The original idea of the netbook, at least in modern terms, was for a light, no-frills, barebones PC that was used to access and communicate on the internet. After all, that’s why it was called a ‘net’book.
Like in many other product categories, companies are not only competing on price, but also in features. Just as how the Honda Civic grew far enough from its humble origins that it’s no longer the entry-level offering, it seems netbooks are growing closer just becoming notebooks.
According to Digitimes, Asus will next month launch the Eee PC E1004DN, which will have an optical disc drive. The E1004DN reported to sport an Intel Atom N280 CPU paired with GN40 chipset, a 120 GB hard drive, and will retail between $531 and 590 -- sitting straight inside the territory of budget notebooks.
In May Asus is expected to launch the aesthetically-oriented 1008HA, which could also encroach on full notebook ground.
There’s no arguing that today’s netbooks are more capable and feature-filled than products from just a year ago, but are netbook makers losing sight of the original philosophy behind the concept?