The success of low-cost notebooks has been a bit of an anomaly. The performance specs on them are not impressive, even if you measure by standards from years ago. Small displays, slow CPUs, little storage - and yet the market has been gobbling them up. That market may get even bigger, according to research by the IDC that says the demand for them is expected to only go up.

The IDC believes that more and more people will be attracted to low-cost PCs as "secondary" alternatives to a desktop or a larger laptop, relying on the device solely as a web or Wi-Fi accessing tool that can be toted around much easier. With half the size and a third of the weight of a regular sized laptop, they are certainly easier to carry around if you must have it with you all day.

If that does pan out, they expect the market for low cost laptops to soar to over 9 million a year by 2012. If that truly is the case, then the large number of companies entering into the market might not be overcrowding at all, but a good preparation for larger adoptions to come.