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Thread: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

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    Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    Sub-notebooks are the hottest PC category right now, but when the novelty wears off will people keep buying them?
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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    I dont think these things will vanish from the market, they offer too much to people who travel a lot like students and businessmen who genuinely don't need the speed and storage of their full sized laptop at all times. The prices need to cme down quite a bit.. 170-300 max i reckon but im sure that will happen with time.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    I think the article gets straight to the heart of the matter, at £200 these are a gimmicky impulse spend, at £400 they're sub-par notebooks.

    Ultimately for the money, what you really want is something akin to what you'd get from the iPhone or other MDA. Play music, watch some videos, surf websites and read eBooks. If the manufacturers focussed on bringing those features rather than trying to make a PC as small as possible, then they'd really see the sales roll in.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    Doubt it, as for 2 of those tasks an iPhone or MDA is better suited, smaller and has better battery life. And at the moment cheaper.

    Fad? No. They have their space, but it'll turn into a niche one in my opinion.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    As a secondary laptop I think they're superb, but I definitely wouldn't spend over £250 on one. I just bought an Acer One (Atom 1.6GHz / 1GB RAM / 120GB HDD) for just under £220, take it almost everywhere with me

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    Doubt it, as for 2 of those tasks an iPhone or MDA is better suited, smaller and has better battery life. And at the moment cheaper.

    Fad? No. They have their space, but it'll turn into a niche one in my opinion.
    You may be right about the niche... i think it will be a fairly large niche as far as they go though.

    I doubt the Iphone competes with them, browser is slightly limited, screen is pretty damn small and typing on one is a pain IMO. Iphones are for those who like nice looking reasonably fuctional devices, they are not versitile business or study friendly things in the long run.
    MDA is a similar story to the iphoen however they are slightly more versitile with regards to typing and taking notes etc.

    U say they are cheaper... not really tbh, they generally have to be bought on a contract and the overall cost is about the same maybe a bit less for quite a bit less speed. Yeah you get the calls and stuff but if you hunt around and bargain enough you can get contracts which cover hundreds of mins and texts for next to nothing nowerdays.

    IMO what these sub notebooks are ideal for is having the functionality of a normal kyboard. Iphones PDAs MDAs etc DO NOT have the same typing capabilities. Yeah ok typing on those daft little shrunken Eee keyboards is a nightmare at first but once you get used to it you could touch type unlike a phone-computer. And im not speculating here... i have a HTC TYTN II yes its top for typing but i cant touch type, double the speed of a numpad but half the speed of a keyboard.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    They won't disappear, but I think it's a niche market that is quickly becoming oversaturated.

    ASUS should really ensure their Eee PC range is associated with these sub notebooks above everything else to keep themselves as a force in the sector, rather than suddenly stamping the brand onto half their laptop range.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    I think the article gets straight to the heart of the matter, at £200 these are a gimmicky impulse spend, at £400 they're sub-par notebooks.

    Ultimately for the money, what you really want is something akin to what you'd get from the iPhone or other MDA. Play music, watch some videos, surf websites and read eBooks. If the manufacturers focussed on bringing those features rather than trying to make a PC as small as possible, then they'd really see the sales roll in.
    That might be what you want at £200, but it isn't what I want. I wouldn't give thankyou for an iPhone (etc), and I'm not in the slightest bit interested in watching movies, playing games or listening to music on these devices. I am interested in something as small and light as possible while still having a usable, typeable full keyboard. I want basic data entry, i.e. primarily WP, with a decent email capability, and just maybe a bit of web-browsing. In other words, a decent alternative to carrying a full-sized notebook.

    Are they a fad? No.

    Is the current sales level because of novelty ... or fashion? Quite possibly.

    Are they a niche product? Very likely.

    I agree with Biscuit's analysis.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    I think we as consumers should pick the product that fits our needs-there is no way an atom chip can compere with a desktop cpu-pick the system to your needs.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    I also think the category is here to stay. Some format (screen size/spec vs cost) may be more successful than others, and in the long run we may see manufacturers focussing on the most successful ones, but I am sure that the market of the category is big enough.

    I did a study tour last summer, and that would've been the perfect place to use one of those sub-notebooks: I was on the road a lot so it needed to be portable, sometime stayed in a hostel where the storage box too small for a full sized laptop, not too expensive in case anything happens. And while it may not be very comfortable to type reports, I only needed to do a series of relatively small reports at a time. A PDA/Smartphone, even with a keyboard would probably be less efficient.

    Even at £400, it's still cheaper than many 10.4" to 12.1" 'Ultra portable' laptop of the past. I do favour cheaper models (toward £200) because they are no substitute for a main PC for me. But there may be people (e.g. those frequently write reports on the road) who use them often enough to justify a beefed up model.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    I'd be astonished if this sector didn't grow to be massive - and quickly, too.

    For most people, a PC means having access to email and the net - and to do a bit of word-processing.

    Assuming that the makers sort out the keyboards a little better and that prices fall, rather than rise, my expectation is that - perhaps even as soon as next autumn - people will regard such PCs in the same way that they today regard mobiles.

    What do I mean?

    Well, unlike PCs to to date, I think that they will genuinely be PERSONAL computers, where, just like mobiles, everyone has - or wants to have - their own.

    So a family with ma, pa and two kids would own four of them.


    Bob C
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 27-07-2008 at 08:50 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    you could well be right Bob. And if that is the case these things will become disposable just like mobiles too. Instead of having a PC that is replaced every few years, these netbooks could be replaced every year or so. And in that year I would expect the spec to increase quite a lot, just like the difference in performance between mobiles of the same ages.

    I've just read on another site that Orange are to start including Eee's in some of their data plans.

    http://www.coolsmartphone.com/news4160.html

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    Interesting perspectives Bob and Funkstar. And I guess with SD cards storing all the data you could just use them in way we use SIM cards in phones and make migrating from one machine to another easy.

    I still reckon any price with a 3 or more at the beginning positions the product quite differently though.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    But not all of them are £300+, just like not all mobiles are £400+.

    Or there is always the "Free with a data contract" options

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    One factor that often get over looked, includeing here is that a large part of Asus's original target market for the eee pc was children.
    Small light weight, perfect for a child
    Low cost, perfect for a parent/school

    Schools is also one area that Asus moved fast on, pushed and secured. I can tel you now that RM the UKs largest school computer supplier/specialist has a contract for EEE pc's, so there's a nice chunk of govenrment funding that should keep sales up for a while.

    I don't think these are a fad as there is a definate neiche for them, even with the higher prices. As the artical said before the eee pc, small laptops where standard laptops cramed into smaller cases with higher price tags (generally around £1000 mark)
    I do for see sales slopeing off and prices dropping slightly, as the higher demand will push the price of these small LCD pannels down. But they will be here to stay.

    Unless someone comes up with a workable low cost replacement for a keyboard.

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    Re: Analysis - Are sub-notebooks just a fad?

    What I'm kind of expecting is for the price-point to stabilise somewhere below £250 initially and then, as volume grows, move below £200.

    Once these machines drop below £200, buying one becomes close to being a no-brainer - though, admittedly, not so much of one as if you're given a PC free with your mobile contract or as standard like everyone else in your class at school.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 27-07-2008 at 05:29 PM. Reason: grammar

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