Netbooks Are All The Rage But Does Anybody Have One?

Netbooks, netbooks, netbooks. You'd think we'd miniaturized 3.0 Ghz quad processor machines down to a $300, 1.5 lbs. footprint or something. I'm still quite puzzled about the whole "netbook thing" since everyone's proclaiming its the undisputed future of the PC. Debates about Linux vs. Windows dominating the netbook platform, Vista not being netbook friendly and Windows 7 Starter edition (or more likely Windows 7 Home Premium) being the OS for netbooks are topics currently all over the news and blogs.

Slideshow: Rise of the Netbooks - The evolution of mini-laptops

But for all the coverage the netbook subject gets, you'd think they would be the next coming of the iPhone or Blackberry. Netbooks would start showing up in coffee shops, bookstores and in airports, with small groups of people huddled around to get a glimpse at one of these new devices. The reality is just the opposite in my experience. I don't know anyone that has one and haven't seen anyone using a netbook in the local Starbucks I frequent nearly everyday. Have you? Are netbooks popping up all over your world? I'm guessing not.

When you can get a reasonably powered laptop the average user will be happy with for little more than $700, why step down to what amounts to an e-mail capable PDA with less multimedia capabilities than most phones? Isn't that why we have SmartPhones? Even Microsoft is touting the sub-$1000 laptop ($699 actually) in their latest "laptop hunter" ads against Apple, who only had one laptop below $1000, btw. Consumer laptops are approaching the same price range as higher end SmartPhones.

When I checked out netbooks at the neighborhood Best Buy, the sales staff were very careful to fully qualify my needs and then quickly point me to the latest deal on a price conscious laptop once I mentioned I might want to do more than email or very basic web surfing. They weren't in any rush to sell me a netbook, that's for sure.

Netbooks seem like the next "really successful product", if only everyone would just go out and buy one.

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