Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cheaper price predicament on netbooks war: more setbacks on planning the purchase

It’s like the rainy season, where everyday the rain drops by either it’s just drizzles or heavy drops. And so is the current dilemma that mobile users are facing right now, especially for those who’re looking to make a purchase for netbooks.

I’ve been meaning to talk about netbooks, UMPCs, mini-laptops, or whatever it’s being called these days, for quite sometime. But with newer models are being introduced within these last 5 months, I kept on delaying it and thus making it outdated to talk about them anymore.

The war is moving on, the pawns are changed and updated, the master puppets are still the same old same, but there’s one thing that’s still interesting for us to follow: the price.

The mobile market has been flooded with plenty of choices, and to make it worse those netbooks’ price also make us harder to choose. Ranging from top at around $800 to the most cheapest at $300 or less, netbook has become everybody’s favorite who doesn’t need much power-horse from the tiny structured laptop.

Yet of course, for power users who demand every ounce of performance to be squeezed out from their mobile devices; netbooks are simply not suitable for them. But then again, such device is not intended for such purpose from the beginning; and that would become another topic.

The low-end specs within are also contributing to the lower and cheaper price those netbooks have, but not necessarily the basic considerations for moderate mobile users, since the difference for them is blurring with the growing use of “cloud computing”.

I’ve tried to play with some of these netbooks for a brief moment; such as Asus Eee PC 700/900, MSI Wind, HP Mini-Note, and some of the local brand products that I’m sure not that interesting for you (but someone might be thinking the otherwise, even love to brag about them ~LOL~) my dear PalmAddict readers. And I must say, physically their looks are very tempting and appealing.

But when I took them for a long stroll on the net, opened up many web browser’s tabs at once, and visited websites with heavy use of Flash; netbooks are simply incapable for such tasks. The netbook is small in size indeed, which means the screen display also in same small sized; making me to squint me eyes to see the small fonts.

And if that’s not enough to push me away from using netbooks, the heat that is generated from the processor to the front body has also make me faster to close them down. One particular to note regarding this heat problem, IMO the HP Mini-Note is generating more heat than other models I’ve tried. It is not a surprise, in fact it is expected by design, because the Mini-Note is using VIA’s C7 processor which still need more power (but less in performance) to run it than Intel’s Celeron M or even the new Atom processor.

So if specs inside are not a big deal for you, your eyes are used to stare at small screen, your arms love to carry light weight gadgets, and your hands are accustomed to stand on the heating front bezel; then what is stopping you from getting one of those netbooks? Price, price is a huge consideration for buying small device like netbook. Well, unless money grew in your garden or grows on your head; then spending money would become a major lesson you’ll always have to take in the endless journey of yearning for new shiny gizmos. ;-D

Back to the above fact, netbook is designed to be sold at certain lower price margins than its bigger brothers. Which to computer manufacturers, this netbook’s profit margin has created a new phrase for them: “it just doesn’t add up…” (please read my previous post about this). It isn’t so hard for us the consumers to close our eyes, pick one of many netbooks available in the market, and still bring home a netbook that is adequate (in technologies) compared to the ones you didn’t pick.

If you then use your newly purchased netbook in your secluded home/workplace, and never wanting to know of the newest model to come out; then you’ll life happily ever after with it. But we know that is not possible, not just because you’re a gadget freak addict (;-p), but also because sooner or later you’ll find out about the price cut news on newer models.

Do I hear; cheaper price on newer model? Yes, you heard it right. To put it simple and to cut short the long stories, computer manufacturers who produce netbooks are taking up all they can get the remaining pieces of the cake (read: market). And by cutting down the already “cheap” price, they intend to kill competitor’s chance in the process.

We’re already seeing this happening with the release of
Eee PC 1000HD, and the hot rumor about new Mini-Note due to be released on the end of this year. You can expect other vendors to follow suit their action afterwards. Of course there’s a catch to this uprising ridiculous price cut trend; they’re slimming down the ample specs inside and dress-on cheaper materials outside.

Ridiculous? Yup, we’re not talking the degrading price in short time frame here. Instead of the acceptable price down in tech and gadgets is a year or 6 months, this is happening in 4-5 months! I can sense those who have spent their money on Eee PC 701 are grinding their teeth now, knowing that theirs have become obsolete in a very short time. Poor bugers… ~LOL~

Asus is keeping the aged Celeron 900MHz processor inside the Eee PC 1000HD, but this model keeps the 10” screen and price; meaning you can have the same device with lower spec. While HP rumored to replace the Mini-Note’s aluminum casing with cheaper plastic and price, but the new model will get Atom or newer VIA processor; meaning you can have better device with not so different price than now.

Since specs and other mumbo jumbos are not your concern for buying netbooks, but the price is; then the question will be: will you wait until the price drops insanely low?

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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