Netbooks don't cut it as laptop substitutes: survey

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Jun 2009

Around 60% of netbook buyers were unaware they differ from a notebook, leaving many disappointed with their performance, according to a survey from the NPD Group.

Those who had not known the difference bought their netbooks expecting the same functionality as a notebook. Among this group, only 58% were very satisfied with their purchase, compared to 70% who planned on buying a netbook from the start, NPD said.

In the netbook's core demographic - 18 to 24 year olds - 65% said they were disappointed with the performance of their netbooks.

And although portability was the key factor in purchasing decisions for 60% of consumers, 60% said they had never even taken their netbooks outside their home.

Stephen Baker, NPD's VP of industry analysis, said the result proves marketers need to rethink their netbook strategies.

"There is a serious risk of cannibalization in the notebook market that could cause a real threat to netbooks' success," he said. "Retailers and manufacturers can't put too much emphasis on PC-like capabilities and [convincing] consumers that a netbook is a replacement for a notebook."

Mobility and portability should instead be the netbook's key selling points, he said.

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