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Acer's best-selling netbook on Amazon this week, the Aspire One, costs just $252.
Price of netbooks is advantage over tablets

While the sound of tablets' soaring popularity has been likened to a death rattle for PC devices -- particularly the netbook -- PC giant Acer has held firm in its stance that it would not phase out netbooks in favor of tablets. But with the resignation of longtime CEO Gianfranco Lanci over a difference of vision last month (the Acer board members want the company to become more like Apple), that position was cast into doubt.

But, regardless of the Taiwan-based company's new direction, Acer has again reiterated that it believes in the netbook market, Elizabeth Woyke of Forbes reports in her blog. 

"Tablets have impacted overall netbook sales, but we’re not stepping away from the [netbook] segment," Eric Ackerson, an Acer senior product marketing and brand manager, told Woyke. "We think there’s still opportunity for sales, including in the U.S."

There's one key factor that, at least for now, is keeping netbooks in the race: price. Woyke points out that nearly all tablets are in the $400+ price range. Apple's iPad, which is the de facto gold standard of tablets, can cost as much as $829 at its highest price point. Meanwhile, netbooks typically run south of $300, many in the $250 range. 

Acer also indicated that the features you can pack into a netbook almost are on par with some notebooks, and that many consumers still continue to favor a physical keyboard over a virtual touchscreen one on tablets. 

"The death of netbooks is overstated," Acer spokeswoman Lisa Emard told Woyke. "We may not see the same explosive growth [in the category] as before, but the netbook price point is still killer."



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He does have a point
By amanojaku on 5/5/2011 9:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
But let's be honest here.

1) The difference between $250 (usually $350) and $500 isn't that much
2) A Netbook, while small, is still bulkier than a tablet (assuming the tablet doesn't have some ridiculous case)
3) I wouldn't be replacing a Core2 or Athlon with the procs normally found in either a Netbook or tablet, so who cares which is more "powerful" (at least for now)
4) A well-built tablet may last longer since it has less complicated, and no moving, parts

Personally, I need my battleship laptop (virtualization/product demo box), but I would probably look at a tablet before a Netbook. But that's because I have access to virtual desktops and wouldn't need Windows and applications on my toy. Er, tablet.




RE: He does have a point
By stburke on 5/5/2011 9:42:01 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
1) The difference between $250 (usually $350) and $500 isn't that much

For me it is.
quote:
2) A Netbook, while small, is still bulkier than a tablet (assuming the tablet doesn't have some ridiculous case)

Maybe because they have a physical keyboard?
quote:
3) I wouldn't be replacing a Core2 or Athlon with the procs normally found in either a Netbook or tablet, so who cares which is more "powerful" (at least for now)

With Windows 8 being able to run on ARM, I see a looot of potential for Asus transformer style netbook/tablets coming up.
quote:
4) A well-built tablet may last longer since it has less complicated, and no moving, parts

True, they are a bit more "solid" but really the only moving part is going to be the cooling system. Otherwise, no disc drive, and and SSD ($)


RE: He does have a point
By xeno81 on 5/5/2011 10:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe because they have a physical keyboard?


My gTab has a host USB that supports a physical USB keyboard, and I do use it from time to time. Other tablets support USB Bluetooth dongles for wireless, as well.


RE: He does have a point
By Da W on 5/5/2011 10:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
With Windows 8 being able to run on ARM, I see a looot of potential for Asus transformer style netbook/tablets coming up.


Point. I'd see an ARM soc on the tablet part with an optional Brazos or ULV Sandy bridge SOC in the optional base. The whole thing seemlessly synced with your desktop/other machines and synced in the clouds since a syncing module like Windows Live mesh will be integrated into Windows 8. So you carry all your files on all your devices, no need to swap memory card or USB stick. Now if Microsoft could only add a feature like HP's touch to share, they would have a winner!


RE: He does have a point
By The Raven on 5/5/2011 11:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
With Windows 8 being able to run on ARM, I see a looot of potential for Asus transformer style netbook/tablets coming up.

Though I agree with your other pro-netbook arguments, this actually sounds like an argument for tablets. But you bring up a good point regarding the OS of a typical tablet: it is not a "real" OS (meaning somehow limited by OS choice of Android/iOS).

So to address this comment:
quote:
There's one key factor that, at least for now, is keeping netbooks in the race: price.

More reason I see:
1) More OS choices
2) Swappable batteries
3) Better speakers lol
4) Built in case and stand
5) Keyboard/tactile buttons
6) Ports ports ports

Of course I am not down on tablets as I see a usefulness but they are not for me and many other people so I don't see them going anywhere soon. But over time many of these differences will dissappear as technology advances where tablets are able to handle such things as swappable bateries, etc. and the interfaces of the "real" OSs are tuned to run on them all. Also as the definition of netbook and tablet are blurred (e.g. said Transformer or Lenovo's S10-3t type models). Then someone will call them Nettabs or Tabbooks and people will decry nettops and tablets alike and announce the fall of both.


RE: He does have a point
By Taft12 on 5/5/2011 11:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) The difference between $250 (usually $350) and $500 isn't that much


What? I wish I was a retail store in YOUR neigbourhood!


RE: He does have a point
By OS on 5/5/2011 12:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) The difference between $250 (usually $350) and $500 isn't that much
quote:


100% more, or twice as much, "isn't that much"??

well if we're going to go down that road a 1K macbook air or toshiba portege isn't that much more either...


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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