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What are Netbooks?
As reported in the Courier Mail of April 30th 2009 “One in 10 laptops sold this year will be mini-notebooks”. In this article by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson it was noted “more than one in 10 laptops sold in Australia this year will be small enough to fit in a handbag and their number is set to rocket, a report says.” The article quotes the research firm Gartner who in a press release of April 29th 2009 suggested 2009 be named "the year of the mini-notebook" at least in the Asia- Pacific region. In Australia the uptake of netbooks has been very strong. “Shipments leapt by 40.8 per cent this year, The Courier-Mail reports. The sales jump will result in netbooks accounting for 13.7 per cent of all portable PCs in Australia in 2009.”
The segment came into existence in mid 2007 amid deep and loss-making price wars between most laptop manufacturers. At the time a full sized 15.4” Acer, Toshiba or Compaq laptop could be purchased for $500-$600. Admittedly with a Celeron processor and 512mb RAM, but nevertheless these units proved very popular. Then along came the EEE-PC from Asus with its 7” screen and Linux operating system and sub-$400 price tag. It caused a flood of “me too” marketing that has now produced huge sales and a whole new segment.
Yet their popularity seems to be unquestionable. For example, Netbooks took seven of the top 10 spots on Amazon.com's computer bestseller list in recent days. ASUS’s EEE PC 900HA with an 8.9-inch screen, Intel Atom microprocessor, Microsoft Windows XP and black finish took the top spot and next was Acer's Aspire One taking the next two spots.