom Clover Trail processors for tablets rather than laptops. In fact, those new 11.6 inch Acer Aspire One computers that the company is still calling netbooks don’t have Intel chips at all. Instead they use AMD’s low power C-series chips.

All told, there’s probably not much stopping PC makers from building new 10 inch mini-laptops with x86 processors, 1366 x 768 pixel displays, and Windows 8 software — but there’s also not a lot of incentive for them to do so at the moment. Prices for the new Windows 8 tablets, laptops, and convertibles that we’ve seen so far tend to be higher than prices for Windows 7 netbooks, and that means higher profit margins.

If consumers aren’t willing to spend that kind of money on new computers, I have no doubt we’ll see prices fall pretty quickly. It wasn’t all that long ago that most Android tablet makers were trying to charge $499 or more for their devices. Now some of the best Android tablets around cost less than $200.

We’ve also seen a few companies take unusual approaches to the netbook space. For instance, Ergo Electronics GoNote is a new 10 inch netbook with an ARM-based CPU, touchscreen display, and Android operating system. And budget consumer electronics company Coby seems to think there’s still a place for inexpensive netbooks.

But I doubt we’ll see netbooks return to their former glory anytime soon.

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37 replies on “Twilight of the 10 inch netbooks”

  1. Just installed Windows 8 on my somewhat modded, 3 year old Toshiba NB200 netbook. Outfitted with 2GB of ram and a hand-me-down SSD for a disk drive. With the exception of a Bluetooth driver, which I had to hunt for on the web and the fact that Metro apps insist on higher resolution. all is well. Funny, because the full desktop-launched version of Internet Explorer 10 runs very well indeed. Next up will be the installation of MS Word/Excel and a few other photo editing and media must-haves and it’ll be a very nice portable companion with a newly released OS!

  2. It’s simply a shift towards more capable portable devices.

    We’ll soon be getting the best of both worlds with the upcoming ‘keyblets’: the convenience and portability of a tablet/touchscreen, along with the ability to do tasks traditionally done on a desktop or laptop (I.e. keyboard, the ability to use ‘desktop software’).

  3. I would definitely like to buy a netbook-class device but so far netbooks just haven’t satisfied my requirements.

    The new ARM Chromebook, however, comes very-very close.

    It is fanless and stays cool, which is a very important requirement since I regularly watch movies on my laptop (putting it on my lap).

    It has a 6.5 hrs battery runtime which is not very good by tablet standards but fairly acceptable. The non-replaceable battery is not nice but acceptable.

    ChromeOS, of course, have to go but it looks like we will very soon have proper desktop Linuxes running on it (Brad has done a good job covering them).

    Performance wise, it is faster than current gen dual-core Atoms so it can pretty much fulfil the secondary computer role.

    The $250 asking price for this device is just right.

    I hope many similar devices will appear soon. Samsung would be silly to not release different variants with this hardware class.

    $300 would be still acceptable and that would cover a quad-core A15 SOC and a 10 hrs user-replaceable battery.

  4. It’s a pity. My MSI Wind was easily adapted to dual boot Mac OS X 10.6.7 and Windows 7. Yes, it’s underpowered and screen graphics are so yesterday but mine weighs 2.5 lbs with WiFi and Bluetooth. Very easy to travel with.

  5. The netbook’s twilight began when M$ dictated the spec needed to get a discounted version of Win7 for them. They all turned into identical clones spec wise and it really wasn’t possible for them to escape that trap.

    If they had stayed as Linux machines they stood a chance to develop and grow market free from M$ clutches and to show consumers Linux is a very viable alternative but even then the drop in price of notebooks and tablets squeezed them to death. But the very concept of a small, lightly spec’d machine for basic tasks was just battered to death by the race to meet M$’s netbook specs.

