Why netbooks are catching on

AceraspiresideA constant source of speculation is trying to figure out why netbooks are catching on so fast.  Sure the price is a big factor and is what catches the attention first but as we’ve stated here on jkOnTheRun many times that alone is not enough.  If the gadget doesn’t fulfill the user’s needs that price doesn’t matter, we also want our gear to provide utility.   Blogger Jeff Atwood picked up an Aspire One for his wife’s web surfing needs and tried it out.  What he found surprised himself:

I didn’t expect much from this cheap, diminutive laptop; it’s mostly for web surfing, light email, maybea tiny bit of miscellaneous office work. And in case the color choicedidn’t make it clear, it’s not even for me. That’s my story, and I’msticking to it!

As I sat down to configure this machine, I belatedly realizedthat for most of what I do with a computer, this cute little netbook isperfectly adequate. Sure, the keyboard is a bit cramped, it’s noperformance powerhouse, and the screen size, at 1024 x 600, isdefinitely the minimum necessary for it to be practical. It took someadaptation, but it wasn’t frustrating or disappointing to use. Itdelivered (almost) the same web experience I’d get on my desktop orlaptop, with no serious compromises. It just.. worked.

Jeff was exposed to the thing we’ve been saying for a good while, netbooks, while not powerhouses, can do a large percentage of the functions most people need.  Jeff didn’t realize that until he started playing with one but he reached the same conclusion.  They just work.

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