Netbooks now comprise 8 percent of the laptop market, but are we satisfied? Intel says no: its "Pine Trail" roadmap (that's the code name for its next-gen Atom processors) reveals plans for an integrated CPU/GPU, with claims of saving space as well as battery life. While the graphics power likely won't be as impressive as an Nvidia ION processor, it will change the landscape of a pretty fast-growing field. Here's what we'd like to see in the near-future of Netbooks. Sound off and tell us what you're looking for--that is, if you're looking for a Netbook at all.
1. Better video. While Atom processors can handle YouTube and some HD video streaming (kinda sorta), there are no DVD drives on these little guys. Video-playing (especially streaming) needs to be silky-smooth, even in HD. Until then, Netbooks will never be truly great portable media devices, which they ought to be. After all, Web browsing is most of what we do with computers.
2. Smaller, please! But with larger keyboards. The whole 11.6-inch and higher trend is disturbing because it's making semi-bulky Netbooks even larger. While it's nice for some applications and those who want an affordable 12-inch laptop, this whole XL Netbook trend takes away from the whole gee-whiz "look how small my notebook is!" appeal that made Netbooks an overnight hit in the first place. What we're really saying is: make better use of the size. Edge-to-edge keyboards and edge-to-edge screens should become the norm, and with better engineering, we'd like to see 10-inch Netbooks become even thinner and more compact. A Netbook could feel like a small paperback book, not a portable VCR.… Read more