2009 – Year of the netbook

Desktop PC’s are effectively extinct for the average Joe’s personal use. The only time he’ll use them is in work. That was pretty much confirmed, statistically, a few years ago when notebook sales eclipsed desktop sales for the first time ever. Netbooks (slimmer, lighter, smaller versions of laptops) will now, probably, eclipse sales of both desktops and laptops within the next few years. Why? Because they’re cheaper than both and more convenient too.

Now you can’t beat a powerhouse desktop with 2 or 3 monitors attached for maximum productivity and multitasking – that’s the setup i bought for myself just this summer past. I’m one of the few who made a ‘backwards’ switch from laptop to desktop (having used a laptop for 3 years+ previously as my main PC). That’s because i needed a more professional system and approach to things as i realized this IT thing was now my career, not just a hobby.

I still *need* a portable solution though. I don’t need a powerhouse laptop that rivals my own desktop set up, no. I just want something that will allow me to word process, browse the web and transfer files via usb stick / sd card etc… bluetooth would be handy and i wouldn’t say no to an integrated camera – it all helps me stay connected and when you’re working/living most of your life online (which most teenagers and young people my age now do), connections to the online world are quite literally the veins and arteries that keep us alive.

Samsumg NC10
Creative Commons License photo credit: phisite

Take them away or stop the flow of blood, even for a few hours, and we feel the pain, some would even say life is not worth living. Battery life too is an important factor in ‘staying alive’ and ‘staying connected’ – the idea being the battery is the heart of any mobile device. If it dies, the ‘body’ dies too.

So hours and hours of battery life (the more the merrier) and as many connection features as possible are the two main concerns we have when buying netbooks. Gaming doesn’t come in to it, nor does graphics editing or any heavy duty computing stuff like that. Remember, they kill battery life, plus bump up the cost as they require more powerful components to run them.

With at least one powerhouse PC at home, most people will take the hit in terms of powerful processing ability in exchange for longer battery life and cheaper cost because remember, we already have a powerful rig at home.

In summary;

  • Laptop/Notebook = more power + heavier components + more expensive + shorter battery life.
  • Netbook = less power + lighter components + cheaper cost + longer battery life.

Without a laptop or a desktop, you won’t buy a netbook, not yet. Give it a year or two. The biggest buyers of netbooks today are business professionals on the move, college students and those that can’t afford laptops but need a PC.

With the entire global economy in meltdown, expect netbook sales to shoot through the roof in 2009 and beyond.

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