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Netbooks are a category of small, lightweight, legacy-free
Legacy-free PC
A legacy-free PC is a type of personal computer that lacks a floppy drive, legacy ports, an ISA bus...

, and inexpensive laptop computer
Laptop
A laptop, also called a notebook, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit...

s.

At their inception in late 2007 as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost — netbooks omitted certain features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced computing power when compared to a full-sized laptop. Over the course of their evolution, netbooks have ranged in size from below 5" screen diagonal to 12". A typical weight is . Often significantly less expensive than other laptop
Laptop
A laptop, also called a notebook, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit...

s, by mid-2009, some wireless data carriers began to offer netbooks to users "free of charge", with an extended service contract purchase.

In the short period since their appearance, netbooks have grown in size and features, now converging with new smaller, lighter notebooks and subnotebook
Subnotebook
A subnotebook is a class of laptop computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical laptop....

s. By August 2009, when comparing a Dell netbook to a Dell notebook, CNET called netbooks "nothing more than smaller, cheaper notebooks," noting, "the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other," and "the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices." Initially offered with compact versions of Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 or Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

, netbooks now typically use Windows 7 Starter which Microsoft sells at a lower price but restricts to lower spec hardware.

History



The origins of the netbook can be traced to the Network Computer
Network computer
Network Computer is a trademark of Oracle Corporation that was used, from approximately 1996 to 2000, to market a range of diskless desktop computer devices. The devices were designed and manufactured by an alliance, which included Sun Microsystems, IBM, and others...

 (NC) concept of the mid-1990s. In March 1997, Apple Computer introduced the eMate 300
EMate 300
The eMate 300 was a personal digital assistant designed, manufactured and sold by Apple to the education market as a low-cost laptop running the Newton operating system...

 as a subcompact laptop that was a cross between the Apple Newton
Apple Newton
The MessagePad was the first series of personal digital assistant devices developed by Apple for the Newton platform in 1993. Some electronic engineering and the manufacture of Apple's MessagePad devices was done in Japan by the Sharp Corporation...

 PDA
PDA
A PDA is most commonly a Personal digital assistant, also known as a Personal data assistant, a mobile electronic device.PDA may also refer to:In science, medicine and technology:...

 and a conventional laptop computer. A year later the eMate was discontinued, along with all other Newton devices, with the advent of Apple's 'four boxes' product strategy that included the iMac
IMac
The iMac is a range of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers built by Apple. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its introduction in 1998, and has evolved through five distinct forms....

 and iBook
IBook
The iBook was a line of laptop computers sold by Apple Computer from 1999 to 2006. The line targeted the consumer and education markets, with lower specifications and prices than the PowerBook, Apple's higher-end line of laptop computers....

. More recently, Psion's now-discontinued netBook
Psion Netbook
The Psion netBook is a small subnotebook type computer developed by Psion. Released in 1999, it was aimed at the mobile enterprise market.-Description:...

 line, the OLPC XO-1
OLPC XO-1
The XO-1, previously known as the $100 Laptop, Children's Machine, and 2B1, is an inexpensive subnotebook computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to "explore, experiment and express...

 (initially called US$100 laptop) and the Palm Foleo
Palm Foleo
The Palm Foleo was a planned subnotebook computer that was announced by mobile device manufacturer Palm Inc. on May 30, 2007, and canceled three months later. It intended to serve as a companion for smartphones including Palm's own Treo line...

 were all small, portable, network-enabled computers. The generic use of the term "netbook", however, began in 2007 when Asus
ASUS
ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated is a multinational computer technology and consumer electronics product manufacturer headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. Its product range includes motherboards, desktops, laptops, monitors, tablet PCs, servers and mobile phones...

 unveiled the ASUS Eee PC
ASUS Eee PC
The Asus Eee PC is a subnotebook/netbook computer line from ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated, and a part of the Asus Eee product family. At the time of its introduction in late 2007, it was noted for its combination of a light weight, Linux operating system, solid-state drive , and relatively low cost...

