Look, we've always been fans of these low-cost ultra-portable computers which Intel dubbed "netbooks
" long after they debuted. However, we never really saw them as anything more than a niche device. A niche initially filled by the not-quite $200
Eee PC much to the delight (and surprise) of ASUS. The success was in large part driven by the price (less than $300) and network centric design (small SSD, fast boot, simple OS, and WiFi) of these 7-inch ultra-portable laptops. Today, however, everything changed. Specs are on the move upward with pricing now firmly at $500 and beyond -- retail ground currently held by full-featured, 15-inch, entry-level laptops from Dell and others.
So we ask you, dear readers, do you have a fistful of Benjamins ready to throw at a new Atom-based netbook or do you see today's flurry of announcements
as a bunch of nonsense driven by manufacturers who've taken their eyes off the collective ball?