Report: consumer confusion over netbooks and notebooks

A report issued by the NPD Group this morning found that there's some confusion over the differences between a netbook and a notebook - and that's leading to some consumer dissatisfaction. The research firm found that 60 percent of consumers who purchased a netbook thought it would have the same functionality as a notebook.

A report issued by the NPD Group this morning found that there's some confusion over the differences between a netbook and a notebook - and that's leading to some consumer dissatisfaction.

The research firm found that 60 percent of consumers who purchased a netbook thought it would have the same functionality as a notebook. But that's not the case, they're quickly discovering. Just more than half of netbook owners - 58 percent - said they were satisfied with their purchase.

And among the key 18-24 age group, 65 percent said they bought their netbooks expecting better performance while only 27 percent said their netbooks performed better than expected. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said in a press release:

We need to make sure consumers are buying a PC intended for what they plan to do with it...  Retailers and manufacturers can’t put too much emphasis on PC-like capabilities and general features that could convince consumers that a netbook is a replacement for a notebook.  Instead, they should be marketing mobility, portability, and the need for a companion PC to ensure consumers know what they are buying and are more satisfied with their purchases.

Netbooks are all fine and dandy if consumers know what they're getting with it. But it seems that the netbook makers want the consumer to adapt to what it's offering as opposed to the manufacturers adapting to what the consumer wants.

Netbooks are still finding their role in the greater computing ecosystem and consumers are still trying to figure out how they're going to use them. Consumers say that they like the portability aspect of the devices. However, 60 percent of buyers said they never take their netbooks out of the house.

Maybe by portability, they were thinking about being able to take it from the kitchen table to the living room sofa.

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