Beware of the "premium" netbook cash grab

Netbooks are hot, but the problem for OEMs is that the profits margins from these devices are razor thin. Enter the "premium" netbooks.

Netbooks are hot, but the problem for OEMs is that the profits margins from these devices are razor thin. Enter the "premium" netbooks.

N310
Given that netbooks are the fastest growing PC market segment today I've been waiting for OEMs to start using chic designs and stylish colors to pad out profit margins. Here's an example of such a premium netbook - the Samsung NC310.

Here's the tech spec on the N310:

  • Processor: Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz, 533MHz, 512KB)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home with SP3
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Display: 10.1 “WSVGA (1024 x 600) Super Bright glossy, LED Backlight
  • HDD: 160GB (SATA 5400 RPM)
  • Network: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
  • HSDPA/WiMAX/WiBro; 10/100 Ethernet
  • GPU: Intel GMA 950
  • Battery life: Up to 11.5 hours (6-cell); up to 5 hours (4-cell)
  • 3-in-1-card reader
  • 1.3-megapixel camera
  • 3 USB ports
  • VGA port
  • Integrated mic, microphone input and headphone jack
  • Antibacterial Keyboard with SilverNano Technology
  • Weight: 1.23 kg
  • Dimensions: 262 x 184.5 x 28.0 mm

N310
Pricing of the N310 are a bit sketchy at present but it seems that rounded edges, edge-to-edge display, tweaked keyboard and a style injection could bump the price of what is essentially an NC10 netbook (which retails for $428 on Amazon.com) by around $150 to somewhere in the region of $580. 

I think that it's only logical that OEMs add "premium" netbooks to their range, but it's also important for the buyer to realize that style is only skin deep.

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