  6. That’s the darkness before the light you’re seeing. They’ll probably be back with a vengeance Windows 8 will actually make them quite viable again if the performance of sample of 10″ tablet with Atom is to be believed. With no issues with top heaviness, better thermals, and more battery life, I see the new light weight MS OS making those viable once more. Especially since the base license is reasonably priced and they won’t have wonky screen resolution/memory limitations to squeeze into. Remember that this category was killed as much by MS and Intel as anything by their platform restrictions.

    1. “Remember that this category was killed as much by MS and Intel as anything by their platform restrictions”

      You should remember to use your brain before to parrot the crap whatever OEMs and the majority of blogs (not Brad here) feed you.

      Think about this:

      1- Who forced OEMs to put Starter or even Atoms in their 10-11″ laptop?

      Starter was only $15 cheaper than full W7.

      Plus they blackmailed (with Linux) and beeged MS for it.

      OEMs could have put Pentiums/Celerons or AMD cpu and full Windows and there would have been NO restriction!

      2- If MS and Intel didn’t put restrictions on Atoms and Starter, greedt OEMs would have put this marvellous combination of soft and hard on everything up to 17″ laptops.

      Thank god, there were restrictions for their use.

      No, netbooks were/are underpowered PoS because OEMs want(ed) it that way.

      But they were so hypocrit that they prefered to blame it on MS/Intel and people like you believed that crap without even asking themselves:

      “Wait a minute, why can’t they put a full XP/W7 and another cpu than an atom in a 10-11″ laptop?? There would be no restriction then…”

  7. I’m hoping somebody would explain to me why Win8 devices are priced so high, especially with the mixed reception of Win8 as it is. Most every Q4 forecast I read is pessimistic, from Intel on down. Why are vendors making a bad situation worse?

    PS: If MS wants to succeed as a tablet vendor, why did it pick to start with the ARM variant, which has to start from scratch on apps? Surface Pro is going to be big, heavy (with a fan!), and expensive. Why not a Clovertrail tablet??

    Brad, care to add your thoughts on this?

  8. The thing is I really want netbook. I looked at Windows 8 and it is not for me. I want a netbook I can put Windows 7 Pro on and Ubuntu and do whatever I want with it, not like the Chromebooks. Especially with the prices coming down on the netbooks out there right now. Just wish it was easier to tell which ones could have the RAM upgraded on. I just like netbooks because they are light, small, very portable and they do just about whatever I want it to.

  9. I like 9″ even more, but didn’t they kill the 9″ soon after making the 10.1″? And didn’t they kill the original EeePC 701 7″ after making the 9″? So now isn’t it normal for them to kill 10.1″ to continue with 11.6″ only? And soon after only 12.1″ will remain? What happened to form factors like the Libretto 50CT to L5?

    It is because now for any size smaller than 10″, people prefer to have a mobile platform OS on a tablet. So sales have dropped so much that they can’t make a profit.

    But if they make a super duper machine at small size, there will be a wow factor, but sales couldn’t be that good as it is back to a niche market unless price is very good.

    Actually Panasonic does (or did?) make 10″ to 12″ ones. Very expensive but nice.

  10. Edit to add:
    I never bought a netbook, but it doesn’t prevent me from seeing what has and is happening/happenned.
    Netbooks are just the tip of the iceberg.

  11. Yes, OEMs killed netbooks because of their low margin.

    They saw Apple’s success and want the same margin. That’s it.

    They tried Android tablets at $500 (large failure), ultrabooks (disappointing sales) and now convertible/detachable W8 hybrids.

    But, this time, to increase their chance of success they simply don’t produce netbooks anymore. No more choice.

    Sorry, in fact they still do produce them but with a touchscreen and a detachable keyboard and have increase their price by a factor of 3.

    “The netbook is dead… Long live the netbook.”

    What they don’t want to understand is that pricing their devices higher doesn’t make people magically come up with more cash (or create more people with good revenues).

    They might count on the fact that laptops became essential to one’s life, so they will have to spend more in order to acquire one and… spend less on other categories like clothes, entertainment…

    They could sell netbooks with W7 and a better screen res/ram/cpu. But they won’t either.

