The advantage of having a Netbook: ultraportability and compactness. The necessary disadvantage, of course, is small screen size. Asustek's announcement that its Eee PC line of Netbooks would be expanding into the 11.6-inch range, therefore, should be good news for those who value their eyesight and wallets at the same time. They're in direct competition with the upcoming Acer line of 11.6 Netbooks.
Available by the end of the month, the 11.6-inch models are expected to comprise 30 percent of Asus' Netbook shipments for 2009, according to president Jerry Shen. Fifty percent of Asus' 2009 shipped Netbooks will still be 10 inches, which is considered the base standard for the Eee PC now.
But are Netbooks about to head into a clash with slim 12-inch notebooks with speedier processors? As Asus' trademark product has slid from 7 inches all the way to 10 inches, the physical and financial differences between them and ultraportable fuller-featured machines like the HP dv3z are shrinking. If we can get a 13-inch dual-core mobile machine for $700, what advantages (other than battery life) would a 12-inch Netbook provide?
Rather than focusing on ever larger machines running lower-power processors, would the effort be better spent on creating more cleverly engineered sub-Netbooks with even smaller screens? If consumers are already somewhat confused about the performance level of Netbooks vs. Core 2 Duo laptops, making Netbooks larger doesn't seem to be the way to make the understanding any clearer. Then again, a bigger screen for the affordable Netbook category is hard to complain about...or is it?
Sound off below.