Acer Joining the Slim Netbook Club?

aa1l3As netbook makers continue to combat small profit margins, they’re looking for new revenue opportunities. One is surely in the slim category as MSI has already shown a few models in this area and ASUS is expected to offer some as well. Add Acer to the netbook-on-a-diet club based on some photos that appeared on the macles* blog.

The pics portray a device similar to the new 10-inch Acer Aspire One netbook, but with a more tapered design. The netbook shows a return of the second memory card slot to complement the SSD drive, which was one of my fave features on the original AAO. Based on that, macles* figures this model to be a Linux offering. Most of the thin-ness is in the front area under the wrist rest, so this looks more like a compromise between thin and medium to me. I’d expect it to shave off a little weight and come in at just over two-pounds with a battery. That compares to the current 10-inch Acer model at 2.6-pounds.

As I think about the business model here, I wonder in hindsight if this is really about netbook market share and not profit margins so much. Thinner netbooks will generally cost more than bulkier counterparts as “thin” is looked upon as a feature. But OEMs have design challenges to fit more into less space, which is likely to cost them more money as well. In the end, I wonder if the profit margin on a higher-priced, thin netbook is pretty much the same as a lower-priced clunker. Thoughts?

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