back to article Netbooks: A bit popular

If you have a desktop or notebook computer and are aged between 25 and 55, there's nearly a one in five chance you have already bought a netbook. According to a PriceGrabber survey, netbook users overwhelmingly own desktop PCs (91 per cent) and a notebook (87 per cent) and PriceGrabber's report writers think this is because …


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  1. Lasse Saikkonen

    Netbooks underpowered? Not.

    I wonder why people still claim netbooks are not powerful enough to run serious applications. I have an Asus eeePC901 as my school computer and I'm perfectly able to run applications like AutoCad, Revit Architecture, MathCad etc. on it. Granted, it isn't as smooth an experience as on a "proper" laptop and you really have to use an external display to do any serious work, but it is small enough to comfortably fit on the narrow desks and able to do smaller tasks in the classroom. There's also enough horsepower to do the necessary school excercises on it, if you refrain from editing huge 3D models on it.

  2. Tommy Pock


    ...are operated with a pencil. You mean laptops.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    iPhone with its touch screen keyboard image




    Also, the hard keyboards on some HTC devices are pretty good for two-handed operation.

  4. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Up


    Desktop PC: check (PowerMac G5 running Leopard). Laptop: check (ThinkPad T42 running Ubuntu). Netbook: check (EeePC 701). Smartphone: nope due to having the last one stolen (swines!) but planning to get a Nokia N97 when it comes out. So yeah, I am a statistic! Then again, I am also a geek who bought the EeePC as an impulse buy but it's proven a very useful purchase: great to take anywhere when I need to be able to do light work and am limited in luggage space. Yes it's limited compared to the ThinkPad but there are times when I just don't want to lug the laptop around and the netbook works great. It's exactly the same logic as picking up the compact camera instead of the SLR when I want to take pictures while travelling light.

  5. Fred Tourette


    Could the popularity of netbooks be a result of "notebooks" growing in size to the point that, if this progresses, we'll be dragging along "portables" the size of Osborne-1s? I had the pleasure of working on one of Toshiba's wide-screen, all the bells-and-whistles laptops a few days ago and can't imagine dragging that cumbersome thing around with me - in addition to whatever else I might need for the trip - and calling it "portable." The netbook is Marketing at work again: now we don't need one, we don't need two, we need three computers - plus a "smart" phone that's also heading in the wrong size direction in - our e-lives.

  6. Brezin Bardout


    So netbooks are a bit popular because 1 in 5 computer owners between 25 and 55 have bought one. Does this also mean they are more than a bit unpopular because 4 in 5 haven't?

  7. Mage Silver badge


    In 386 / 486 days you needed the most powerful PC to run CAD etc.

    Now only high end games and Climate Modelling needs High CPU power.

  8. W
    Dead Vulture

    Samsung NC10

    It's been said before, and it'll be said again, but you really should have done a review of it by now.

    In case Samsung needs an incentive to send you one, I refuse to buy one until I see an El Reg review.

  9. Tezfair

    whats making them sell?

    it doesn't come with Vista

  10. Simon

    Love 'em

    MSI wind at work for email and notepadd++

    Dell XPS M1730 at home for the more demanding applications (photoshop etc).

    I'm very happy with both.

  11. Peter

    Just before I grab my coat...

    I use mine for World of Warcraft.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    For "W" up there, the Samsung NC10 is the best one out there, just go and get one.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first true Netbook is 10 years old and it was British!

    Psion 7 and Psion Netbook. Small, instant boot, touch screen, 8 hour battery life, wifi, etc

  14. John

    Bought the wife a natty pink Aspire One..

    and was absolutely bowled over with its performance so much I have just placed an order for one of my own in Ubuntu Brown, both in the 16GB SSD format with 1GB of ram, the extra ram makes a world of difference to the performance.

    'Unlocked' the Linpus lite on her's in 5mins of opening the box, mine will be getting the full Fedora 10 experience until Ubuntu gets all the bits working 100%.

    Not happy to have been made to buy an XP one but the only Linux ones with the "right" spec have been pink, nowhere has had others for 2weeks and I am now officially bored of waiting.

    Ordering mine now as an early b/day present (for June, lol) as I don't want to spend another £100 on the 10" model. Why is it that all these netbooks just get bigger and bigger, do they not realise *why* people are buying them, clue to the manufacturers... they are small!

  15. Christian Berger

    Question of Software

    The problem why you cannot do propper work with Netbooks is because they run some sort of Windows which is not really suitable for every day work. What's the use of a computer when starting gnuplot takes you lots of clicks? What's the use of a computer where even sox is hard to get and you have problems installing even a latex distribution?