    It’s not MS and Intel fault as they can choose to work with AMD more or to have never put Starter in their machine. The price differencial was $15!

    No, if they put the Atom/Starter combo before it was only to justify the poor spec of their small laptops.

    If some still sell non-touchscreen 11″6 small notebooks to day it’s simply because they can charge you $50-$100 more for a bigger screen BUT with the exact same internals as previous netbooks and keep on selling their tablets.

    But this trend is a lot deeper than it appears.
    Now, pretty much all laptops will come with RAM soldered and non-removable batteries. No upgrade possible, and a much shorter life span.

    And the low budget ones come with ridiculous 2 cells batteries… Just to be sure you’ll kill it (therefore the laptop itself) quicker…

    And all this has NOTHING to do with Intel or MS.

    I guess that’s progress…

    We’re being taken for fools.

    1. OEMs will simply fail if they want big margins on netbook-class devices.

      The Genie is already out of the bottle and nobody can put it back.

      If the netbook category is suffocated, there will be OEMs (newly enetring the market) that WILL create machines like the netbooks.

      The most likely scenario is that future netbooks will be ARM based laptops (aka smartbooks). The new Chromebook is the first but many will follow. ARM netbooks will likely run Android or desktop Linuxes since WindowsRT will be reserved for top-tier OEMs following MS rules.

  12. I don’t get the low and high margin discussion. Does the current generation of notebooks magically force people to have more money and to spend it on higher profit devices?

    One of the last paragraphs in this article says “If consumers aren’t willing to spend that kind of money on new computers, I have no doubt we’ll see prices fall pretty quickly.” Other companies aren’t Apple who have somehow managed to tell their user base what they want and at what price. So wouldn’t most of these notebooks eventually have “razor thin” margins like the notebooks before them?

    1. The low margins of netbooks were a aberration of the market, pretty much no other product has ever managed this and pretty much all businesses are opposed to the idea because it makes it much harder for them.

      Even now, with companies like Google, Amazon, and B&N selling devices with similarly low margins, or even lower in Amazon’s case, the rest of the market can only follow so much before they have to draw the line.

      However, further lowering of margins could be possible due to demand and competition.

      Playing the edge between profitability and risk of failure.

      It’s not without risks though as the HP Touch Pad is an example when they just give up and the RIM Playbook is an example of trying to the last to save the product line but they’ve lost quite a bit.

      Considering the lack of success, it’s not a move many would choose to follow. Thus Brad’s reference that it’s more than likely has to be essentially forced by consumers.

      Mind, there were a lot of companies that failed in the netbook market because of the small margins. So we’ll see how this plays out…

      Think of it as a tug of war between consumers and businesses, only in balance do both win but there can be losers on either side if it goes too far either way.

    2. The prices will go down. One of the reasons why the ultrabook sales figures are lower than what analysts originally expected this year is the price. People aren’t going to change their budget for notebooks. The people who buy premium priced notebooks already will continue to buy them (likely staying with the same brand) but those who don’t won’t necessarily pay more than how much they personally value a notebook (ie. below the current ultrabook pricing).

      Low sales of high margin notebooks isn’t good for a company just as how low sales of low margin netbooks aren’t. Some companies can take a hold of a large enough chunk of the market to succeed. That’s what happened to the netbook. The same will happen with the ultrabook. The market will drive down prices and companies who can’t take a large enough share will fail as usual.

      Right now, it seems companies are trying to manipulate the market by only selling high margin notebooks even if they’re one of the few successful netbook companies. So far, they don’t seem to be succeeding due to what I mentioned above.

  13. 10 inch “netbooks” have been, by and large, replaced by 11″ “notbooks” with AMD processors, such as the ASUS EEE-PC 1225B and Acer’s new C-70 based 11.5″ Windows 8 computer.

