Study: Consumers still prefer regular notebooks over netbooks

By on November 26, 2009, 8:09 PM
A recent survey conducted by IDC suggests that most buyers still prefer standard sized notebooks over netbooks. The survey asked 2,263 new PC buyers across the Asia Pacific about their buying preferences and included results from Australia, India, Korea, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Among the respondents, 60% indicated that they would still purchase a regular notebook as their next PC. Although netbook sales have aided in buoying PC volumes during 2009, limited cannibalization of regular notebook sales is expected in the region, according to Reuben Tan, senior manager of Asia Pacific personal systems research at IDC.

A majority of the respondents in China, India, Malaysia, and Singapore indicated that warranty length and after-sales support matter most when purchasing a new PC. On the flipside, PC brand and store location were among the least important factors -- though it was shown that people in the region prefer to shop for computers at physical outlets.

On a side note, over half of those polled said they would only purchase a new monitor to replace a defective one, while 16% plan to buy a new display when prices come down.

User Comments: 51

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flukeh said:

I wonder if any of those interviewed still had a CRT monitor

Sixrealms said:

Hmmm the thing is that notebooks can be very unreliable sometimes. I know laptops too but they get to last a little more than netbooks. At least, that's what I've read.

yorro said:

Cramped typing space is one of the reasons for netbooks.

levar said:

I still prefer notebook over netbooks the cost of a netbook I would like I can get an awesome notebook plus money left over.

wolfram wolfram, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well I think netbooks have their very own, specific market.The added portability is a big plus for some people.

For the average Joe though, notebooks are better. Screens are larger, keys are better and they are somewhat easier to upgrade

Fada said:

netbooks look cool but are utterly unpractical, as can be backed up by anyone over the age of 10 that has tryed to type on the things, i dont have fat fingers and yet i can press the "q" key and the "return" key at the same time with the same finger! ergonomics went out the window on those things, I for one will be happy to se the back of 'em.

matchu said:

I'll always prefer a regular laptop. If I want something that is lightweight and portable, I'd rather get an expensive laptop than a cheap netbook. At least I know it'll be fast enough to do most of the things I need.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would think that desktops are just not a big seller in this region at all for it to not deserve any mention. When I think PC I think of a Personal Computer, IE a desktop, something that sits on your desk and is always there and to a certain extent infinitively upgradeable. Netbooks are nothing more than a gimmick, so much so my dictionary tool incorporated into my browser tries to correct it to being Notebook. At the same time I still don't even care for Notebooks because they still lack the performance of a true laptop. I personally bring my laptop just about everywhere I go, I don't mind at all plugging it in and I know I'll be able to use it to do more than just the basics while being comfortable to use at the same time. Maybe I'm missing the point to these ultra small keypads with screens.

lfg18 said:

Well, here in Mexico, netbooks are now very popular, specially the ones from Acer, the problem with them is that they are not really reliable, I have seen a lot of people trying to understand why their netbook is not working anymore or why they take so long to do a very simple task, personally I don't like netbooks they are just a toy jaja, I have an ipod touch and it is capable of doing almost everithing a netbook can do, but well It is good to see that computers are becoming cheaper and cheaper, in that way more people can afford them, that should be a good thing right

Guest said:

netbooks = small, cheap, slow, unreliable, expensive to repair, no optical drive, small keys

notebooks = bigger, more expensive, more reliable, cheaper to fix, optical drive, bigger keys

a netbook is good for "surfing the web" in public places. who has time to do that? not worth the 300 investment unless you're into paying to "look cool"

i would like one for my computer repair business due to portability, but.... i am afraid it will break on me and its also way too slow for what i need.

did i mention the atom is slow as ****?

better off spending 200 bucks on a used latitude c610 - its more reliable extra battery bay, etc.. etc..

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

This is a bit unsurprising to me, because despite the raging popularity of netbooks, a users expectations generally have to drop when buying the half price version of a product. And then after the awe of their "economical" choice has worn off, I've heard several owners express the same concerns I had when initially hearing about the product's debut. While I don't believe a potential buyer needs to dump their girlfriend just to be able to afford a machine capable of accessing facebook, which they ironically joined to talk to said girlfriend, netbooks attempt to cater to a type of person which does not exist. That person is one who has tiny fingers, sniper like vision, and the processing needs of someone in the year 2000.

Rapidhic said:

An i-phone or any other smartphone is better than a netbook. Plus you can put your phone in your pocket :P I think netboooks are just a waste of money, you can find netbooks with 500-600(eruo/dollars) while notebooks with that price kick (some) ass.

codefeenix codefeenix said:

with those small screens, tiny keyboards, and slow speeds i can see why they would.

timljh said:

the main problem with netbook i think is the screen size, you can barely read the content of a web page with a 8 or 10" screen =-='' 12'' onwards is at least acceptable to me.

Guest said:

netbooks are made for SM-relations

sadists are the one who make them

masochists are those who use them

its that simple, not more, nor less

maddmatt02 said:

when I was shopping for a cheap laptop, I wanted to get a netbook, but I wont go without a dvd drive, and also the ability to play full screen hd video, which the atom isnt powerful enough. Ive seen some little ones with cd drives and real hdd's, etc... but they are alot more than the bargain laptop was that I bought

Puiu Puiu said:

I can't go without a dvd drive so i'm not even thinking of buying a netbook.

