Asus And Acer: The Netbook Is Dead

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]



    I think a lot of back packers will be disappointed. Ultrabooks are arguably easier to lug around, but they also cost a lot more.

    I own a netbook and it is great for travelling, it fits in my pack very easily. I don't expect ultrabook/laptop performance, that's not what it is about. Light and easy with a *real* keyboard and the ability to easily connect stuff (or use the built-in card reader).

      Agreed. I bought a 10" Lenovo netbook a couple of years ago for less than $300 and it's still my go-to laptop for travelling. It's small, light, and still does much more than a tablet can.

      I bought an Inspiron mini 1018 for uni and the only good thing about it is the form factor. Runs incredibly sluggishly even on Windows 7 starter; I had to install Crunchbang Linux just to be able to multitask on a basic level without waiting seconds for stuff to happen. Even then, the form factor is clearly crap when compared to the smaller macbooks; the Inspiron is a chunky, fingerprint laden cheap plastic clamshell.

      I'm glad they're dead.

        And, mind you, I'm not someone who is obsessed with always having the latest/greatest/fastest. I'm currently typing on a 5 year old laptop running ubuntu, in order to eke every last day out of it before it dies. So when I shitcan something as being slow, I really mean it.

        Yeah, a lot of netbooks run like crap (funnily enough, I had #! installed on mine as well for a while). I am lucky in that mine is a dual core cpu and I popped 2gb of ram in. Strangely, the full Win7 I am now using runs better than the Starter7 ever did.

    I had my Asus 12" Eee PC netbook, thought I would use it for browsing the net. Paid $500 back then, it's very very laggy even just trying to open chrome... O.o

    What a bad decision, it says the battery life is 8 hours... it's barely keep up to 4 hours on normal browsing.

    Netbooks are great if they have an AMD E series chip in them. Gives them enough oomph for day to day computing. Atom Chips just make life painful....

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