. Originally designed for emerging markets, the 23 by 17 cm (9.1 by 6.7 in) device weighed about 0.9 kg (2 lb) and featured a 7 in (17.8 cm) display, a keyboard approximately 85% the size of a normal keyboard, a solid-state drive
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

 and a custom version of Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 with a simplified user interface
Gui
Gui or guee is a generic term to refer to grilled dishes in Korean cuisine. These most commonly have meat or fish as their primary ingredient, but may in some cases also comprise grilled vegetables or other vegetarian ingredients. The term derives from the verb, "gupda" in Korean, which literally...

 geared towards netbook use. Following the Eee PC, Everex
Everex
Everex is a manufacturer of desktop and notebook personal computers. It was established in 1983 and headquartered in Fremont, California. The company was founded by Steve Hui, John Lee and Wayne Cheung. In 1988, Everex was the leader in tape backup sales with half the world market...

 launched its Linux-based CloudBook
CloudBook
The Cloudbook is an x86 subnotebook, or Ultra-Mobile PC developed by Everex using a VIA processor, chipset, and NanoBook reference design. It competes with the ASUS Eee PC, the OLPC XO-1 and the Classmate PC...

; Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

 and Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Windows Vista is an operating system released in several variations developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, and media center PCs...

 models were also introduced and MSI
Micro-Star International
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd is a Taiwan-based electronics company and one of the world's largest motherboard and video card manufacturers.-Overview:MSI is one of the top three motherboard and video card manufacturers worldwide...

 released the Wind
MSI Wind Netbook
The MSI Wind Notebook is a family of subnotebooks / netbooks designed by Micro-Star International . Wind stands for "Wi-Fi Network Device". The first model was announced at CeBIT 2008, and first listed for pre-orders on May 9, 2008. While initially 8.9- and 10.1-inch screen versions existed, as...

 - others soon followed suit.

The OLPC project, known for its innovation in producing a durable, cost- and power-efficient netbook for developing countries, is regarded as one of the major factors that led top computer hardware manufacturers to begin creating low-cost netbooks for the consumer market. When the first ASUS Eee PC
ASUS Eee PC
The Asus Eee PC is a subnotebook/netbook computer line from ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated, and a part of the Asus Eee product family. At the time of its introduction in late 2007, it was noted for its combination of a light weight, Linux operating system, solid-state drive , and relatively low cost...

 sold over 300,000 units in four months, companies such as Dell
Dell
Dell, Inc. is an American multinational information technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest...

 and Acer took note and began producing their own inexpensive netbooks. And while the OLPC XO-1
OLPC XO-1
The XO-1, previously known as the $100 Laptop, Children's Machine, and 2B1, is an inexpensive subnotebook computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to "explore, experiment and express...

 targets a different audience than do the other manufacturers' netbooks, it appears that OLPC is now facing competition. Developing countries now have a large choice of vendors, from which they can choose which low-cost netbook they prefer.

By late 2008, netbooks had begun to take market share
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 away from notebooks
Laptop
A laptop, also called a notebook, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit...

. In contrast to earlier, largely failed attempts to establish mini computers as a new class of mainstream personal computing devices built around comparatively expensive platforms requiring proprietary software applications or imposing severe usability limitations, the recent success of netbooks can also be attributed to the fact that PC technology has now matured enough to allow truly cost optimized implementations with enough performance to suit the needs of a majority of PC users. This is illustrated by the fact that typical system performance of a netbook is on the level of a mainstream PC in 2001, at around one quarter of the cost. While this performance level suffices for most of the user needs, it caused an increased interest in resource-efficient applications such as Google's Chrome, and forced Microsoft to extend availability of Windows XP in order to secure market share. It is estimated that almost thirty times more netbooks were sold in 2008 (11.4 million, 70% of which were in Europe) than in 2007 (400,000). For 2009, sales are expected to jump to 35 million, rising to an estimated 139 million in 2013. This trend is reinforced by the rise of web-based applications as well as mobile networking
Cellular network
A cellular network is a radio network distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver known as a cell site or base station. When joined together these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area...

 and, according to Wired Magazine, netbooks are evolving into "super-portable laptops for professionals". The ongoing recession is also helping with the growing sales of netbooks.

In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 Department of Education and Training, in partnership with Lenovo, are providing Year 9 (high school) students in government high schools with free Lenovo S10e netbooks in 2009 and Lenovo Mini 10 netbooks in 2010 preloaded with software including Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a non-free commercial office suite of inter-related desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of...

 and Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American computer software company founded in 1982 and headquartered in San Jose, California, United States...

' Creative Suite 4. This is provided under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

's Digital Education Revolution, or DER. The netbooks run Windows 7 Enterprise. They have unique tracking devices built-in that the police can use to track the device if it is lost or stolen. The NSW DET retains ownership of these netbooks until the student graduates from Year 12, when the student can keep it. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago-Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bisseser - are also providing free HP laptops to form 1 Students (11 year olds) with the same police trackable software as above.

