Anyone browsing netbook deals may have come across an article or two stating that the age of the netbook is well and truly over. A number of manufacturers have announced that they are no longer going to be producing new models and many people are blaming the rise of the iPad and other tablets for the demise of the netbook. But is this really the case?
The Tablet Effect
There have been reports that Asus will no longer be making the Eee range of netbooks and other manufacturers such as Acer and MSI have not announced any new or updated models. However, on closer inspection it seems that the netbook market is simply changing rather than disappearing. Many of the netbook devices are now big sellers in emerging markets while existing markets have shrunk to make way for the tablet computer.
Keeping Up with the Times
Netbooks have also changed more in recent years. Customers looking for netbook deals now seem to be happy to pay more for a netbook if they are getting something with a higher spec. The market originally produced cheap but basic models for those who wanted a lower cost alternative to the laptop but over time basic is not enough and it has been necessary for manufacturers to think about what they are including with the devices as people look for more. Operating systems such as the latest version of Windows are now the norm and users can now expect to get as much hard drive storage on a netbook as they do on a laptop.
Models such as the Ultrabook from Intel and the Sleekbook from AMD are now the norm within the netbook marketplace. These offer the same lightweight devices and the same easy portability but they offer more in the way of power and give the user a larger screen. However, the price tag reflects the extra features and netbook deals are now seeing customers paying out more than they would have done a few years ago.
The Google Chomebook
A newcomer to the netbook marketplace is the Chromebook, Google’s contribution. There are Chromebook models from both Samsung and Acer and these are still at the lower end of the price range, but work a little differently than you might expect. The Chrome browser is actually the computer’s operating system and much of what you need to do is done online, although you can still work offline with some of the web apps. This takes a little bit of getting used to but once you do you will find it perfectly acceptable. These are ideal for students and those who need to work away from home.
Progression within the marketplace was always going to be taking place, but perhaps most people did not think that it would happen within a few short years of the netbook being launched. The changes are not negative changes and there are still cheaper netbooks out there, but they are going to be finding the competition tough as customers grow to expect more and more from their portable devices.