    The netbook came in to being because of the Linux-based one-laptop-per-child project and took off after the economic meltdown of 2008, when people were doing everything they could to pinch pennies. Yeah, they are tiny. Yeah, they are slow when running Windows. Yeah, they have too little memory–but, when netbooks were at the peak of their popularity, this was easily fixed by opening a panel and putting in a new memory stick.

    But, they were a fraction of the cost of other notebooks, and did not have the “boat anchor” problem low-cost notebooks of the mid-’00s had. Also, for people who did not remember the Gateway Handbook (the first netbook-sized computer from the early 1990s), there was a “shiny toy” novelty factor.

    The decline of the netbook can be attributed to various causes. We can not ignore the iPad, which resulted in many losing interest in netbooks and instead seeing tablets as the new “shiny toy”. Also, while Netbooks are good at a lot of tasks, Windows power users (mainly gamers) found them slower than they would like, resulting in an “Atoms are underpowered” backlash.

    Computer makers were not too excited about the razor-thin margins of Netbooks; Microsoft always crippled Netbooks by not allowing OEMs to put more than a gig of memory in a Netbook, as well as placing size limitations on the systems. While I have been a fan of the 10″ form factor ever since the Gateway Handbook, it is a niche market in the US.

    The nail in the coffin for Netbooks were the video driver problems with the N2600 and N2800, as well as making it more difficult to do upgrade the memory to 2Gb with newer models.

    I am hoping the 10″ form factor comes back soon in an affordable computer; this will probably happen in the mid-2010s with a Windows 8 touch screen convertible model. Or maybe Netbooks will have a brief revival once the Atom ValleyView (like N2600, but with Ivy Bridge graphics) or Silvermont comes out.

    1. “The netbook came in to being because of the Linux-based one-laptop-per-child project”

      It was a factor but not the sole cause, mini laptops were something the market played with for many years prior as you noted yourself. The OLPC project was itself a result of that growing trend but was intended mainly to help bring computing to poor nations and not so much the mainstream markets.

      While devices like UMPCs tried to fill that need but were too low powered and too expensive, also with some considering them too small.

      So it was a combination of factors that lead to the successful launch of Netbooks, basically right product at the right time.

      “Windows power users (mainly gamers) found them slower than they would like, resulting in an “Atoms are underpowered” backlash.”

      I agree with this, even when netbooks first came out many were confused as to what to make of it and over estimated its potential intended usages.

      “Or maybe Netbooks will have a brief revival once the Atom ValleyView
      (like N2600, but with Ivy Bridge graphics) or Silvermont comes out.”

      Silvermont is Valley View, Silvermont is the name of the Core of the SoC.

      You’ll likely be right for pricing but SoC’s won’t bring back the days we could easily upgrade and mod our devices unfortunately. So it won’t be quite the same ever again…

  14. @CyberGusa “There were a few factors not mentioned in the article… Like system makers pushing 11.6″ to be the new minimum because that’s the cut off before keyboards start getting shrunk to fit smaller system designs.”
    —-
    I think this is an excellent point. Not only is the keyboard an issue, but as the battery life of 11.6″ laptops improves (now typically 6hrs+) another benefit of the low-power 10″ netbooks is neutralized.

    I just looked on Newegg and there are more than twice the number of 11.6″ laptops than there are 10.1″ and I suspect that the gap will continue to grow. The growth of the 10″ class of tablets (including iPad and Surface), will also continue to nip at the heels of netbooks, and expect to see a lot more convertible tablets in that space. And given that the 11,6″ ARM-based Chromebook is also entering this space, it’s getting very crowded in there. Something has to give, and it appears that for most manufacturers, it’s the 10″ netbook that drew the short straw.

    As a happy long-time user of a 11.6″: laptop (the less-than-perfect Thinkpad x100e), I think suspect that 11.6″ will be the baseline for laptops into the future (until keyboards themselves become obsolete). I’m fine with that.

    1. Yes, even MS considered the divide between mobile and laptop usage with the Surface.

      Many feel that a tablet larger than 10.1″ is too large for mobile tablet usage and many also feel that a smaller than 11.1″ is too small for things like laptop usage.

