Slate asks what does it mean that the top Amazon laptop sellers are netbooks. It is pretty stark, the top 20 sellers are windows netbooks or Macs, you have to get to #21 before a full size Windows laptop makes an appearance. It probably means that low priced laptops are capturing a lot of attention in an economy where everyone is concerned about costs, and also that the portfolio of top selling Windows laptops are stale while netbooks are new and fashionable.
Minimalism pervades Amazon’s laptop list; over the last few weeks, the great majority of the 25 best-seller slots have been occupied by various permutations of the Eee PC and other souped-down, sub-$500 machines. In the computer industry, these miniature computers are known as “netbooks.” The term is vaguely defined, but the best way to spot a netbook is to peek at the specs: Today’s bigger laptops run on Intel’s speedy Core 2 Duo processor, while netbooks use a smaller, less powerful, and cheaper Intel chip, the Atom. Netbooks also run older or more lightweight operating systems—generally Windows XP or some flavor of Linux.
Netbooks are exciting. Small size and a small price add up to mean faster product cycles and more competition, which is always good for consumers.