Intel: Netbooks are not meant for adults

April 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

NetbooksIntel is doing its best to convince the public that netbooks are only meant for kids or emerging markets only. Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president said the following at the recent Intel Developer Forum in Beijing: “There are things that you would do on a notebook you wouldn’t dream of doing on a Netbook…For a kid, a Netbook is fantastic, as an adult you probably want a notebook. So, there are very simple ways of positioning and thinking about it.”

These comments echo Intel’s product page which looks at the difference between netbooks against laptops. According to the list, netbooks cannot multitask, create videos, encode music, watch HD movies and run complex office software. Now I’ll give them HD videos but creating/editing videos or photos? These are things I’ve done with a number of netbooks. Okay, no one expects Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop CS4 to run that well on a netbook but there are solutions out there that allow you to do the bulk of photo/video editing if needed to. Multi-tasking also is not an issue.

It is quite apparent that Intel does not want to cannibalise laptop sales. Indeed, when looking at the same product page, Intel provides the following answer when asked whether it was worth replacing an aging laptop with a netbook: “No. A netbook doesn’t have the processing power and functionality you’d need to run many of the applications your current laptop supports, even if it’s a few years old.”

Intel pushes the netbook as a secondary computer for kids only. “Consider adding a netbook as a companion to your main computer. A netbook offers value and ease-of-use so kids can explore the Internet and not interfere with their parents’ work,” says the same page.

In no way am I saying that a netbook is a substitute for a proper laptop, but the average consumer is not stupid. Most recognise the great value a netbook provides as well as understanding its limitations. Intel can try as hard as it wants to ‘educate’ the market but in these recessionary times, many people will be substituting netbooks from more expensive laptops.


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