Netbooks were originally pitched as a much lower-cost, smaller profile alternative to traditional laptops. Since their launch, the trend has been for netbooks to actually increase in size and cost, which might seem contrary to the goals of such devices. Still, people go for them, and Acer has seen that people are more likely to go for the bigger, more expensive netbooks when given a choice. As a result, the company might be dropping the smaller variety of their Aspire One netbook in favor of the a larger unit.
Specifically, the company is considering abandoning the 8.9-inch Aspire One in favor of the 10.1-inch models. The Aspire One series is typically aimed at consumers, not businesses, and Acer believes the upcoming 10.1-inch model will be all they need moving forward. With an expected retail price of around $400, the machine will be quite a bit more expensive on average than the smaller model. The decision could harm one of Acer’s manufacturers, Quanta, who was tasked with building all the 8.9-inch units.
If consumers as a whole want larger units, Acer is making the right move in giving them just that. For the goals of the netbook, however, it seems that just about all manufacturers, from Acer to Asus to MSI and others have lost touch. Their netbooks are often now fully in the entry level notebook pricing realm, and are coming close to laptops in other areas too, such as hard drive capacity and now screen size. Could the line between netbooks and laptops be close to disappearing altogether?