Two major netbook players appear set to release new models with larger displays that will further blur the lines with traditional laptops.
Later this month Acer will release an Aspire One netbook with an 11.6-inch widescreen display. Acer currently sells Aspire One models with either an 8.9-inch or 10.1-inch display. A general manager for Acer in the UK described the new model in a YouTube video posted by The Register, a hardware site. The Aspire One 751 will be thinner than the current models and it will have a full-size laptop keyboard. It will start at about $560 with an Intel Atom 5-series processor, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drive and Windows XP.
(Related: The Boy Genius Report says Acer and AT&T have struck a deal to sell the Aspire One 10-inch with a 3G data contract through Costco starting May 11--presumably at a subsidized price.)
Meanwhile, the Asia-based newswire DigiTimes reported that Asustek president Jerry Shen said his company will launch an Eee PC netbook with an 11.6-inch display later this month. Dell already sells a netbook with a 12.1-inch display, the Inspiron Mini 12.
While 10-inch netbooks have found themselves a nice niche, these larger netbooks are likely to run into stiff competition from a new class of less-costly, ultra-thin laptops based on the AMD Athlon Neo, such as the HP Pavilion dv2z, or the upcoming Intel CULV processors, such as MSI's X-Slim series.