    Windows is just for games. If you want to do some real work done, get Linux.

  16. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


    If they were called laptops customers would complain that the CPU's do not go at full speed. (Laps restrict the cooling vents.)

    I have always considered the Atom as a reason to delay buying a netbook. I would prefer an ARM or MIPS CPU, but if I had to go X86, Via's Nano is a better choice than Atom.

  17. J


    "...are operated with a pencil. You mean laptops."

    Laptops are operated in one's lap. Mine is always on a desk. So it must be a desktop then.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new black..

    My Dell laptop, single mobile processor running XP almost died, CCFL overheating at one end. This used to do everything I wanted to do on a laptop, while I used high end PCs for video processing. Two key factors, that I cannot put a dual channel TV card into a laptop and use Badaboom video processing, and using a DVD RW had also become almost always on the desktop rather than a laptop.

    Current laptops using Vista need dual processors and two DDRII sticks to perform properly, but for most laptop purposes they are not really faster than XP on a CeleronM/Atom 1.6GHz single processor. However I'm not denying that if a single PC is the object, current dual-core Vista laptops are a reasonable choice. But one qualification, the newer DVD-RW in laptops have become very thin and light, and appear to be unobtainable as spares for the moment.

    Because standard definition TV video will readily stream to my netbook using Wi-Fi from my home server with a dual TV tuner, and anything downloaded on my netbook can be quickly sent to my home server's DVD-RW, with the right netbook I don't need a laptop any more.

    My Advent 4213 160GB-drive with integrated HSDPA 3G connectivity, does everything I want from a portable, because it is no longer the pseudo-typewriter as journalists probably see it. Truth is, that I no longer do any extended typing on a netbook (or laptop) any more, but if I have to I plug-in a USB full size keyboard.

    Netbooks running XP are right size, price, portability, and mine sits happily on the arm of my recliner, available whenever I want to use it.

  19. Mahou Saru

    4 way sync?

    Funambol is a great way to solve that problem

  20. Stuart
    Thumb Down

    @Christian Berger

    Yep, it is a "quesiion of software", but as for "Windows is just for games. If you want to do some real work done, get Linux." that's sadly risible. I've been using Linux since 2000 and am STILL waiting for speech recognition software. As my use of and dependence on Dragon Naturally Speaking, continues to grow, the total absence of any usable Linux alternative keeps me stucxk in Windows. It does at least give me the chance to laugh at comments like yours, of the "Linux does everything Windows does, only better" variety. My physical need for speech recognition is now such that my current PC is the first I've had since Mandrake 6.2 came out that is not a dual-boot Windows/Linux setup.

    To paraphrase you, "What's the use of a computer where you can't control your wordprocessor, spreadsheet, email client and browser by speech"?

  21. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Sony Vaio P!

    I'm trying to justify the US$900 for one of those sweeties to replace my Nokia N800 piece of shit, but I can't tell for sure how painful it is to run Linux on it. I want to know for sure before parting with that much dosh.

  22. Mr Grumblefish
    Paris Hilton

    re: Popular?

    Well, Paris is quite popular and she's had only two 'users'.

  23. rogueelement


    I was advised by a major manufacturer some years ago that they deliberately stopped using the term 'laptop' in favour of 'notebook' due to the heat generated making true lap-top use dangerous.

    Sensitive to litigation, it was felt it only a matter of time before somebody managed to burn themselves (without noticing the increasing sensation of heat on their legs) and then sue the manufacturer for suggesting it was safe to operate the device on one's lap.


  24. Mark


    "but as for "Windows is just for games. If you want to do some real work done, get Linux." that's sadly risible. "

    No more than the screed yelled from the rooftops about how Linux is NEVER ready for the desktop (and GIMP is a stupid name, and you'd never use it 'cos Photoshop is the only program, and, and and...).

  25. Stuart
    Thumb Up


    "but as for "Windows is just for games. If you want to do some real work done, get Linux." that's sadly risible. "

    No more than the screed yelled from the rooftops about how Linux is NEVER ready for the desktop (and GIMP is a stupid name, and you'd never use it 'cos Photoshop is the only program, and, and and...)."

    I agree entirely. I really LIKE Linux, and would prefer to use it, but lack of what is for me indispensable software prevents it. The same pettiness that motivated Christian's infantile potshots certainly thrives in devotees of all OSes. I generally ignore them, regardless of which OS they are worshipping, but occasionally respond. BTW, speaking of the GIMP, I can highly recommend for tutorials

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