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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hey Apple, The Netbook Train is Leaving the Station




On a trip to the local Costco earlier today, I saw quite a clamor. No, it wasn't just the checkout lines stretching back half the store (didn't anyone get the recession memo?) It was people of all ages checking out the HP 1000 Netbook. After waiting a bit to play with it, I've got to say, it's a solid computer - for what it is. I think 75% of the people playing with it may have thought they were using a full-blown laptop miniaturized, and for many of them, it may have been just that. If you intend to simply surf the internet, check email, and write some word documents, (which is still all many people need to do) then you may never notice the underpowered Atom processor.

Personally, it struck me as the ultimate blogging tool. The ability to throw something under 3 pounds into a bag and go, is impressive. If it had 3G wireless connectivity built-in, I may have even pulled the trigger. Are you listening, Apple? This is a product, actually a whole category of products, that are starting to gain mainstream traction, and there isn't an Apple-branded option to be found. The HP Netbook had a solid, but not MacBook Pro solid, feel. The fit and finish, again, not up to what you would expect from Apple, was still significant.

The days of selling an $1100 laptop as an entry level computer are over. Having 80% of the functionality in something at 40% of the cost, and 50% of the weight will appeal to many.

Apple's reluctance/delay in making a splash in this market category could be the biggest under-reported story to the company's future.

1 comment:

jamie said...

The 9 and 12 inch DELL mini notebooks look pretty sweet right about now.

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