      Thing is using Windows falls under the larger range usage, especially when using legacy apps and desktop mode. So they decided to hit a compromise at 10.6″ for the Surface. Even the Pro Model will be 10.6″ and just a bit thicker to accommodate the more powerful hardware.

      Tablet designs are much more expensive though and despite some models being 10.1″, they’re priced like Ultrabooks.

      Though in some cases you do get something out of the difference. The Surface is so durable you could stand on it or drop it a fair distance and you won’t have to worry about it breaking. Usage of WACOM style pen also helps usability on using smaller devices.

      But people also liked netbooks for their low cost and ability to experiment.

      These Windows 8 devices are much more locked down. You can’t really upgrade any of the hardware and choices of OS are for now pretty limited.

      And of course there’s really no alternatives yet…

  15. Whilst I’m hoping that my trusty Eee 701SD (yes, the original 7″ screen one, now running Arch Linux) has plenty of life left in it, I sometimes wonder what I’ll do when it finally joins the choir invisible…

    Personally, if I could find a small, ARM-based netbook-type machine which will take Arch Linux ARM, I’d be very happy. Maybe the Hercules eCafe (or a successor) – no Windows or Android, thanks 😉

    1. Problem is ARM isn’t as user flexible as many would like, hardware fragmentation, locked boot loaders, the need to root, use of hardware with closed drivers, etc. all make it pretty hard to just grab a system and use it to load the OS of your choice.

      There are exceptions of course but these usually don’t always get put into device form factors that even try to compete with netbooks.

      While many of the ones that do get put into such form factor often are just cheap knock offs with performance insufficient to run even a light weight desktop distro.

      The nice thing about netbooks for Linux users is up until the last generation Cedar Trail they were Linux friendly and could run most distros with little effort.

      Low margins and push to appeal to the largest consumer base though is what pushed out the sub 10″ models.

      There were the occasional experimental models from companies most of us never heard of every now and then for small form factors but they never took off unfortunately.

      While the push for larger designs is effecting even ARM makers as the ARM based Chromebook shows with its 11.6″ design.

      So at this rate we may need a kickstarter to offer a proper alternative before we die of old age waiting on mainstream system makers…

  16. Brad I respect your opinions on this matter because you’ve been one of the Google netbook mainstays. I always have had an opinion on this situation also.

    The facts today? What the heck is an Atom 10″ tablet convertible? You can decorate it and sell it at double or more than the price of a non detachable version. If you don’t make something, then consumer can’t buy it. What’s the cheapest Asus 10-inch now? What’s the cheapest laptop that Toshiba sells? HP? Dell? Get my point here?

    Look at the numbers. The Eee PC sold close to the same number of Asus tablets yet the brand is being closed by Asus. If there was no demand, then those numbers would be different. It’s more a matter of the makers steering consumers into a category and spending more money.

    You can’t find cheap gas? You can’t find a rebel gas station selling cheap gas right? If that does happens, it’s a gas war for a couple days, then the prices go back.

    Intel steered the crud Atom updates for years. Then websites closed their minds on what constituted a netbook that it has to be 10 inches and use an Atom processor. Then Intel came up with an Ultrabook to smooth over relationships.

    Brad, print the recent sales of Eee PC vs. Asus tablets and you make the argument that there is no consumer demand out there. Please advise me how an Intel powered 11-inch or Tegra powered 10-inch laptop isn’t a netbook. Suddenly now Atom chip laptops in those sizes jumped in value to triple the cost? Interesting.

    The screw job is on the consumers here. I don’t buy the demand argument. I see the steering of what consumers can actually buy. Look at the base level options now. In fact, does Intel or MS even let people make netbooks (10 inch low power/cost processor) laptops anymore?

    Unlike a lot of people I’m not convinced that consumers are going to flock to a laptop that has the balls of a $300 netbook but ultimately costs $500 plus. To me the joke is on the consumer.