The extended battery life is good and all but i need a bit more processing power than a netbook can offer me. Also working on a small display is really annoying.

saintbodhisatva said:

computers that "hang" when using word or excel while a full anti-virus scan is running just isnt productive enough.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Netbooks are what they are cute tiny knock offs of the real thing there slow have limited storage NO dvd drive and cant even play HD video that is just rediculous. i for one would buy a $400 notebook or atleast a used notebook with 2Gb of ram and even a celeron cpu. i mean come on the atom is a joke yes you get great battery life but who sets at a resturant or school for 7 hours playing around on a netbook?

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

well if your going to buy a PC, why buy a very weak netbook which is basically just for the internet when you can shell out alil more for a far better laptop, which can serf the internet and do a million other things...(unless its a mac) than your shelling out an arm and a leg. Everyone in my college iv noticed so far that uses a laptop doesnt have a netbook and iv been there 3 years.

GoranGol GoranGol said:

I declare my self as a gamer. So netbook is not a option for my taste. They might be ok for surfing, email, and some not to much space demanding tasks. But for gaming, movies, profesional tools i don't think so.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't see netbooks lasting very long as smartphones do pretty much the same things (surf the internet on the go, casual gaming), except a phone sits in your pocket whereas you'll be carrying around another bag for your netbook. And anybody who has tried typing on a netbook keyboard while squinting at the tiny screen will not buy one for home use either.

Nirkon said:

I own the EeePC and I still prefer a notebook.

its mainly because of the hardware (cpu, ram, hdd)

but also because of the 7" screen.. sometimes too small for me..

I guess a well equipped 10-12" would be perfect for me (more student oriented)

Fragrant Coit Fragrant Coit said:

Netbooks started out as cheap, ultraportable devices.... Now most are expensive, underpowered devices. Because they became "fashionable", their price rose accordingly.

Give me a low end Laptop anyday, cost the same, more grunt, more storage, Optical Drive and if you can't heft an extra 1Kg, then you ought to be in hospital!

holyPaladin said:

Netbook so slow, can't play games =(

fref said:

I think netbooks are great for carrying around when travelling, where you don't need much performance (word processing, Internet-related tasks, etc). Notebooks, on the other hand, are better for home usage, when you want to move around a little bit and don't mind carrying a slightly bigger computer. For the price difference, I'd go with a notebook.

manintech said:

there is a reason that netbooks have become more and more popular, and there is also a reason that netbooks will never take place of notebooks

Afenix said:

I still don't get it why there was such a rush for these netbooks? Yes they're very small, and not very energy consuming, and they're made only for net surfing! Nothing more! My new laptop hardly handles the latest games and 3d software, but spend a ~400$~ just to get on the net? No, thank you.

Guest said:

As lfg18 said, in Mexico there has been a boom over netbooks ever since the launch of the Aspire One. Since the country is currently on an economical recession, price is a very sensible factor when buying a computer, so the relative low price of the netbooks (and the novelty too, it was the "in" thing to have next to ipods) made a soft spot on the consumers. Then after a while people who bought them realize that it is tiring to write for long periods of time on the cramped keyboards and looking at the small screens unless you have a spare monitor to hook it up, and can't do some tasks they used to do on their desktops due to low performance. Also as incredible as it sounds, many people not acquainted with computers don't even know these things don't have an optical drive to listen some of their CD, watch some movie on a trip or simply burn some data, so they have to buy some external drive to do the job (they are expensive here).

A trend i have noticed is that people that had a notebook before don't find the netbooks appealing at all.

harby said:

Well to be honest, this is a dumb survey/conclusion. Naturally laptops will outsell netbooks. Laptops can be anything from ultraportables-netbook-wannabes to desktop replacements. On the other hand netbooks will always be, well, netbooks. Best case scenario we're eventually looking at powerful enough netbooks to stream hidef content so you could have an ultraportable and HTPC hybrid that'd be good enough for both but excel at either. At least that were I see the netbook market going over the next years. Obviously they will never become someone's main computer simply because of the inherited limitations by definition.

buttus said:

I prefer the usability of a notebook but appreciate the portability of a netbook. Being a photographer I would prefer something portible with enough horsepower to drive Photoshop...but even a Netbook would allow me the ability to upload my pics to show my clients.

Chazz said:

I'm one of those people that see absolutely no use for netbooks. I love portable computers..but these aren't computers at all. They're the modern day etch-a-sketch.

Guest said:

I also would buy a cheap notebook over a netbook considering some models sell at very high prices (*cough* HP) even when they are the same horrible N270+i945 crap. Netbooks should stay on the $300 mark or even lower unless they are ION.

Also, most models come with 3 cell batteries so battery life is not much longer than on a regular notebook.

BlackIrish said:

My mother-in-law also bought an EEE pc, and the usb ports got defective and stopped working a few months after purchase.

It's now in the repair shop :/

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The whole study is invalid because of the following line:

"60% indicated that they would still purchase a regular notebook as their next PC".

