The NY Times is noting some big boosts in the netbook category this year, which is projected to beat 20 million units by the end of 2009. As Intel Atom prices fall and more and more manufacturers join the fray, many expect Apple to step in and Sony to take a bigger role in the industry this year.
The familiar names aren’t holding back one bit either, with ASUS delivering such ambitious devices as the ultra-slim LED Eee PC 1008HA (the Seashell), or the $299 Dell Mini 10v with features to spare.
ASUS’ new Seashell is being pointed to as an example of how swiftly netbooks are beginning to resemble notebooks. CNET UK lauded the design and performance boosts, saying they contributed to a finely tuned device sure to please everyone laying his hands on one:
“[The ASUS Eee PC 1008HA is] a small, light, and sexy device aimed at the fashion-conscious netbook fan who puts portability slightly above performance…The glossy black finish, the gently tapering lid, and the wedge-shaped profile all contribute to an overall design that’s more aesthetically pleasing than that of rivals.”
The ASUS Seashell even uses a lithium-polymer battery pack, which is moldable for sleek netbooks like their new Eee PC.
Eyes are on ASUS for now, and as more category-defying devices like the 1008HA hit the market, notebook makers are going to need to do more to avoid being undersold by netbooks. From a consumer standpoint, bigger competition will be a good thing, and it will be exciting to see new futuristic advancements as they arrive.