Computex: Netbooks Take World By Storm

As you may have noticed, it’s been quite the week for netbooks and nettops. Computex has seen a whole ream of additions to the subPCs and low-cost notebooks range. However, evidence from Computex aside, you don’t need to be market analyst to realise that these cheaper machines are spreading like wildfire.

So, how about that Mac mini? It seems, Apple was a few years ahead of the game with its own nettop PC. Apple released this low-end desktop way back in 2005, and you don’t need us to tell you that three years is an age when it comes to innovation and technology. However, it does make us wonder why the Mac Mini has been around for so long with nearly no competition.

Fast forward three years and there are companies coming out with similar products left, right and centre. The Asus Eee Box and the MSI Wind mini-desktop to name just two, and that’s not including the notebooks we started seeing earlier in the year.

It could be as simple a fact as a matter of price. At between $600 and $800 it’s not surprising to think people might have opted for an alternative for just a couple of hundred bucks more, and now? Well, now you have the likes of the EeePC, which is no doubt an appealing purchase given its $200 pricetag, which comes with impulse buy urges to boot and lets not not forget the Gigabye M912, a sleek tablet version of all the subnotebooks we’ve been seeing.

Leaving pricing out of the equation for a moment, it could also be a hardware issue. Most of these new notebooks and mini-desktops are sporting the nearly ubiquitous Intel Atom processor, which is only recently launched. The Mac Mini itself has seen several hardware updates since its release in January of 2005 and updates to these machines (not just the Mac Mini) are bound to be fairly frequent.

How do you feel about this sudden low-cost netbook/nettop craze? Is there any particular reason you feel it’s taken so long for the flames to spread? Or is it, like we suggested, simply a case of there being more superior hardware available for less money now than there was a few years ago?