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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 Shadowmaster625 on 5/5/2011 10:23:34 AM , Rating: 5
Do you have any actual evidence that surfing facebook is inherently safer or faster on a $250 tablet than on a $250 netbook? And if you think that $250 netbook run horribly, just try using a $250 tablet. If you're going to compare a $600+ tablet to a netbook then you're talking about a $600 AMD fusion/ Intel CULV + SSD + 9cell netbook, which would blow the freakin guts out of any tablet in every measurable category except viewing angle. Let's have a little honesty here. Tablets are a product based on an expensive form factor that has been hyped to death for not years but actual literal decades. (See Star Trek: TNG from 25 years ago.) That form factor sells only because people are stupid and/or do not actually work for their money. No one with an actual brain or an actual job would turn down a decked out fully functional 12" notebook for a crippled $600 tablet that cant do anything except present you with content to consume. Use your brain, while you still have one, if you still have one. $600 is an insane amount of money to spend on a portable content consumption device. Anyone who buys one is one step away from being sold a chewable cyanide pill.

By damianrobertjones on 5/5/2011 11:23:20 AM , Rating: 1
Possibly the single best reply I've read in ages with regards to tablets.

By omnicronx on 5/5/2011 11:46:21 AM , Rating: 5
I have a laptop, I have a desktop, and I have ULV for work.

Am I really that stupid for wanting a portable device that I can bring everywhere whose primary purpose will be to consume content anyways? (i.e I don't need or want the full laptop experience)

Seriously, 30 years ago you would have been part of the same group of people whining that it makes no sense to spend $3000 dollars on a computer, because you could do pretty much everything you can do on a computer with a pen and pad of paper or a typewriter.

If you are in the group of people that 'actually work for your money', you probably are far above the poverty line and you make multiple frivolous purchase each year that you probably did not need. As a result I find your response very hypocritical as I could probably make the same kind of negative 'you don't actually need this you are stupid' comments about some of the stuff you buy.

By omnicronx on 5/5/2011 11:53:04 AM , Rating: 3
I would also like to point out that there is no comparison between a netbook GPU (most using integrated Intel graphics 4 years ago) and a tablet GPU of today. You would have to go into the CULV territory in order to have the same kind of experience in terms of consumables.

So you won't be playing games, and you will probably require some kind of internet connectivity to really do anything.

At that point you are now above the minimum price-point of a tablet too which start at $500.

Tablets are clearly not for everyone, but to make a blind statement calling a bunch of people stupid makes absolutely no sense.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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