by Anton Shilov
11/27/2009 | 11:52 PM
Although netbook computers have gained huge popularity among end-users across the globe, nettops hardly have such a chance on well-developed markets. Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of central processing units (CPUs) believes that in developing markets nettops, or very low-end personal computers, actually make sense.
“Entry level desktop PCs or nettops or whatever you want to call them, while not as popular as netbooks, nor as widespread. […] There is also a new crop of small form-factor desktop machines, All-in-Ones based on the next-generation Atom platform that I think are going to be very compelling for people who just want entry-level desktop performance, with slightly more capability than a standard netbook (light multi-tasking, etc),” explained Bill Calder, a spokesman for Intel in a an interview with X-bit labs.
While a lot of consumers can cope with rather limited capabilities of netbooks, nettops with restricted performance and capabilities are not popular at all. While netbooks can be sold by cell phone network operators with subsidies, traditional Internet providers do not seem be interested in selling netbooks.
Still, in developing countries nettops as well as low-end desktops have a good chance of becoming a usable tool in the education space. Being relatively inexpensive and very efficient in terms of support for multimedia features, personal computers powered by chipsets like GeForce 9400M can actually revolutionize the experience of education.
“India already has a province in which children learn and do homework on these devices. And this is only the beginning,” said Irina Shekhovtsova, a spokeswoman for Nvidia Corp. in the same interview.
Actually, low-cost personal computers were given a green light at the time when IBM allowed others use its IBM PC platform and the “IBM PC-compatible term emerged”, sometime over 20 years ago.
“Technically, low-cost PCs have been around for at least 10 years or more, why we did Celeron in the first place, and the category is going to continue to evolve with Atom fueling a new crop of innovative small designs. Of course, Celeron is better performer, but keep in mind one of the other benefits of Atom is low power, very very small die and small package, our smallest chip we make, which enables some very cool small form-factor and fanless designs,” noted Mr. Calder.