Intel: Netbooks just for children...you've got to be kidding

Intel looks like it’s fed up with the success of the NetBook. Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group has said that NetBooks are for kids. Apparently grown-ups need a grown-up laptop.

This is utter rubbish. I travel every day into London on Southern Trains. Many grown-up commuters actually prefer them to larger laptops that don’t fit easily on the tiny amount of table space we have on the train.

 

I’ve used a 7 inch Linux-based Asus eeePC and now an 8.9 inch Windows XP-based Fujitsu Amilo. I’ve used both machines abroad and in the UK, to send and receive Word and Open Office document; I have edited and uploaded 70 MByte WAV audio files using Audacity and today I imported a 48 MByte raw image file into Gimp…and three other applications were runnig  at the same time. Earlier this week I used the Citrix ICA client on a fast LAN to access our corporate systems seamlessly. I wasn’t running a heavyweight laptop – the Amilo uses a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, and  has just 1 GByte  of RAM and a 60 GByte hard disc.

 

Intel is worried that we are happy with NetBooks. It is worried people won’t buy machines that use its expensive Core 2 mobile processor chips, rather than the cheap and cheerful Atom-based NetBooks 

 

Don’t be fooled into thinking the NetBook isn’t particularly powerful. They are not as fast as a state-of-the art laptop, but I think they do most things reasonable well. Okay, so the screen may not be that great, sound may be tinny, touch-typing is tricky but all of these problems are not show stoppers, particularly when a device that costs around £200 and weighs 1 kg is revolutionionising portable computing..

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Netbooks are certainly an interesting technology to follow and I enjoyed hearing about your real life experience of such a device. According to Gartner 20% of all PCs shipped in the UK in Q4 last year were netbooks.

Some interesting material has come out in the last few days from Dimensional Research based on feedback from over 1,000 IT professionals. The summary of their findings includes

'The vast majority of participants (84%) do not plan to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year. ...... Most (67%) state concerns about Windows 7 with 88% of those worried about

software compatibility...... Participants are generally more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying with the increasingly out-of-date Windows XP. Compared to surveys conducted in previous years, even more participants are considering alternative operating systems to avoid Vista or Windows 7...... participants report a lack of tools to automate operating system migrations.'

So what is the future of the corporate desktop? Will organisations stay on XP until 2014? Will they look to move to open source? Or will they consider a thin/virtual client potentially not based on the Microsoft operating system? With cloud computing gaining ground maybe we will be at the point by 2014 that corporates mainstrem apps will run in this environment

Netbooks is a good example of a device that offers an alternative to the established desktop

We are going to see a lot of activity in the next year from vendors who support the Microsoft desktop to sort out application compatibility issues. Unless this is addressed VISTA/Win 7 looks under threat to the alternatives available

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After lots of research I decided on the Acer Aspire One netbook because of the multi-card reader, the 160 GB HD, the 1GB of Ram, the 6 cell battery and the 10.1 inch screen. I have had it now over a week and have since upgraded the memory to the 2 GB memory card. Like another reviewer I feel like I have gotten more for my money than expected. The screen is very clear, even outside in the sun. It streams video and music seamlessly. The webcam worksed very well while talking to a friend using Skype. The keyboard works well for me (with my small fingers) and my husband and other male friends (with much larger hands) had no problem typing on it as either. It was very easy to change the memory card. I have been able to get between 6 and 7 1/5 hours of battery life from my 6 cell battery. I am also able to have multiple applications open simultaneously with no noticeable lag.

I was prepared to hate the buttons on the touch pad due to the poor reviews that they received on almost all other reviews. Yes it is a stiff button but in the time that I have been using it I have gotten used to it. It is not annoying enough for me to get an external mouse just yet, and I have logged quite a few hours on this machine since I received it. One draw back is that this machine, unlike other models, does not come with a sleeve or case, but I have found one that works well for it from Amazon and am very happy with it.

Over all I am extremely pleased with this device and its functionality and have recommended it to all of my friends and co-workers. It is extremely portable and user friendly and I hope that this review helps others to make an informed decision.

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