My netbook experiment: Where's the niche?

My netbook experiment: Where's the niche?

Summary: My grand netbook experiment continues. It works well on a plane--especially when you're sitting behind an offensive lineman.


My grand netbook experiment continues. It works well on a plane--especially when you're sitting behind an offensive lineman. But overall, I'm still on the fence about the use case. In this video, I talk to Sumi about my netbook and where it fits into my gadget arsenal.

Bottom line:  The first version of the netbook is interesting, but 2009 may bring more intrigue to the category. Intel is already mapping out its future netbook roadmap and I expected the 2.0 versions of these devices to be more useful.

Also see: Netbooks + Ubuntu: On fence about form factor; OS solid

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Intel, Nokia, Ubuntu

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  • I am not on the fence as much...

    I enjoy having the Eee PC 701 that I have. The problem is, the item is more of a conversation piece at this point, rather than a tool. While useful when nothing else is around, anything else with in reach is usually preferred.

    If I happen to have to travel to Japan, or some other country where I am trying to crap as much into a small space as possible, I will consider it. If I have room for my 15" laptop, I will probably take it instead. I think the biggest draw back and the reason I want to sell my current Netbook is the 7" screen. I don't like it and will be happy to get rid of it. All I want is something just a little bit bigger. While I don't realize how much space on the screen goes to waste until I fire it up, I don't think 800 pixels is wide enough. 1024 pixels I have lived with for a number of years and still do on my 15" Dell. I think I can manage on a netbook.
  • I disagree, not a toy.

    I have owned the Asus 1000h for about 2 months now and being in the IT field have found it very usefull. I can carry it into an office and go down into the basement where the server is located and plug into a switch or router for testing (where there is usually nowhere to put a laptop down so it can easy fit in my hand while I work), troubleshoot wireless connections, use it while I am on the phone with support to test a monitor, etc. It has already paid for itself with the portability. The nice thing is with the long battery life, I can turn it on in the am, visit my customers and if I am in a meeting and we need to reference something, I can be on the local network or on the Internet in less than 30 seconds and not digging through a laptop carry case and waiting for a notebook to boot up. It's not a toy!
    • Very Much agreed

      While I don't have nearly enough tools loaded for wireless troubleshooting, my netbook does have advantages of being up and running in just a few seconds verses the minutes of other OSes. I am considering another one, but I want to stay away from the hard drive based netbooks for just such a reason.
  • It replaced my laptop

    It really depends on what you use your laptop for. If
    your laptop is a desktop replacement level laptop,
    then no a netbook is not going to replace it. My
    laptop used to be, but I don't do my major work in the
    living room anymore so my desktop level work stays on
    my desktop. The netbook is perfect for the casual
    browsing and emailing that I do while I sit on the
    couch or in bed or even for having access to my full
    audio library while on a road trip. Sure, I could
    connect to my full media library via web service on my
    smartphone, but wwlan isps throttle bandwidth hogs and
    coverage goes in and out so it is not as viable an

    Personally, I went with something a little pricier,
    but with great benefits. The Gigabyte M912 comes with
    a touch screen, higher resolution than most netbooks,
    and I haven't run into any problems along the way. The
    cost for this one was about $800, which is about $300
    more than the average well equipped netbook or about a
    $260 difference after shipping and tax. The only thing
    netbooks really lack is a cd/dvd drive, but anyone
    with a little technical ability can map to the drive
    on their desktop and anyone without can just buy a usb
  • There is no niche...

    There is no niche for the netbook. I have an UMPC and don't use it much (gave to the wife).

    My experience has been that the iPhone or iPod Touch and notebook are a great combination.
    • good us all laughing

      "My experience has been that the iPhone or iPod Touch and notebook are a great combination."

      So if I buy an iPod touch, iPhone, and a (mac? ) notebook...I can toss my Aspire One...
      WOW...a $3000 plus solution to a $300 problem.
      Love your logic man!
  • It can replace SOME people laptops....

    It really depends on usage patterns. For instance my wife may like these. She doesn't use the laptop constantly like I do and she doesn't do alot of heavy lifting (work) with it. She basically needs to browse, do email, edit and create documents from time to time and thats it. This would allow her to do that with something much lighter and smaller.

    I think those that are confused on netbooks may be trying to look at it from a business use perspective. But no everyone is a business user.
  • RE: My netbook experiment: Where's the niche?

    You all need to be a little more open minded. I believe this article did a better job of explaining the netbook niche:

  • RE: My netbook experiment: Where's the niche?

    For me, I would like to see wider but thinner designs. Give me a 12-14 inch screen and full key board but keep the weight to 1.5-2 USA pounds. If I have a bunch of ports I don't need a built in DVD/CD/Blueray drive. A comfortable SSD of 128 to 256 Gigabytes would be more than enough for productivity.
    So for me, I would like something more like the Mac Air, or a super thin and light notebook.

    I did read an article yesterday that the U.S. Army is spending money on developing flexible displays. For me that is going to be the next big thing. a roll up display that can roll out to be phone sized or wide screen television sized is an awesome technology to look forward to.
  • RE: My netbook experiment: Where's the niche?

    The netbook is perfect for my homeschooled kids - now they each have their own laptop, networked to our desktop for printing etc, and can each access their online based curriculum. A low cost way for them to all have access at once to what they need. The size is also perfect for their smaller hands. These are well used on our field trips and at home. For homeschoolers, this is a great option.