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 is providing all 13 year old students (middle school, or gymnasium, freshmen) and their teachers with free netbooks in 2009 through the "Digital Classroom Initiative". Students are given one unique coupon each, with which they redeem the netbook of their choice, up to a €450 price ceiling, in participating shops throughout the country. These netbooks come bundled with localised versions of either Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

 (or higher) or open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 (e.g. Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

) operating systems, wired and wireless networking functionality, antivirus protection, preactivated parental controls, and an educational software package.

Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 and Intel have tried to "cement" netbooks in the low end of the market to protect mainstream notebook PC sales, because they get lower margins on low-cost models. The companies have limited the specifications of netbooks, but despite this original equipment manufacturer
Original Equipment Manufacturer
An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a...

s have announced higher-end netbooks models as of March 2009.

Ending in 2008 the report was that the typical netbook featured a 1.4 kg (3 lb) weight, a 9 in (23 cm) screen, wireless Internet connectivity, Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 or Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

, an Intel Atom
Intel Atom
Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage x86 and x86-64 CPUs from Intel, designed in 45 nm CMOS and used mainly in netbooks, nettops, embedded application ranging from health care to advanced robotics and Mobile Internet devices...

 processor, and a cost of less than $400 US. A mid-2009 newspaper article said that a typical netbook is 1.2 kg (2.6 lb), $300 US, and has a 10 in (25.4 cm) screen,
of random-access memory
Random-access memory
Random access memory is a form of computer data storage. Today, it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow stored data to be accessed in any order with a worst case performance of constant time. Strictly speaking, modern types of DRAM are therefore not random access, as data is read in...

, a hard disk drive, and a wireless transceiver for both home and a mobile network. Buyers drove the netbook market towards larger screens, which grew from 7 in (17.8 cm) in the original Asus Eee PC
ASUS Eee PC
The Asus Eee PC is a subnotebook/netbook computer line from ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated, and a part of the Asus Eee product family. At the time of its introduction in late 2007, it was noted for its combination of a light weight, Linux operating system, solid-state drive , and relatively low cost...

 700 to 12 in (30.5 cm) models in the summer of 2009.

Trademarks



In 1996 Psion started applying for trademarks for a line of netBook products that was later released in 1999. International trademarks were issued (including and ) but the models failed to gain popularity and are now discontinued (except for providing accessories, maintenance and support to existing users). Similar marks were recently rejected by the USPTO citing a "likelihood of confusion" under section 2(d).

Despite expert analysis that the mark is "probably generic
Genericized trademark
A genericized trademark is a trademark or brand name that has become the colloquial or generic description for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, rather than as an indicator of source or affiliation as intended by the trademark's holder...

", Psion Teklogix
Psion Teklogix
Psion Teklogix Inc. is the operational business of Psion, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.Psion Teklogix is a global provider of solutions for mobile computing and wireless data collection...

 issued cease and desist letters on 23 December 2008. This was heavily criticised, prompting the formation of the "Save the Netbooks" grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 campaign which worked to reverse the Google AdWords ban, cancel the trademark and encourage continued generic use of the term. While preparing a "Petition for Cancellation" of they revealed that Dell
Dell
Dell, Inc. is an American multinational information technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest...

 had submitted one day before on the basis of abandonment, genericness
Genericized trademark
A genericized trademark is a trademark or brand name that has become the colloquial or generic description for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, rather than as an indicator of source or affiliation as intended by the trademark's holder...

 and fraud. They later revealed Psion's counter-suit against Intel, filed on 27 February 2009.

It was also revealed around the same time that Intel had also sued Psion Teklogix
Psion Teklogix
Psion Teklogix Inc. is the operational business of Psion, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.Psion Teklogix is a global provider of solutions for mobile computing and wireless data collection...

 (US & Canada) and Psion (UK) in the Federal Court on similar grounds. In addition to seeking cancellation of the trademark, Intel sought an order enjoining Psion from asserting any trademark rights in the term "netbook", a declarative judgment regarding their use of the term, attorneys' fees, costs and disbursements and "such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper".

On June 2, 2009, Psion announced that the suit had been settled out of court. Psion's statement said that the company was withdrawing all of its trademark registrations for the term "Netbook" and that Psion agreed to "waive all its rights against third parties in respect of past, current or future use" of the term.

