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Is Intel Killing 12-Inch Displays On Netbooks? 297

Posted by timothy
from the 12"-seems-a-bit-easier-on-the-eyes dept.
HangingChad writes "Dell has retired their 12-inch Intel Atom-powered netbooks, they said today. The official reason — 'It really boils down to this: for a lot of customers, 10-inch displays are the sweet spot for netbooksLarger notebooks require a little more horsepower to be really useful.' Or is the real reason that 12-inch displays on netbooks cut into Intel's more profitable dual-core market and Dell's profit margins on higher-end machines?"
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Is Intel Killing 12-Inch Displays On Netbooks?

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  • Re:Alternate Sources (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:06PM (#29004081) Homepage

    What do Dell, Apple, HP, and Asus have in common? Their relationship to Intel. AMD is a non-competitor in the netbook space right now, and Intel has enough clout to throw their weight around and get what they want.

  • by electrosoccertux (874415) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:13PM (#29004133)

    I used a friend's 10" netbook for a few minutes and immediately knew I couldn't buy one with a screen that small. 600 pixels is not nearly enough for vertical resolution.

    I researched all of the netbooks and just purchased (2 days ago) an Acer AO751h. It has an 11.6" display (1366x768), a full sized keyboard and a 6 cell battery that lasts ~7-8h depending on drivers [aspireoneuser.com].

    FYI, if you decide to get one as well, be sure to update the GMA500 drivers to the versions this guy is talking about [aspireoneuser.com] because other versions will cause it to lock up, and also have terrible performance.

  • Netbook Tablet (Score:1, Interesting)

    by minijedimaster (1434893) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:14PM (#29004135)
    I'm still waiting on the 9" or 10" netbook tablet type to be put on the market. That way I can spend the $300 for it and be able to use it as an ebook reader as well as a laptop instead of spending the same amount on just the ebook reader from Sony or Amazon or any of the others out there.
  • Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:20PM (#29004165) Journal
    How about the relationship with Microsoft?

    What are Microsoft's licensing terms and costs for 10" netbooks, 12" netbooks and >12" notebooks?
  • Re:At some point... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Renraku (518261) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:31PM (#29004231) Homepage

    Did it?

    Have you seen some of the laptops of yesteryear? Ten pounds? That's only small, compact, and light when compared to the old mainframes of the same era..

  • Re:Alternate Sources (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Sunday August 09, 2009 @03:43PM (#29004293)
    The point is that Intel charges more for the SAME ATOM CHIP if you are using it for a device with a 12" screen. That basically forces it to be less profitable.
  • For me, my 14" HP is the sweet spot. I got good resolution and great battery life.

    A 12" seems to be right in the middle of two distinct classes - the netbook and the laptop.

    At 12", its too big to have the convenience of a netbook, but its too small to serve as a fully functional laptop. I'm not sure how well the 12" was selling, but for myself at least I would never buy a 12" because it wouldn't be ideal for anything I want to do.

  • by Locutus (9039) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @04:22PM (#29004535)
    those backlights use a lot of power so there is probably something to power usage considerations for netbooks. Larger displays would also require larger batteries. But, as we've seen in the smart phone and desktop markets, Microsoft dictates many of the hardware specs, not the OEM's hardware design people.

    LoB
  • by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @04:47PM (#29004737) Homepage

    I (still) have a 12" PowerBook.

    IMHO, it's by far the best compromise I've seen between performance and portability. In fact, there wasn't much of a "compromise" at all -- it has the full array of ports that you'd expect (including FireWire), an optical drive, a decent battery, and surprisingly good speakers. At the time of its release, its CPU, memory, and hard drive were all on par with the top-of-the-line. Even today, it's still adequately fast for most tasks.

    It's small enough to take anywhere, but not small enough that you have to squint in order to read what's on the screen. The new 13" MacBooks are actually quite a bit larger (albeit still very nice machines) -- I don't know of any machines today that offer the modern equivalent of performance and portability (even on the PC side of the fence, which I'd happily consider). There's also certainly something to be said for Apple's use of an all-metal chassis for its laptops.

    My only complaints about it are the 1.25GB RAM limit, and 1024x768 display, although these are forgivable, given that it's a 5 year old machine.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @05:05PM (#29004835)
    I wonder what will happen when ARM starts to make more headway in netbooks? Maybe Intel will regret strong arming their customers?
  • Re:Alternate Sources (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WillyWanker (1502057) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @09:46PM (#29006809)
    I'm not being a tard, I'm genuinely asking this question.

    Since Apple is the only company that makes OSX compatible hardware, doesn't that make them a monopoly in that market? Many years ago there used to be Macintosh clones, and during that time Apple had competition in that market. But without that competition aren't they, by definition, a monopoly in their own market?

    Now you could say they aren't a monopoly in the general computer market, and that's correct, but aren't they in terms of making Mac hardware? In the personal computer world we define machines as being Macs or PCs. Many companies make PCs. Only one company makes Macs. Isn't this a monopoly? While yes, it's a brand, it's also a distinct class of product unto itself.

    Dell isn't a monopoly as they make Windows-compatible hardware like a dozen other manufacturers.

    While it seems like a fine line distinction, there most definitely *is* a distinction. And if monopoly is the incorrect word, what would you call it?

    I'm just trying to understand the subtleties here.
  • by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @10:07PM (#29006933) Journal

    A businessperson has no business trying to use an ultraportable. That's not the target market at all, and they are completely unsuitable for them.

    • Ultraportables require good eyesight, which means that they mostly appeal to the under-30 crowd; the statistical majority of the business types are older than that.
    • They tend to have small hard drives because they are designed to be a supplement to your primary desktop or laptop computer; most businesspeople I've known use a laptop as a portable desktop, and it is their only computer.
    • They are designed heavily with cost as a driving factor; businesspeople tend to be more concerned with reliability and robustness than cost.
    • They generally have reduced size keyboards, which don't lend themselves to business chores (which usually involve a lot of typing).

    The ultraportable market targets mostly teenagers through college, mostly as a cheap way of carrying stuff back and forth to class or around the workplace, while leaving the bulk of their data at home or in the office. A webcam borders on useless for those people. If they want to video chat, 99.999% of the time, they'll be back in their rooms or offices and can use their main machines for that.

    And built-in flash card readers only support a limited range of card formats. They also almost universally support only the low end consumer formats. Pro users with high end cameras generally have cameras that use Compact Flash cards, which is rarely, if ever supported in a built-in reader. This means that a significant percentage of your users end up carrying around an external reader anyway.

    Besides, we're rapidly seeing cell phones converge on mini-USB connectors for charging. Because you will have to carry a USB to mini-USB cable to charge your cell phone anyway, you won't need any extra cables to connect your camera to your laptop. Unplug the cable from your phone and plug it into your camera, and suddenly that low-end card reader built into your laptop is just wasting space. Within five years or so, this will be moot.

  • Re:Fail atom chipset (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:56AM (#29011625) Homepage Journal

    Most netbooks have the Intel chipset which sucks a lot more power than the NVidia one.

    yeah, I've got the eee 1000HE which has the newer Intel chipset - it was the first without the awful one, and new this year. It gets much better battery life than the old 7" eee we have, despite the larger screen.

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