Prices dropping on small notebook computers

The NY Times calls them “netbooks”, which is what probably what one of their reporters heard someone call one at a Starbucks while he was trying to think of what to write to meet his deadline.

Small systems, typically running UNIX, and in some cases XP, and have been selling for around $400.  Now, the prices are dropping to the mid $300 range and will probably be flirting with $300 or or even $250 soon.

About the price of a SmartPhone, and in some cases, less.

I’ve been on the road for the past week, and yes, I did bring a laptop with me.  I really didn’t need to.  I just wanted something to back my pictures up on and do a limited amount of editing of both photos and text.

My gen one iPhone has been able to handle most of my short term Internet needs. I don’t need to find an Internet connection for it, which I would need for my laptop.

An Acer EEE PC would have fit the bill as well as the larger laptop I’m lugging.  Being lighter and smaller is a big plus.  Even with an 80 or 120 gig mini harddrive for backups, it still would have been smaller and lighter than the larger laptop running XP.

The NetShare app that Apple pulled from the iTunes store would have been a perfect fit with a small WiFi enabled laptop as well.

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10 Responses

  1. I found my ASUS EEEPC perfectly “good enough” for my my last big trip. I’ll probably replace my Vaio Notebook with a desktop computer, in fact.

  2. IMO, you get more for your dollar from a desktop. They are more expandable and cheaper to upgrade than laptops. Service life on a laptop is a year or two. You can stretch a desktop out for 4 or 5 years easy.

  3. Where the Eee and other cheap nanos are really going to eat into, is the high ende PDA sales – Same price, marginally larger, greatly expanded capabilities.

  4. High end PDAs are already dead. Killed by smart phones.
    When was the last one to come out? Palm hasn’t come out with a dedicated PDA for years, and I don’t think there has been any new WINCE boxes the past couple of years either.

    These compact LINUX based machines are just the last nail in the coffin for the dedicated PDA.

    A smart phone and a “netbook” is a better traveling combo than a dedicated PDA and full sized laptop.

  5. What’s really intriguing is that Asus has come out with a version of the Eee that has a harddrive, and runs on Eee. It’s starting to look like they plan on owning the nanobook market.

  6. Yeah, the desktop is a much better platform in terms of cost. But if you already have a notebook that’s good enough to be your primary computer, there’s no need for a desktop platform at all.

    It makes sense to have a separate portable and a desktop is the portable is good enough to be used travelling but not good enough for every day use. That describes an ASUS EEEPC pretty well, I think.

  7. On the desktop subject, Macs are gaining in market share at the expense of systems running Vista. I haven’t seen Microsoft doing much of anything to reverse this trend.

  8. Yeah, Vista was a big step backwards for Microsoft; I’m not fond of it either. Still, I’ll probably stick with Windows once I get around to buying a new computer.

  9. A lot of industry pundits who were not fond of Vista when it came out are claiming it’s finally usable after SP1.

    One of the major complaints about it the DRM crap built into its core code. I don’t use much media with DRM (its pretty much limited to playing DVDs I’ve purchased or rented), so it wouldn’t effect me that much. Other than the overhead for the code Microsoft was bullied into putting into its OS by the RIAA and the movie industry.

  10. I wouldn’t say Vista’s unusable; in fact, I’ve been running it for over a year now. It’s always been usable, and I like some of the security features.

    Still, it’s not terribly good. Shortcuts to documents don’t work very well; I often get false “Cannot find file” errors when opening documents through shortcuts.

    The menus were changed for no reason. If Microsoft designed cars, they’d reverse the way the steering wheel turns because it’s “more ergonomic and intuitive.”

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