Netbooks, those tiny, underpowered computers that were once held up as the saviour of the laptop market, have long since fallen from favour. When Dell announced it was ending production, the end was nigh — and now the last remaining manufacturers, Asus and Acer, have confirmed that the netbook is officially dead.
The Guardian reports that Asus and Acer ceased production of the teeny-weeny, Intel Atom-powered computers as of yesterday. Kicked off by the Eee PC all the way back in 2007, the netbook was — for a short period at least — a new hope for the PC industry. Highly portable and affordable devices with decent battery life seemed rather attractive five years ago — but a lot has changed since.
With the arrival of tablets and ultrabooks, the netbook’s claims of portability suddenly weren’t quite as impressive. Similarly, their performance — both in terms of speed and battery life — began to appear laughable. Combined with the fact that the margin on netbooks was terrible for manufacturers, as one of their key selling points was low price, and their fate was sealed.
So, the netbook has become a discontinued line: no longer will it have to face the sneers of the the Mac-toting coffee shop crowd or the derision of the power-PC user. But don’t worry: Windows 8 hybrids are the new netbooks — go poke fun at them instead. [The Guardian]