Hardware




Netbooks typically have less powerful hardware than larger laptop computers. Some netbooks do not even have a conventional hard drive. Such netbooks use solid-state
Solid-state drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

 storage devices instead, as these require less power, are faster, lighter, and generally more shock-resistant, but with much less storage capacity (such as 32, 64, or 128 GB compared to the 100 GB to 2 TB mechanical hard drives typical of many notebooks/laptop computers).

All netbooks on the market today support Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or Wifi, is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point has a range of about 20...

 wireless networking and many can be used on mobile telephone networks with data capability (for example, 3G
3G
3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 specifications by the International Telecommunication Union...

). Mobile data plans are supplied under contract in the same way as mobile telephones. Some also include ethernet
Ethernet over twisted pair
Ethernet over twisted pair technologies use twisted-pair cables for the physical layer of an Ethernet computer network. Other Ethernet cable standards employ coaxial cable or optical fiber. Early versions developed in the 1980s included StarLAN followed by 10BASE-T. By the 1990s, fast, inexpensive...

 and/or modem
Modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

 ports, for broadband
Broadband
The term broadband refers to a telecommunications signal or device of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal or device . Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times...

 or dial-up Internet access, respectively.

x86


Most netbooks, such as those from Asus
ASUS
ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated is a multinational computer technology and consumer electronics product manufacturer headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. Its product range includes motherboards, desktops, laptops, monitors, tablet PCs, servers and mobile phones...

, BenQ
BenQ
BenQ Corporation is a Taiwanese multi-national company that sells and markets consumer electronics, computing and communications devices under the "BenQ" brand name, which stands for the company slogan Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life .- Company :BenQ sells and markets technology products,...

, Dell
Dell
Dell, Inc. is an American multinational information technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest...

, Toshiba
Toshiba
is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and...

, Acer use the Intel Atom
Intel Atom
Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage x86 and x86-64 CPUs from Intel, designed in 45 nm CMOS and used mainly in netbooks, nettops, embedded application ranging from health care to advanced robotics and Mobile Internet devices...

 notebook processor (typically the N270 1.6 GHz but also available is the N280 at 1.66 GHz, replaced by the N450 series with graphics and memory controller integrated on the chip in early 2010 and running at 1.66 GHz), but the x86-compatible VIA Technologies
VIA Technologies
VIA Technologies is a Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated circuits, mainly motherboard chipsets, CPUs, and memory, and is part of the Formosa Plastics Group. It is the world's largest independent manufacturer of motherboard chipsets...

 C7
VIA C7
The VIA C7 is an x86 central processing unit designed by Centaur Technology and sold by VIA Technologies.- Product history :The C7 delivers a number of improvements to the older VIA C3 cores but is nearly identical to the latest VIA C3 Nehemiah core. The C7 was officially launched in May 2005,...

 processor is also powering netbooks from many different manufacturers like HP
Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

 and Samsung
Samsung
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

. VIA has also designed the Nano
VIA Nano
The VIA Nano is a 64-bit CPU for personal computers. The VIA Nano was released by VIA Technologies in 2008 after five years of development by its CPU division, Centaur Technology...

, a new x86-64
X86-64
x86-64 is an extension of the x86 instruction set. It supports vastly larger virtual and physical address spaces than are possible on x86, thereby allowing programmers to conveniently work with much larger data sets. x86-64 also provides 64-bit general purpose registers and numerous other...

-compatible architecture targeting lower priced, mobile applications like netbooks. Currently, one netbook uses the Nano
VIA Nano
The VIA Nano is a 64-bit CPU for personal computers. The VIA Nano was released by VIA Technologies in 2008 after five years of development by its CPU division, Centaur Technology...

; the Samsung NC20. Some very low cost netbooks use a System-on-a-chip
System-on-a-chip
A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chip substrate...

 Vortex86
Vortex86
The Vortex86 is a SoC based on an x86 compatible core. It formerly belonged to SiS, which got the basic design from Rise Technology, and was sold to the Taiwanese DM&P Electronics....

 processor meant for embedded systems, just to be "Windows compatible", but with very low performance. In 2011, AMD launched Fusion
AMD Fusion
AMD Fusion is the marketing name for a series of APUs by AMD. There are two flavors of Fusion currently available, one with its CPU logic based on the Bobcat core and the other its CPU logic based on the 10h core. In both cases the GPU logic is HD6xxx, which itself is based on the mobile variant of...

 netbook processors which are included in Asus Eee PC
ASUS Eee PC
The Asus Eee PC is a subnotebook/netbook computer line from ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated, and a part of the Asus Eee product family. At the time of its introduction in late 2007, it was noted for its combination of a light weight, Linux operating system, solid-state drive , and relatively low cost...

