Before the Asus Eee came to market or the first Macbook Air appeared in public, those who wanted absolute portability without sacrificing too much on features or performance had only a few highly priced options, many of which still exist today. I was one of those tempted by the 11" Vaio T line
a few years back, with a single core low-power Intel CPU, 2GB RAM, built-in DVD recorder, one of the first LED screens that made it to market and a very respectable 7-hour battery uptime. I paid in excess of $2,500 for the little state of the art machine.
Today you can get more or less the same functionality and portability sans the optical drive and A+ quality screen for less than $500 in a netbook.
Nonetheless, the performance ultra-portable segment still exists today. Depending where you look, most manufacturers have followed suit to the MacBook Air proposition, offering screens in the 12-13" range and boasting a very low profile and weight. Again, depending where you look, you will end up paying no less than $1,600 for an ultra-portable that does not belong to the netbook category, and like CNET discovered
, most of the time you will pay considerably more and in certain cases it will be for outdated hardware.
Do you think netbooks cannibalized the ultra-portable segment? And have you had any recent buying experiences for either type of machine? It will be interesting to know what was your take on what to buy.