Last week Asus announced that it was discontinuing the 8.9-inch Eee PC, reports have emerged that say all netbook vendors are dropping the price of their 8.9-inch models in order to clear inventory. Is this the end of the 8.9 inch netbook?
A while back a story broke regarding talks between HP and Intel. HP was apparently trying to get Intel to ease its restrictions on its Atom processor so that it could use the ever so popular netbook CPU in netbooks with larger panels. Digitimes reported that HP's '09 roadmap showed the company hoped to add both an 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch model to its netbook line, with the 11.6-inch expected sometime in Q2 '09 and the 13.3-inch in June ’09.
The fact that manufacturers are discontinuing smaller netbooks and expressing the need for netbooks with larger panels suggests that the small panels aren’t really hitting the spot for consumers. That said, Asus has said the company will be keeping its 7-inch Eee PC as well as its 10-inch, detailing that 95 percent of Eee netbooks will be 10-inch models and 7-inch models will make up the other 5 percent, lending weight to the idea that the middling 8.9-inch sized panel is a sort of no man’s land market, which is neither big enough nor small enough.
This will likely bring about all kinds of trouble for Intel’s Atom. While HP is eager to see the restrictions eased so it can bring out bigger, Atom-based netbooks, Intel is probably going to be a little wary of making the Atom available for anything bigger than an 11-inch panel (the current restriction stands at a reported 10.2 inches, Dell Mini 12 aside). Intel has certain limitations on the Atom so as not to cannibalize sales of their more expensive CPUs. Basically, if you want to build a something bigger than 10.2 (and you're not Dell), you’ll have to use a more expensive processor like a Celeron or Pentium Dual Core.
Would having a touch/stylus screen make the smaller screens more popular? Perhaps - however, with increased cost and probably questionable control, it may have done little to help this segment.
Unfortunately, it looks like the netbook market is about to die - instead, it is transforming into a low-cost laptop market. Those who want pocket-able will have to start looking at the UMPC market than wait and hope for netbooks to shrink.
The only reason HP and Asus and the like want to make bigger notebooks with an Atom inside is to increase its profits. Cheaper hardware inside means more profit, pure and simple. Anyone buying a 13" "netbook" is a sucker.
C2D for 13.3 and larger. Atom for anything smaller. Done.
Today you can get more horsepower out of a MID then an Asus EeePc 701!
Plus, the device is smaller, and about as cheap.
A reason few people buy a 9" mininetbook might be due to the too high salesprice, not really because they are less favorable.
I see no reason to continue selling a 9" device with a 7" screen (meaning 2" of lost space), while discontinuing exactly the same device but with higher resolution.
It makes little sense to buy a 10" mini notebook as well, those have the same resolution as their 9" brothers; and when buying a mininotebook, size matters!
The issue might rather be,that there are tens of different 9" devices on the market,and ASUS isn't the cheapest amongst them.
Many favor the MSI Wind and Acer Aspire One over the EeePc901.
The EeePc was supposed to be sold for $199. Current mininotebooks are sold 2,5x that price!
That is offer and demand!
Let asus be a bitch, by going against the flow. They definitely didn't sell more 10" eeepc's as 9" ones!
I see the market for olpc opening up again; cheap and affordable is the future!
I'll rather go with a VIA chipset than with the expensive ATOM chipset (that uses way more battery).
NVIDIA and VIA will probably be offering MY solution on a netbook in their via powered ion platform.
i've used an 10inch HP mini and i like it over my 14inch laptop which is not really portable compared to the Mini.