 1015T and many others.
Comparison

By definition netbooks accommodate processors with little processing power. For comparison a common dual-core Core 2 Duo T5600 at 1.83 GHz with 2 MB L2 cache used in low-end laptops has a PassMark score of about 1000 points. The following table shows benchmarks for most common netbook CPUs:
Manufacturer Name Core Count Frequency
(GHz
GHZ
GHZ or GHz may refer to:# Gigahertz .# Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state — a quantum entanglement of three particles.# Galactic Habitable Zone — the region of a galaxy that is favorable to the formation of life....

)
L2 cache
(KB
Kilobyte
The kilobyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. Although the prefix kilo- means 1000, the term kilobyte and symbol KB have historically been used to refer to either 1024 bytes or 1000 bytes, dependent upon context, in the fields of computer science and information...

)
TDP
Thermal Design Power
The thermal design power , sometimes called thermal design point, refers to the maximum amount of power the cooling system in a computer is required to dissipate. For example, a laptop's CPU cooling system may be designed for a 20 watt TDP, which means that it can dissipate up to 20 watts of heat...


(W
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

)
Reference Average
PassMark score
Intel  Atom N270  1 1.6 512 2.5 http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLB73 310
Intel  Atom N450  1 1.66 512 5.5 http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42503 320
Intel  Atom N550  2 1.5 1024 8.5 http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50154 563
AMD  Athlon Neo MV-40  1 1.6 512 15 http://products.amd.com/en-ca/NotebookCPUDetail.aspx?id=513&f1=&f2=&f3=&f4=&f5=&f6=&f7=&f8=&f9= 391
AMD  AMD Fusion C-50  2 1 1024 9 http://products.amd.com/en-us/NotebookAPUDetail.aspx?id=4&f1=&f2=&f3=&f4=&f5=&f6=& 452

ARM


ARM Holdings
ARM Holdings
ARM Holdings plc is a British multinational semiconductor and software company headquartered in Cambridge. Its largest business is in processors, although it also designs, licenses and sells software development tools under the RealView and KEIL brands, systems and platforms, system-on-a-chip...

 designs and licenses microprocessor technology with relatively low power requirements and low cost which would constitute an ideal basis for netbooks. In particular, the recent ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
The ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore is a 32-bit multicore processor providing up to 4 cache-coherent Cortex-A9 cores, each implementing the ARM v7 instruction set architecture.-Features:Key features of the Cortex-A9 core are:...

 series of processor cores have been touted by ARM as an alternative platform to x86 for netbooks. These systems, when available, will be branded as smartbook
Smartbook
A smartbook was a class of mobile device that combined certain features of both a smartphone and netbook computer, promoted in 2009 and 2010....

s. Freescale, a manufacturer of ARM chips, has projected that, by 2012, half of all netbooks will run on ARM. In June 2009, Nvidia
NVIDIA
Nvidia is an American global technology company based in Santa Clara, California. Nvidia is best known for its graphics processors . Nvidia and chief rival AMD Graphics Techonologies have dominated the high performance GPU market, pushing other manufacturers to smaller, niche roles...

 announced a dozen mobile Internet devices running ARM based Tegra
Tegra
Tegra developed by Nvidia is a system-on-a-chip series for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants, and mobile Internet devices. The Tegra integrates the ARM architecture processor central processing unit , graphics processing unit , northbridge, southbridge, and memory...

 SoC's
System-on-a-chip
A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chip substrate...

, some of which will be netbooks.

Smartbooks will deliver features including always on, all-day battery life
Battery life
Battery life can refer to*How long a mobile device can work on a single charge of a rechargeable battery.*Battery lifetime degrading of battery quality over time....

, 3G
3G
3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 specifications by the International Telecommunication Union...

 connectivity and GPS (all typically found in smartphones) in a laptop
Laptop
A laptop, also called a notebook, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit...

-style body with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches and a QWERTY
QWERTY
QWERTY is the most common modern-day keyboard layout. The name comes from the first six letters appearing in the topleft letter row of the keyboard, read left to right: Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The QWERTY design is based on a layout created for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter and sold to Remington in the...

 keyboard. These systems do not run traditional x86 versions of Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

, rather custom Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 operating system
Operating system
An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

s (such as Google's Android or Chrome OS). Other barriers for the adoption of ARM are slowly being removed, for example Adobe is finally working on an implementation of the full version of Flash player for ARM.

