The PC market in general may have been poor towards the end of 2008, but one piece of hardware stood alone and managed to keep the entire market as a whole afloat. Specifically, to no one's surprise, that piece of hardware ended up being the netbook. Its sales rose over 17% in 2008 compared to a year prior, with Asus and the Eee PC coming in number one. Asus took a considerable portion of the 2.5 million total shipments of netbooks at around 1.5 million. To put that into perspective, these affordable tiny laptops took over 10% of the entire PC market for the year, according to Gartner.

Those figures made netbooks responsible for preventing the market as a whole from showing negative growth, something that companies like Asus, Acer and MSI are no doubt very happy about. It's encouraging to anyone manufacturing netbooks as well, since it shows there can still be a healthy PC market despite a slowed economy.