    1. I never said there’s no demand. I don’t have the information to validate or refute that claim. What’s clear is that there’s now little to no supply of cheap laptops with 10 inch or smaller screens (which have always pretty much been my defining characteristics for netbooks – price,operating system and other characteristics were all side effects. What set the first Eee PC and its successors apart were the small size and low price. The slow processor and Linux software were choices made to make those things possible).

      1. As published in Digitimes, in 2012, Asus is expected to to ship 4 million Eee PCs and tablets are expected to exceed the target of 5 million units and may reach 6 million because of the Nexus 7.

        Yeah, Nexus 7 is thrown into the sales volume? That’s a break even product price point isn’t it? Sell any product at near break even and yes, it’s going to sell.

        When you spend years developing a brand like Eee PC and then decide to drop it, there is something happening behind the scene. Just my opinion.

        Acer has said they have no plans of getting out of the netbook game. It would be nice to think they will release a 10.1-inch Atom or AMD powered laptop with a non touch screen and non removable display. Higher resolution? Yes please. Afterall, Acer isn’t going to make a dent in the tablet market so how do they stay relevant?

        I’m not smart but I realize that the world isn’t going to run according to what I think is right or wrong.

        This whole tablet race is seriously misguided because it’s part of this story. If Microsoft survives, there might be Amazon, Apple, Google and possibly Microsoft selling tablets. Asus might be in there but how can they keep producing product when everything is about selling apps and services and not profiting on the hardware. It’s dead. The Dells and HPs are going the way of the record company executives. Windows doesn’t survive at their current price point. Nexus 10 price point will eventually kill off a lot of them. In this instance, ironically enough, Intel and Microsoft don’t have control over the tablet industry and Google. That’s the problem for the old boys club.

        So from what I gather, nobody is saying netbook demand went away, it’s just that the producers aren’t producing them anymore. I use the Asus example. In 2013, what is the price point of their cheapest laptop option going to be?

        Last word? Baaa.

        1. Acer will stay relevant though its monitor business. Large volume consumers – I’m talking industry and government, not home users – have no interest in transitioning to Windows 8. For the foreseeable future, they will continue to need LCD monitors. Acer does well in that category.

          I have no idea what Asus’ bread-and-butter will be. The Transformer is a great product range, and has moderate demand, but it just doesn’t have a high volume of sales to keep them afloat. They made a name for themselves selling inexpensive-yet-quality netbooks. There is obviously a demand for those products. Asus needs to find a way to continue to capture that market, especially if it’s been abandoned by others.

    2. “It’s more a matter of the makers steering consumers into a category and spending more money.”

      I don’t know what article you read (if at all) but isn’t that exactly what this article says?
      “Microsoft played a role in killing the old idea of netbooks”
      “Intel also played a role”
      “there’s also not a lot of incentive for them [OEMs] to do so at the moment. Prices for the new Windows 8 tablets, laptops, and convertibles that we’ve seen so far tend to be higher than prices for Windows 7 netbooks, and that means higher profit margins.”

      So, all companies involved are trying to only supply high margin devices and whether or not that strategy will work is yet to be seen and this article didn’t comment on that other than the last sentence. How “soon” will be determined by the market.

  17. “there’s probably not much stopping PC makers from building new 10 inch mini-laptops with x86 processors, 1366 x 768 pixel displays, and Windows 8 software — but there’s also not a lot of incentive for them to do so at the moment.”

    In the past, Intel and Microsoft provided incentive for PC makers to build netbooks. Both companies gave the manufacturers money to do so – Intel in the form of marketing assistance money and Microsoft by lowering the price for Windows on netbooks. I don’t know how much more expensive it is to build a Windows/Intel netbook now than it was back in the Win XP days, but I suspect it is a significant amount of money.

    1. I think that story is for the closed door meetings. Why would the Windows 8 licensing fees be extreme especially when MS needs a high adoption rate for the new OS?

