Notbook (n.) — An affordable ultraportable laptop, typically with a 11.6-inch or 12-inch display that is not a netbook. It packs more power than a netbook (i.e. can handle 1080p video and Flash at fullscreen) and provides a more comfortable computing experience than the typical, 10-inch underpowered, shrunken Atom-based laptop. Most do not have optical drives, but do last for over five hours on a charge. Unlike pricey ultraportable laptops, notbooks are more affordable and start at around 0.
About six months ago, the 11.6-inch Dell Inspiron M101z arrived on my doorstep for review. The AMD Neo-powered system looked like a slightly enlarged netbook, but in a briefing with Dell, the product manager reinforced quite a few times that the system was absolutely “not a netbook.” I can’t remember his exact wording, but he made it crystal clear — the 9 Inspiron M101z was so much more powerful than an Intel Atom netbook that it could be one’s primary machine. Obviously, I started calling these sorts of laptops “notbooks,” and over the next few months, more and more of them started popping up. Some of them paired Atom with an NVIDIA Ion GPU (e.g. Eee PC 1215N), while others used AMD’s Neo chip and more recently AMD’s new Fusion Zacate APU. (Intel’s Core ULV-powered systems are frankly too expensive to be considered in this category, though some Pentium / Core 2 Duo systems, like like the Acer Timeline X1810T, could qualify.)
Uh, so what? There’s a new crop of more powerful, affordable, and highly mobile laptops — what’s the big deal? Well, while many think tablets are what will ultimately cut the netbook market down to size, it’s the notbooks that will also seriously hit the Atom-based lilliputian laptops of today where it really hurts. Don’t get me wrong, ARM-powered tablets like the iPad and Motorola Xoom are going to impact netbook sales in a big way, too (heck, they already have!), but mark my words, notbooks or affordable ultraportables will take a noticeable chunk of both the netbook and the mainstream laptop market. There’s finally a class of laptops that provide a terrific balance between primary and mobile computing without breaking the bank. Think I’m crazy? Hit the break to understand what I’m talking about.
Continue reading Editorial: The rise of the notbook, the fall of the netbook
Editorial: The rise of the notbook, the fall of the netbook originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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