The NPD released a new report that says, essentially, consumers have no idea what the hell a “netbook” is. Something like 60 percent of consumers who bought a netbook thought that it would have the same capabilities as a notebook. Even more troubling for the companies who produce netbooks is that only 58 percent people who bought a netbook instead of a notebook were satisfied with their purchase. That leaves 42 percent of people who are terribly upset.
I’ve long thought this was the case, and it all stems from the name “netbook.” Consider this:
Regular Joe: Hey what’s that?
Tech-savvy elitist, like Doug Aamoth: Why it’s a netbook!
Regular Joe: Oh, like an Internet book, like that Amazon thing?
Tech-savvy elitist, like Doug Aamoth: No, stupid, a netbook. You know, like a notebook?
Regular Joe: Oh, like a Trapper Keeper thing?
Tech-savvy elitist, like Doug Aamoth: No, notebook, like a laptop.
Regular Joe: So why not just call it a laptop? Or, if you wanna go crazy, why not call it a “small laptop”? Why do we need a whole new word that, like, 10 people know what it means?
Tech-savvy elitist, like Doug Aamoth: Blah!
A simplification, yes, but illustrative of the point that NPD was trying to make: there’s still plenty of confusion out there about what netbooks are, and what they want to be. I hardly know, and I deal with them every day! Why would I want a gimped, extra tiny laptop, to use at a café? Hogwash. “Something to browse the Internet from your couch from.” No thanks, If I’m on the couch I’m either watching soccer or playing Xbox 360. I don’t want to be reading funny blogs or tweets while on the couch.
That’s just me, I understand, but it just seems like netbooks are largely pieces of junk. I’m happy to be corrected, of course, but I just have no use for them in my life, and it seems that there are several people who are in the same boat.