      The real question are what the requirements are in terms of display and touch. It’s simple to say the specs are this and that all the time knowing that it will create a money losing proposition for producers. When you control the strings you can steer the market direction to what best suits you.

      Is it impossible to think that producers aren’t allowed to create a 10-inch laptop with Atom, non touch, and non removable displays? Can’t Intel or MS create requirements of any kind and the general public never really gets to find those out?

      Look ma, I just paid $400 for my convertible netbook!

      Look no further than the Apple model. They never ever cannibalize their product lines by releasing a cheaply priced similar product. I see the PC guys going in the opposite direction. They made the mistake already by having netbooks, now are trying to reverse engineer the model to what Apple has. Just my opinion of course.

  18. Don’t really care about the netbook category or at least how I defined it. I do want a 10″ notebook with a Core i ULV though. No need for a touchscreen or be super thin either.

    Obviously I’m expecting the price for these to be higher than Atom based 10″ netbooks where OEMs cut corners everywhere.

    1. Same here. Next year’s Atom will always be several times less powerful than next year’s Core i’s. I don’t have high hopes for Silvermont even with its OOE and have high core count.

    2. I want a semi-premium 10″ notebook too. Not a netbook (ie. slow, extremely low quality and gimped features) and not an ultrabook (ie. uselessly thin that limits battery and performance due to heat and gimped features: mini-ports and sealed design).

      Too bad I think we’re probably a small group of people though. I don’t think there’s a lot of people out there who wants a fairly powerful 10″ notebook that’s somewhat thick to accommodate higher capacity batteries and better cooling and dock/attach it to a monitor setup at home.

      All we could hope for is that there will be 11.6″ non-ultrabooks with thin bezels but with the whole touch craze right now, the bezels are getting larger and larger.

      1. I know it’s not a perfect solution, but you could get one of the good 10″ slate PCs and use a USB or BT keyboard. I, too, wish there were higher-end 10″ laptops available, but as noted in some comments below, the OEM push seems to be towards tablets and convertibles.

      2. A 10″ notebook would be great but I agree that there probably isn’t many us out there. I’m sure a good chunk of netbook buyers bought one because of it’s low price and not due to its small size. If anything, they probably would rather have a larger netbook since I doubt a large monitor for desk use is in their budget.

  19. the netbooks ran their course… and they did serve their purpose.. and now better form factors have been introduced, it is time to say good bye to the netbook…

    1. There were a few factors not mentioned in the article… Like system makers pushing 11.6″ to be the new minimum because that’s the cut off before keyboards start getting shrunk to fit smaller system designs.

      The last Intel ATOM released for Netbooks was the Cedar Trail, which because of the Imagination PowerVR SGX545 based GMA 3600/3650 had very poor driver support.

      Intel had to delay release because they couldn’t get the drivers ready on time and even despite hardware support for DX10.1 they could only provide 9.0c support, only 32bit drivers were ever released and only for Windows 7, and no support was given for Linux users.

      You also had to know how to properly enable codecs, etc to get proper hardware acceleration working and the out of box experience was thus unnecessarily flawed.

      Add build quality was getting lowered too far, some like Asus were using increasingly less upgradeable system designs, and they were reducing features… mono-speakrs, combo mic/headphone, 2 instead of 3 USB ports, treated Bluetooth as a premium feature, and yet pricing wasn’t much lower than previous generation models.

      Despite the GMA 3600/3650 support for HDMI/eDP/DP, many models basically just threw the Cedar Trail into an older model with only VGA out.

      Meanwhile, nothing much would change for the hardware until the 22nm update came out for the ATOM but that won’t be till the second half of next year! While older model netbooks were stuck providing a level of performance that wouldn’t be able to fully support the new trends for Windows 8, and demand for higher range graphics.

      So they basically drove netbooks into the ground!

      Problem is there are still many people who want a solution that netbooks provided but there are no other products that fully fill that need yet and thus there’s a gap in the market.

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