As anyone who peruses computer stores knows, netbooks are proliferating at unprecedented rates. Consumers are taken the portability of the half-pint PCs (the typical reaction is â€œtheyâ€™re so cute,â€ one salesman derisively shared with me), not to mention the price tags â€“ often under $300. In my own completely unscientific survey, 30% or more of the PCs on display in traditional PC retail outlets are now flavors of netbooks.
The data support the anecdotal evidence. Worldwide netbooks shipments are expected snare a 17.2% share of the overall notebook PC market in 2009, according to a new research report.
But not so fast. The salespersons I spoke with noted lots of problems with notebooks. The return rates run as high as 40%, one said, citing consumer complaints about the lack of functionality. Computer Weekly editors recently took on the negative side to the phenomenon as well.
Netbooks serve a function â€“ namely surfing and simple word processing. But they are not computers in the full-fledged sense. The idea, as noted by Computer Weekly, that business are starting to implement netbooks is a scary proposition for those who value quality and performance over price.