The lines are growing ever more blurred between mobile internet devices, netbooks and traditional laptops and, with the latter two growing ever closer in terms of price and specifications, it is not unreasonable to ask which platform has the best shot at long-term success?
In today's crippled economy, netbooks, or ultra portable notebooks, make up the bulk of PC market growth, and desktop PCs are seeing a major decline in interest.
Buyers are increasingly turning to downsized CPU and portable devices with longer battery life and a lower price tag.
Cutting back on CPU horsepower, however, does not mean that users are happy to make sacrifices regarding user experience or graphics simply for the sake of a smaller form factor.
A basic, cheap, unsophisticated, 9in, 1024 x 600 machine with a tiny keyboard and only 1Gb of RAM may be fine as a backup machine during the credit crisis, but manufacturers and analysts alike are beginning to wonder whether the platform has any real reach beyond the next year or so.
AMD chief executive Dirk Meyer said as much in a phone call with analysts and media last week. "The distinction between a netbook and a notebook is going to go away," he said.
Meyer believes that upcoming inexpensive ultra-thin notebooks would satisfy customer demand for small, thin, lightweight laptops, but would be volumes more powerful than any available netbook.
AMD's position is that ultrathin notebooks will allow for both integrated and higher performing discrete graphics, along with a multitude of CPU options, to compete with market leader Intel's Atom processor for netbooks.
AMD is not the only firm to believe that poor graphics could be fatal to longer-term notebook sales. Nvidia has also jumped into the fray, announcing its Ion platform, a chipset which can be combined with Intel's Atom to deliver a richer graphical experience and more advanced multimedia capabilities to smaller form factor notebooks.
Even with better graphics, however, it remains to be seen whether people will continue to show an interest in netbooks long term. Analysis website Biz360 has already noted that "consumer advocacy for the netbook category lags behind consumer advocacy for all laptops".
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