So what is the difference between laptop and netbook?
Mini laptops aren't as powerful as bigger notebook computers, and lack the power for big, demanding programs as well as an optical disc drive - so no CDs or DVDs. None the less, connectivity is a central focus for netbooks. Internet downloads are quickly catching up on hard media products, so perhaps it's not such a loss. In short, the difference between laptop and netbook is a netbook is smaller, lighter, cheaper (on the whole) and simpler.
New mini laptops are expected to sell in the region of 5.2 million units by the end of 2008, 8 million during 2009 and up to 50 million by 2012 - a ten fold growth. Industry analysts are torn whether or not subnotebooks will cannibalize the laptop market, some suggesting that a mere 10% market share will be taken. However, in this economic downturn, people will always look for cheaper products and with mini laptops available from 150-200, perhaps there is a big market after all.
So is it game over for the standard laptop and pc? Unlikely; whilst mini laptops can perform dozens of tasks to identical or similar standard of larger computers, they will (for the time being) be limited by battery size, processing power and storage space, the difference between laptop and netbook is pronounced enough not to make the former obsolete. Furthermore, when using a computer over a prolonged period of time, it would make sense to use a bigger screen and a faster processor of a desktop replacement laptop or a PC, particularly for demanding programs' such as games.
And finally, similarly priced but laptops, of varying quality, are available for around 200-300 leading some industry analysts to believe that the consumer focus will be on functionality and not merely size and weight.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, mobile phone manufacturers and providers are tapping into the netbook market with the Samsung NC10, LG X110 and Carphone Warehouse launching the Webbook - a branded laptop made by Elonex. Vodafone has linked arms with Dell with its Inspiron Mini 9, offering 3G mobile broadband contracts. Orange have followed suit with by cosying up with Asus and the Eee PC 901.