Intel: Netbooks Fine for an Hour

Netbooks only good for an hour at a time (even though some of them can last 6 plus hours on a charge)? Intel seems be saying so. At a recent conference Intel’s vice president of the Sales and Marketing Stu Pann explained that the company is reassessing the intentions of the netbook. According to CNET, Pann is quoted saying the following:

“It turns out the bulk of the netbooks sold today are Western Europe, North America, and for people who just want to grab and go with a notebook,” Pann said. “We view the netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market,” he added. “If you’ve ever used a netbook and used a 10-inch screen size–it’s fine for an hour. It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.”

It is understandable that Intel doesn’t see netbooks being a “laptop replacement” since it doesn’t want to cannibalize its other product offerings. But 10-inch netbooks only good for an hour of use? At LAPTOP we have followed netbooks since their inception and have seen them evolve from, in our opinion, the “fine for an hour machine” that was the ASUS Eee PC 701 to fine for prolonged use 10-inch systems like the MSI Wind, ASUS N10 and the Samsung NC10. While netbooks won’t replace your dual core laptop for performance intensive tasks like gaming or video editing, the 10-inch (and even now 12-inch netbooks, like the Dell Inspiron Mini 12) are perfect travel companions which are fine for working in the Cloud, that four hour plane ride or few hours of e-mail checking in a cafe. The response posts to the Intel statement have been thought provoking. Engadget asked its readers to comment on their experiences with netbooks and if netbooks could be their primary machines. Lots of good responses. The Samsung NC10 and ASUS N10J are referenced as being higher end netbooks that can perform like real laptops. Then there is Mike Arrington of TechCrunch who responded with a pseudo-manifesto against netbooks entitled “Three Reasons Why Netbooks Just Aren’t Good Enough.” I may or may not deal with the holes in Arrington’s argument in a dedicated response letter (Brad of Liliputing already did a great job of it), but overall he thinks netbooks just aren’t for everyone. Readers of this site tend to be big fans of netbooks so you tell us. Did you buy a netbook and then find yourself disappointed in performance? Do you use yours for more than an hour?

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  1. JonGl Says:

    You didn’t put up enough choices! I use my Wind as my _main_ computer! I use it a minimum of 8 hours per day. I’ve taken to using it for things I did not originally intend it for–photo processing (on Linux, nonetheless!), audo processing, and other items that I didn’t think it was capable of doing (due to screen size and processor).

    In fact, my Wind is the computer I’ve been dreaming ever since my Macintosh Duo died back in 2000. It gets far more use than my Pismo ever did. I can close it up, stuff it in its handy sleeve, and run out the door in seconds. It is very low maintenance. It is, as I said, my dream computer. It is very frustrating to me to see execs say such stupid, short-sighted, and self-serving things. IMO, the netbook (9 or 10″ screens) are the ideal size for a handheld/laptop computer.


  2. Richard Says:

    I must admit most keyboards are a too small, like the Eee PC 701 I own. Maybe one of the new Tablet/Touchscreen netbooks from Gigabyte are more user friendly.

  3. Baz Says:

    Ever since I purchased it, I’ve used my Eee PC 701 as my daily travel computer, it completely replacing – at 1/3rd the weight, 2/3rd the size and capable of 95% of the stuff I expect to do – my HP notebook in that regard. The HP remains tethered on the desk at home as my primary computer. The other 5% of my tasks could be achieved on my netbook if I bothered to buy a slim external DVD or HDD. Why, I’ve even used the Eee as my primary computer on extended trips or when the HP has gone in for repair. And I’m not just using the Eee for surfing the net and basic WP needs.

    Now, granted, the screen size and the keyboard are a bit of a challenge, but with the netbooks now out there, I’m thinking that a low-priced 9 – 10″ screen version (like the Acer AspireOne) will soon replace both my Eee and HP.

    Intel’s VP for sales and marketing is likely less concerned with how real consumers use their devices (and the real ‘horsepower’ required), than with how to encourage users to buy devices with ever newer, ever costlier, ever less necessary processors to keep Intel profitable – and to keep his job.

  4. Marco Morello Says:

    My wife works in events organization sector. She uses an EEE PC 901 Asus. She needs to read e-mails and work with office documents. She works all the day with her netbook, that she can comfortably use also at home, working while our little daugher plays in the living room.
    When she’s in the office she connects the netbook to a 17″ external wide-screen and that’s all she need to work better.

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