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Hard Times Push Light Systems

During the times of economic downturn end-users tend to save money amid uncertainties. As a result, some end-users who were looking at inexpensive notebooks may now start buying netbooks instead.

Originally, notebooks were designed for road-warriors and were not intended for typical end-users and multimedia enthusiasts. However, as many people started to value mobility and small form-factors (compared to desktops) of notebooks as well as because of aggressive ad campaigns of Centrino early this decade, mobile computers started to gain popularity. Nowadays every family member may have her or his own personal computer without installing a rather huge desktop.

But while consumers have embraced laptops, average user’s demands did not evolve to high-definition multimedia experience or gaming. All the things that many need are limited to Internet browsing, email and social networks reading, which do not require high-performance; hence, instead of getting inexpensive fully-featured mobile computers many consumers will switch to cheap netbooks because of the economic slump.

Even Sony Electronics, which has been focusing on expensive PCs with its Vaio series, is about to introduce its Vaio P-series, which will support Windows Vista, feature 1600x768 screen resolution and is likely to have decent performance.

Image by Cnet web-site

Arguably, but the rise of netbooks in 2009 may be a threat for companies oriented on selling laptops to consumers. As a result, they will have to quickly refocus themselves on selling netbooks instead, as the demand is likely to be rising. One of the challenges here is that all existing netbooks feature proprietary designs and built-in processors, hence, it is almost impossible to customize netbooks for local PC assemblers. As a result, we would expect global netbook vendors to offer very broad netbook families.

Netbooks themselves are likely to tend to close the gap between them and notebooks: we would expect 8” – 10” normal resolution screens, dual-core processors and richer multimedia capabilities. In fact, we would not expect Intel Atom processors to power all netbooks on the market: there are a lot of consumers who demand adequate performance levels that Atom simply cannot provide. The price of such machines will go up, but as the times are tough, it is supposed to be below the cost of notebooks or high-end business-oriented sub-notebooks, which may be just what the doctor ordered considering current market conditions.

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