In January 2011, Microsoft announced that the next releases of Windows and Internet Explorer would be able to run on ARM processors.

MIPS


Some netbooks use MIPS architecture
MIPS architecture
MIPS is a reduced instruction set computer instruction set architecture developed by MIPS Technologies . The early MIPS architectures were 32-bit, and later versions were 64-bit...

-compatible processors. These include the Skytone Alpha 400, based on an Ingenic system on chip, and the EMTEC Gdium
Gdium
The Gdium is a subnotebook / netbook computer produced by EMTEC. The Gdium product is distinguished by its unique Loongson MIPS processor and the use of a USB key as a primary storage device...

 netbook, which uses the 64-bit Loongson processor capable of 400 million instructions per second. While these systems are relatively inexpensive, the processing power of current MIPS implementations usually compares unfavorably with those of x86-implementations as found in current netbooks. After the ARM version, Adobe is planning to release a version of the Adobe Flash Player (version 10.1) for the MIPS platform.

Windows



As of January 2009, over 90% (96% claimed by Microsoft as of February 2009) of netbooks in the United States are estimated to ship with Windows XP
Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base...

, which Microsoft was later estimated to sell ranging from US$15 to US$35 per netbook. Microsoft has extended the availability of Windows XP for ultra-low cost personal computers from June 2008 until June 2010. However, the discounted license costs only applies to reduced size and functionality netbooks, which effectively enables the production of low-cost PCs while preserving the higher margins of mainstream desktops and "value" laptops as well as avoiding increased use of Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 installations on netbooks.
Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 also has Windows 7 Starter for this class of devices. As of the first quarter of 2009 many netbook models previously announced with Windows XP for the US market were in fact being released with Windows 7 Starter instead, at the same price point previously announced for the Windows XP editions. However, unlike on regular desktops or notebooks that were sold with Vista but included a coupon for 7, users could not get a coupon for 7 Starter if they bought a netbook.
Windows CE
Windows CE
Microsoft Windows CE is an operating system developed by Microsoft for embedded systems. Windows CE is a distinct operating system and kernel, rather than a trimmed-down version of desktop Windows...

 has also been used in netbook applications, due to its reduced feature design, that keeps with the design philosophy of netbooks.

Some netbooks have also been sold with Windows Vista (mostly prior to the release of Windows 7).

Many netbooks are by default unable to activate Windows in an enterprise environment using a Microsoft Key Management Service
Volume license key
Volume License Key is a term used by many computer software companies to denote the product key used when installing software licensed under volume licensing, which allows a single product key to be used for multiple installations....

 (KMS) as they lack System Locked Preinstallation
System Locked Preinstallation
System Locked Pre-installation, often abbreviated as SLP, is a procedure used by major OEM computer manufacturers in order to pre-activate Microsoft Windows before mass distribution. There are three different versions of SLP: SLP SLP 2.0 and SLP 2.1. These versions roughly coincide with Windows NT...

 (SLP) capability in their BIOS. The missing feature artificially segments enterprise customers from the lower end Netbook market; some hardware vendors offer an optional SLP-compliant BIOS to enterprise customers at additional cost.

Linux



, customised Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 distributions are estimated to ship on 32% of netbooks worldwide (0.5% claimed Microsoft), making it the second most popular operating system after Windows. As Linux systems normally install software from an Internet software repository
Software repository
A software repository is a storage location from which software packages may be retrieved and installed on a computer.- Discussion :Many software publishers and other organizations maintain servers on the Internet for this purpose, either free of charge or for a subscription fee...

, they do not need an optical drive to install software.

, major netbook manufacturers no longer install or support Linux in the United States. The reason for this change of stance is unclear, although it coincides with the availability of Windows 7 Starter and a strong marketing push for the adoption of this OS in the netbook market. However, companies targeting niche markets, such as System76 and ZaReason, continue to pre-install Linux on the devices they sell.

Netbooks have sparked the development of several Linux variants or completely new distributions, which are optimized for small screen use and the limited processing power of the Atom or ARM processors which typically power netbooks. Examples include Ubuntu Netbook Edition, EasyPeasy, Joli OS and MeeGo
MeeGo
MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system project. Primarily targeted at mobile devices and information appliances in the consumer electronics market, MeeGo is designed to act as an operating system for hardware platforms such as netbooks, entry-level desktops, nettops, tablet...