For one thing we have clear is that netbooks are not PCs (In the whole idea of a Personal Computer, they are but...) replacement, at all. They do serve as portable always on the side for e-mail checking, web-browsing, even as a multimedia station, in other cases some people (As do I) use it for college or school doing some more than web-based activities, but they DO NOT replace a notebook and a longer gap between a netbook and a desktop computer.

pomonasi said:

i think that's pretty predictable. the cost between notebooks and netbooks are not by much and the notebook is so much more versatile than the netbook. outside of being small, netbook cant offer much else compared to a notebook.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Most of my friends who are IT professionals are buying netbooks to essentially replace coffee table books. In other words, something handy to look up something on the Internet while watching TV or hosting guests. Or are using them to keep the kids entertained on a long drive. Basically a slightly larger version than an iPhone or Blackberry.

Anyone who buys one of these who believe they're going to engage in serious computing are going to be quite disappointed.

kaonis92 said:

Netbooks are still slow and have very small low resolution screens , 2 big problems in 1 machine! I believe though that we'll see better offers in the upcoming years as cpu's+gpu's consume less and less power...

Basher said:

I've had a 17" Dell laptop since 2006. I've carried that thing around to classes regularly in college and has never really bothered me. Full size keyboard, battery used to last 2.5 hours, and it is very comfortable to hold on your lap for long periods of time. I couldn't imagine typing on a netbook for any extended period of time. Think I'll stay with my full sized notebooks for now.

PUTALE said:

i think part of the issue is that the price of the notebook has gotten so cheap that it is cheaper than some of these netbooks. notebook has larger screen and more powerful system hardwares and the ability to run windows 7/vista. While netbook stucks at 2GB max ram, xp, smaller screen.

I personally think netbook is good for as second system in teh house for checking email, typing while sitting on the couch.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And again, nice to know people read the comments...

@Putale: You can run windows 7 on a netbook.

@TomSEA: You can do some "serious" computing, I currently run sql servers for projects, some data architects and netbeans on a netbook, it might not be the most powerful or speedy gonzalez of all the possible solutions, but for the mobility it CAN do some "serious" computing.

Wait until next gen netbooks, with all the goodies comming as mainstreams SSDs, 1,8" HDDs, new atoms and more competivity from amd in this area (And VIA too), most will want a couple.

stwongbad85 said:

Of course people prefer notebooks. The netbook is caught in a pickle between laptops getting smaller and smart phones getting more powerful. You can not carry a netbook in your pocket and really seems like it has no place in the general consumer market. if I were a journalist/reporter a netbook would be great. I think the netbook will find a niche market to settle into, but never go mainsteream

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I beg to differ stwongbad, netbooks have crazed people all around the globe, are no longer the 7" screen which you couldn't read (And even then a lot of people wanted one), now 10,1" or even 11,6" (I had a 7" and now I have a 10,1" and you do see a big difference).

Smartphones indeed are comming with more features every day, but you can't compare one another. Actually my dad has a blackberry with internet access and he hates it, asks for my netbook all the time since it's more comfortable to read and write.

ken777 said:

Netbooks are great for traveling, but just too underpowered for daily use. It's not even ideal for web browsing. The screen resolution is too low and you're going to have problems playing streaming hd video from hulu or youtube. Unless you absolutely have to have the smallest computer, it's worth spending a little more for a 11-13" laptop. The weight's almost the same and you're going to be a lot happier.

ryan29121 said:

Netbooks seem to be nice, but you sacrifice alot for the size they come in. If you wanted a small computer you could just go with a smaller laptop with more performance.

FrankTank said:

I'm also with the majority. I prefer the notebook which i why I'm still waiting for the perfect notebook deal with the price and specs I want. The netbook prices are very attractive but for what your losing(screen size, limited upgrade, no CD/DVD drive, etc) I just can't seem to pull the trigger on one.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

Franktank et al., it all depends on what you value. Most netbooks aren't aimed for people that desire high performance. Netbooks are designed for the internet, and for office applications. That's perfect for a college student or someone on the go that has to make a powerpoint or something. Gaming material it ain't. What you have here is a barebones computer that is still competently fast for what is offered.

Optical drives aren't necessarily a problem because you can always buy a USB optical drive. Whoop di damn do. Screen size and limited upgrades are perhaps the bigger problems here. But as far as upgrades go, what do you really think you could upgrade to make it any better than what it is? Even if you added a RAM card, what exactly do you expect that to do? And is it REALLY worth replacing more than just memory on something like this? I don't think so. Some of the complaints may be somewhat legitimate, but in the context, half the hatred for this kind of a machine isn't totally warranted.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What I found interesting is that 40% apparently will buy a netbook as their next PC. That's a pretty high number IMO. It means that for a lot of people, netbooks are good enough, even with all their limitations.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Should probably have said "good enough or preferred". After all, netbooks do have benefits over normal notebooks.

LightHeart said:

It's the price for performance issue. Netbooks are ok for a few basic tasks however you can get a low end laptop for not much more that does quite a bit more. As smartphones have been adding features and capablities, why buy just a netbook?

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