According to a report by DisplaySearch, the climbing popularity of netbooks has dented notebook shipments and revenue, with the mini-laptops now accounting for 22.2% of the portable PC market, and 11.7% of revenue. Second quarter figures showed much interest in netbooks, with revenue up 37% from the previous quarter and 264% from the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, conventional notebook sales fell 14% to $23.2 billion during the second quarter. Standard laptops dropped 13% on year to $19.7 billion, ultraportable systems slipped 31% to $1.4 billion, and desktop replacements dropped 6% -- meaning that all portable PC subcategories are down in sales year-over-year except netbooks.

In addition to being more compact, netbooks typically offer something most consumers are after at the moment: low cost. Although the devices are a bit more glamorous than their debut a few years back, they are still mostly just a basic, cheap alternative to full-blown laptops. The many subsidized units offered by telecom giants have also influenced sales.

DisplaySearch expects these trends to continue, with netbooks to account for some 21.5% of portable PC shipments next year.