Study: Netbook Buyers Clueless About Netbooks

Tom’s Hardware readers know what netbooks are and also know what netbooks aren’t. It seems, however, that the rest of the buying public doesn’t possess the same sort of knowledge.

According to a study by the NPD Group, 60-percent of consumers who purchased a netbook believed that their machines are the same as notebooks.

While the lines between netbooks and notebooks are blurring, there is still a distinguishing line in the performance differences between the two. Even the fastest Atom processor is still modest compared to the entry-level Intel Celeron CPU, and so netbooks are by nature less powerful.

The confusion between the differences between what a netbook and notebook are capable of may have triggered some consumer dissatisfaction. NPD figured that only 58 percent of consumers who bought a netbook (but were shopping for a notebook) said they were very satisfied with their purchase. In contrast, 70-percent of consumers who planned on buying a netbook from the start were ultimately satisfied with their purchase.

Among 18- to 24-year-olds, one of the main target markets for netbook makers, 65-percent said they bought their netbooks expecting better performance, and only 27-percent said their netbooks performed better than expected, reported the NPD.

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

Portability seems to be a key feature that netbook buyers already understand from looking at the product. 60-percent of netbook buyers cited portability as the main reason why they purchased the product, but interestingly, 60-percent of netbook owners admitted to have never taken their computers out of their homes.

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    Top Comments
  • Anonymous
    I bought this $200 computer to play Crysis, and I must say that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED.
    39
  • jerreece
    LOL

    Quote:
    This just in! The majority of computer purchasers don't know much about the technical details of computers! in a recent study, Common Sense Laboratories conducted a clinical test to see how many computer shoppers knew the difference between Hard Drive space and Memory. In a shocking set of statistical data, CSL determined that the vast majority of folks buying new computers didn't understand how to differentiate between the internal components and what they do, let alone the difference between brands and models of CPUs.


    Like this is a big surprise? Let's face it, most folks don't know the stuff the average Tom's Hardware reader should know. Every computer (Netbook or not) is hyped up to be the best thing since sliced bread. So most folks figure whatever they buy should perform well. Little do they know there's a big difference between a $200 - $300 Netbook to a custom built gaming PC which only cost $1,000.
    21
  • cadder
    So they buy a $300 computer instead of a $600 or $800 computer, then they are surprised when it isn't as powerful? Very funny. Maybe they aren't smart enough to own a computer.
    21
  • Other Comments
  • mtyermom
    Uh.... I'm not surprised?
    12
  • jerreece
    LOL

    Quote:
    This just in! The majority of computer purchasers don't know much about the technical details of computers! in a recent study, Common Sense Laboratories conducted a clinical test to see how many computer shoppers knew the difference between Hard Drive space and Memory. In a shocking set of statistical data, CSL determined that the vast majority of folks buying new computers didn't understand how to differentiate between the internal components and what they do, let alone the difference between brands and models of CPUs.


    Like this is a big surprise? Let's face it, most folks don't know the stuff the average Tom's Hardware reader should know. Every computer (Netbook or not) is hyped up to be the best thing since sliced bread. So most folks figure whatever they buy should perform well. Little do they know there's a big difference between a $200 - $300 Netbook to a custom built gaming PC which only cost $1,000.
    21
  • eklipz330
    i think a lol is in order
    10