Are Netbooks “Real Computers”?

According to Warner Crocker of, there seems to be some confusion on the part of a lot of consumers concerning netbooks.He illustrated a pretty funny scenario. He was out doing Christmas shopping at Staples, and when he came to the netbook aisle to look for the HP L1010NR. It was on sale, sure enough, for $359.It was also surrounded by a crowd of about 7 people, one of whom was telling everyone not to buy the netbooks. Why? Because it “didn’t have a DVD drive,” and she had just returned hers because she was lookingfor a “real computer.” Doing his duty as a knowledgable consumer, Crocker pointed out that, like it or not, netbooks never came with optical drives and were meant to be tools for internet access.One man “wondered why they would sell anything without a DVD drive these days” and another grabbed a ticket and headed out to buy one.When Crocker talked to a manager about the netbook, he said they were selling very well but there were a lot of returns… mostly because the netbooks didn’t have a DVD drive.I chose this anecdote because it’s pretty revealing about the reality of netbooks. They are really still something of a niche product. They started out on Linux and were only used by those techies who could manage the OS, and others who learned it so they could be more efficient in their workdays. Businessmen and students started buying the machine as it came out on XP, and now it’s had a lot of refinements to please a mainstream crowd.They’re selling well, but some just don’t know where to put them, perhaps confusing them with mini DVD players. We may chuckle at those people at Staples who didn’t know the difference, but hey – I wouldn’t complain if netbook manufacturers took the hint. One more DVD drive never hurt anybody.Via

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