Mobile IT Buyer's Guide to Netbooks
Netbooks are hot in the mobile device sector due to their increasing power and ever-shrinking size. But before you spend some of your mobile IT budget, it's wise to compare and evaluate core metrics in this sector. Our netbook buyer's guide shows you how. If three years ago you approached a hardware executive in a bar and said the next big thing in personal computing would be low-octane, pygmy machines with stunted keyboards, your car keys would have been taken from you and you'd have been drinking club soda for the rest of the night. But that's what has happened with the netbook. The small wonders have been moving off shelves faster than bread before a blizzard. Last year, DisplaySearch estimates, netbook revenues jumped 72 percent over 2008 -- from $6.65 billion to $11.4 billion -- while unit sales rocketed a staggering 103 percent -- from 16.4 million to 33.3 million. And while sales growth is expected to slow this year, it will still be in the neighborhood of 19 percent. A combination of factors have contributed to the wild interest in netbooks. Hard economic times have made their low price tags tantalizing to consumers and to business hardware buyers with besieged budgets. Their size makes them less intimidating to some computer shoppers as well as very mobile, which is very attractive to a raft of users addicted to untethered connectivity thanks to cell phones. What's more, much of what used to be the sole domain of local applications has been moved to the cloud, reducing the need for robust processing power at the punter's end of things. Does all the froth about these diminutive, take-anywhere PC companions make you itch to buy one? If yes, here are some things you may want to compare and evaluate before you open your wallet.