If you are in the market for something that falls in between the traditional sized laptop computer and a smartphone, you will no longer have the option of purchasing a Netbook to fill the gap. The end of the year 2012 also marked the end of the Netbook era, with the last two remaining manufacturers, ASUS and Acer, ceasing their production. Yes, this means no more Netbook production from now on.
The History of Netbooks
Netbooks offered a smaller, mobile PC unit at a lower cost than full sized models. They were first introduced to us back in the year 2007 and became very popular choices by 2009. All of the major computer manufacturers such as Toshiba, HP, and Sony,launched their own versions of this mini PC. It was anticipated that Apple would have to come through with developing some kind of Netbook in order to compete with these manufacturers. However, the late Steve Jobs, of Apple fame, was never on board with Netbooks. He felt that they were slow, had low-quality displays, and were neither better than regular full-sized laptops nor smartphones. He felt that if there was a device filling in the gap between smartphones and full-sized PC’s, that it needed to be better than at least one of the devices it fell between.
What ended up happening instead, was that Netbooks began to fall out of favor as regular sized laptops became more affordable, lighter weight, and developed more power. Since the Netbooks were lesser quality when it came to such features as photo sharing, gaming, reading e-books, and surfing the web, most people tended to buy the traditional laptop for it’s superior quality over the Netbook. Apple also swept the market by coming up with it’s ever popular iPad in 2010, which has sold over 100 million devices.
Tablets are Taking The Place of Netbooks
Today, if you are buying your first laptop, or perhaps searching for some kind of middle ground such as the Netbook used to fill, you should be aware that tablets are the preferred computing choice for this job. Tablets offer high quality, extremely portable solutions, giving you virtually everything found in a traditional laptop and are a fraction of the size. Other leading computer companies other than Apple have since jumped on board with developing their own version of the tablet, and they are becoming increasingly popular.
Now that the last two companies still producing Netbooks has decided to discontinue their production, this leaves us with the tablet. The unfortunate thing about this is that with the new, sophisticated tablets, comes a larger price tag that what came with a Netbook. Netbooks were usually cheaper than iPads, giving consumers a less expensive alternative. Now, if money is an issue, you may be better off spending it on a full sized laptop, as prices have dropped on many models, even making some cheaper than some of the popular tablets on the market.
As with all computer technology, trends will come and fade away, but you always count on the development of better technology that will eventually become more affordable as the next big trend takes over. Now, we’ll all have to adjust to no more Netbook production from now on.
[Image credit: ANSESGOB, Flickr]