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Perhaps, ultra-portable notebooks look similar to with enlarged netbooks, but these two types of devices are completely different, as technically savvy consumers understand. Apparently, a lot of end-users do not realize the difference between capabilities and performance of netbooks and notebooks, which is why over 30% of netbook owners are not satisfied with the purchase, a recent study by NPD Group has found.

A recent report by NPD claims that 60% of consumers who purchased a netbook instead of a notebook thought their netbooks would have the same functionality as notebooks.

That confusion about functionality is naturally leading to dissatisfaction: only 58% of consumers who bought a netbook instead of a notebook said they were very satisfied with their purchase, compared to 70% of consumers who planned on buying a netbook from the start. This means that more than 30% of netbook owners are not satisfied with their purchase, a result which shows that netbooks in general are not suitable for a lot of consumers. This is hardly surprising since the vast majority of netbooks feature relatively small low-resolution screens as well as Intel Atom microprocessors, which cannot compete even with Celeron, not talking about Pentium or Core 2 central processing units.

Satisfaction was even harder to ascertain among 18- to 24-year-olds, one of the main demographics manufacturers were hoping to win over with the new products. Among that age group, 65% said they bought their netbooks expecting better performance, and only 27% said their netbooks performed better than expected, a study by NPD claims.

"We need to make sure consumers are buying a PC intended for what they plan to do with it. There is a serious risk of cannibalization in the notebook market that could cause a real threat to netbooks’ success," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

One marketing aspect that has interested buyers is the portability factor. It has been the key marketing tool for netbook manufacturers, and consumers agree that it is a great feature. 60% of the end-users said that portability was a main reason they bought their netbooks. However, once they got home, 60% of buyers said they never even took their netbooks out of the house.

"Retailers and manufacturers can’t put too much emphasis on PC-like capabilities and general features that could convince consumers that a netbook is a replacement for a notebook. Instead, they should be marketing mobility, portability, and the need for a companion PC to ensure consumers know what they are buying and are more satisfied with their purchases," added Mr. Baker.

Nearly 600 adults from NPD’s online panel who were identified as netbook owners completed this survey between April 27 and May 4, 2009.

Tags: Celeron, Pentium

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