. Both Joli OS and MeeGo purport to be "social oriented" or social networking operating systems rather than traditional "office work production" operating systems.

Android


Google's Android software platform, designed for mobile telephone handsets, has been demonstrated on an ASUS Eee PC and its Linux operating system contains policies for mobile internet devices including the original Asus Eee PC 701. ASUS has allocated engineers to develop an Android-based netbook. Freescale have also announced plans for a low-cost ARM
ARM architecture
ARM is a 32-bit reduced instruction set computer instruction set architecture developed by ARM Holdings. It was named the Advanced RISC Machine, and before that, the Acorn RISC Machine. The ARM architecture is the most widely used 32-bit ISA in numbers produced...

-based netbook design, running Android. In May 2009 a contractor of Dell announced it is porting Adobe Flash Lite to Android for Dell netbooks. Acer announced Android netbooks to be available in Q3/2009.

In July 2009, a new project, Android-x86, was created to provide an open source solution for Android on the x86 platform, especially for netbooks.

Since the initial work on Android, Google announced a netbook specific operating system, Chrome OS, and future operating system development may be forked into Android for smartphones and similar handhelds, and Chrome OS for traditional keyboard driven machines like netbooks.

Chrome OS


Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

's new Chrome OS
Google Chrome OS
Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. Google announced the operating system on July 7, 2009 and made it an open source project, called Chromium OS, that November....

 is loaded on some netbooks. These are known as Chromebook
Chromebook
A Chromebook is a personal computer running Google Chrome OS. The devices comprise a distinct class of personal computer falling between a pure cloud client and traditional laptop.The first devices for sale, by Acer Inc...

s.

MeeGo


MeeGo
MeeGo
MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system project. Primarily targeted at mobile devices and information appliances in the consumer electronics market, MeeGo is designed to act as an operating system for hardware platforms such as netbooks, entry-level desktops, nettops, tablet...

 is a Linux-based open source operating system project. It was first announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2010 by Intel and Nokia
Nokia
Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications corporation that is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki...

 in a joint press conference, with the stated aim being to merge the efforts of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo
Maemo
Maemo is a software platform developed by the Maemo community for smartphones and Internet tablets. It is based on the Debian Linux distribution, but has no relation to it...

 former projects into one new common project. It is programmed in C++ and comes from Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 OS Family. It was initially released on 26 May 2010. The latest stable release available is 1.2 released on 19 May 2011. Official website http://www.meego.com/

Other


Netbooks have been demonstrated running other operating systems including FreeBSD
FreeBSD
FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via BSD UNIX. Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot be called “UNIX”, as the direct descendant of BSD UNIX , FreeBSD’s internals and system APIs are UNIX-compliant...

, NetBSD
NetBSD
NetBSD is a freely available open source version of the Berkeley Software Distribution Unix operating system. It was the second open source BSD descendant to be formally released, after 386BSD, and continues to be actively developed. The NetBSD project is primarily focused on high quality design,...

, OpenBSD
OpenBSD
OpenBSD is a Unix-like computer operating system descended from Berkeley Software Distribution , a Unix derivative developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It was forked from NetBSD by project leader Theo de Raadt in late 1995...

, and Darwin
Darwin (operating system)
Darwin is an open source POSIX-compliant computer operating system released by Apple Inc. in 2000. It is composed of code developed by Apple, as well as code derived from NeXTSTEP, BSD, and other free software projects....

.

The Cloud
Cloud (operating system)
Cloud is a browser-based operating system created by Good OS LLC, a Los Angeles-based corporation. The company initially launched a Linux distribution called gOS which is heavily based on Ubuntu, now in its third incarnation.- Overview :...

 operating system attempts to capitalize on the minimalist aspect of netbooks. The user interface is limited to a browser application only.

Mac OS X
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is a series of Unix-based operating systems and graphical user interfaces developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. Since 2002, has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems...

 has been demonstrated running on various netbooks as a result of the OSx86
OSx86
OSx86 is a collaborative hacking project to run the Mac OS X computer operating system on non-Apple personal computers with x86 architecture and x86-64 compatible processors...

 project, although this is in violation of the operating system's End User License Agreement. Apple has complained to sites hosting information on how to install OS X onto non-Apple hardware (including Wired
Wired (magazine)
Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...

 and YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

) who have reacted and removed content in response. One article nicknamed a netbook running OS X a "Hackintosh."

