The 'netbook' revolution
A new market with a small, inexpensive portable computer, so what’s a Netbook?
A netbook is a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop suitable for web browsing, email and general purpose applications. To achieve their small form factor, low weight and affordability, netbooks offer fewer features, less processing power and reduced ability to run resource-intensive operating systems.
Though specifications and features of netbooks are highly variable, one report at the end of 2008 suggested the typical netbook featured a 3-lb (1.4 kg) weight, a 9-inch (23 cm) screen, a wireless Internet connectivity, Microsoft Windows XP, an Intel chip and a cost of less than $US400.
Netbooks are targeted at users increasingly accessing web-based applications – also known as Cloud computing – that do not require intensive resources available on the client computer.
Led by the popularization of small-form-factor laptops by Asus and then others, the term 'netbook' became a widely used and generalized industry classification rather than a reference to a particular product. By April 2008, Intel had begun officially using the term netbook to recognize a specific sub-category of laptops.
In facts the term had existed previously – though related to specific products rather than a category of laptops:
• Psion in 1999 had used the product name 'netbook', and in 2008 claimed trademark rights to the term where used in a product name.
• MSI had registered the product name Wind Netbook.
• Coby Electronics had registered the product name Coby Netbook.
Acer Aspire One 'netbook'
Many people are unaware of just how big a player Acer is in the computer industry. Acer has been in business since 1976 and during this time has acquired the likes of Gateway, Packard Bell and eMachines. Acer’s maiden voyage into the netbook mix came in July 2008 with the release of the Acer Aspire One.
The Aspire One is a...