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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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By tekzor on 5/5/2011 10:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
tablets definitely are better at what netbooks are visualized for. Portability, battery life, ease of access. Still netbooks out now can give you 6 hours battery life and a semi full laptop experience.

By Xonoahbin on 5/5/2011 11:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
I have this netbook:

It's not even three pounds, very portable, great "ease of access" as you call it, and the battery lasts anywhere between 10-14 hours of actual use (with wifi on, browsing, etc).

$331 on Amazon right now. Little more expensive than some netbooks, but you can't seriously tell me tablets consistently beat this price/performance point. Furthermore, the physical keyboard makes it possible to actually be productive on one of these things..

By quiksilvr on 5/5/2011 1:24:38 PM , Rating: 3
The real question you have to ask yourself is this: Is this a primary device? Chances are the answer will be no. Netbooks and tablets are mainly used as a secondary device to your device/big boy notebook.

And I agree that netbooks are indeed better, but what if all you need is a 7" tablet that can get online and can run basic apps? It's a much more convenient than a netbook and most consumers are realizing this.

By Omega215D on 5/5/2011 5:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
The Thinkpad X120e is a great netbook with its Fusion platform, decent battery life and solid build quality. It's almost as quick as my 2007 era MacBook and it looks better (professionally).

Acer products on the other hand are just bleh. I have their monitors and dealt with their Aspire One which was nowhere near the Thinkpad.

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