Usage


A June 2009 NPD
NPD Group
The NPD Group, Inc. is a leading North American market research company. The NPD Group consistently ranks among the top 25 market research companies in the independent Honomichl Top 50 report, which the media and the research industry acknowledge as a credible source of information on the market...

 study found that 60% of netbook buyers never take their netbooks out of the house.

Another NPD study indicated that by September 2009 netbooks accounted for 20% of all portable computer shipments.

Special "children's" editions of netbooks have been released under Disney branding; their low cost (less at risk), lack of DVD player (less to break) and smaller keyboards (closer to children's hand sizes) are viewed as significant advantages for that target market. The principal objection to netbooks in this context is the lack of good video performance for streaming online video in current netbooks and a lack of speed with even simple games. Adults browsing for text content are less dependent on video content than small children who cannot read.

In addition to education, netbooks have become the tool of choice for the business road warrior. Because of the portability and perfect size between smartphones and laptops, business travelers are increasingly choosing netbooks. According to Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst at eWEEK, at least 15% of the crowd at DEMO 09, a show that displays emerging technologies, were using netbooks over laptops, and that number, he says, may well have been higher.

Netbooks in education


Netbooks are a growing trend in education for several reasons. The need to prepare children for 21st century lifestyles, combined with hundreds of new educational tools that can be found online, and a growing emphasis on student centered learning are three of the biggest contributing factors to the rising use of Netbook technology in schools. Dell was one of the first to mass produce a ruggedised netbook for the education sector, by having a rubber outlay, touchscreen and network activity light to show the teacher the netbook is online.

Netbooks offer several distinct advantages in educational settings. First, their compact size and weight make for an easy fit in student work areas. Similarly, the small size make Netbooks easier to transport than heavier, larger sized traditional laptops. In addition, prices ranging from $200–$600 dollars mean the affordability of Netbooks can be a relief to school budget makers. Despite the small size and price, Netbooks are fully capable of accomplishing most school-related tasks, including word processing, presentations, access to the Internet, multimedia playback, and photo management.

Smartbook



A smartbook is a concept of a mobile device that falls between smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

s and netbooks, delivering features typically found in smartphones (always on, all-day battery life
Battery life
Battery life can refer to*How long a mobile device can work on a single charge of a rechargeable battery.*Battery lifetime degrading of battery quality over time....

, 3G
3G
3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 specifications by the International Telecommunication Union...

 connectivity, GPS) in a slightly larger device with a full keyboard. Smartbooks will tend to be designed to work with online applications. Smartbooks are likely to be sold initially through mobile network operators, as mobile phones are today, with a wireless data plan.

See also



  • Apple iPad
  • Comparison of netbooks
    Comparison of netbooks
    These tables provide a comparison of netbooks. See also the comparison of subnotebooks, as there is significant overlap between these categories.Aspects of netbooks that should be considered:...

  • Nettop
    Nettop
    Nettop may refer to:*Nettop, a type of computer*NetTop, a NSA project...

    , a desktop equivalent of the netbook
  • Mobile broadband
    Mobile Broadband
    Mobile broadband is the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, mobile phone or other mobile device.-Description:...

  • Mobile modem
  • Tethering

  • Mobile phone
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

  • Pay As You Go (phone)
    Pay as you go (phone)
    A prepaid mobile phone is a mobile phone for which credit is purchased in advance of service use. The purchased credit is used to pay for mobile phone services at the point the service is accessed or consumed...

  • SIM card
  • PDA
    PDA
    A PDA is most commonly a Personal digital assistant, also known as a Personal data assistant, a mobile electronic device.PDA may also refer to:In science, medicine and technology:...

  • Mobile internet device (MID)
  • Subnotebook
    Subnotebook
    A subnotebook is a class of laptop computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical laptop....

  • Tablet personal computer
    Tablet computer
    A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a complete mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen...

  • Ultra-mobile PC
    Ultra-Mobile PC
    An ultra-mobile PC is a small form factor version of a pen computer, a class of laptop whose specifications were launched by Microsoft and Intel in spring 2006. Sony had already made a first attempt in this direction in 2004 with its Vaio U series, which was however only sold in Asia...

     (UMPC)
  • Smartbook
    Smartbook
    A smartbook was a class of mobile device that combined certain features of both a smartphone and netbook computer, promoted in 2009 and 2010....


External links