Dell says goodbye to Netbooks

Dell is leaving Netbooks to the dustbin of laptop history. But it's not terribly surprising, considering the rise of tablets and the emergence of ultrabooks.

Dell Mini HD Netbook: no longer available from Dell.
Dell Mini HD Netbook: no longer available from Dell. CNET Reviews

Dell is longer interested in selling Netbooks--that category of 10-inch class laptops that saw mild success for a couple of years but is now facing a serious existential crisis.

Rather, Dell is now concentrating on laptops that deliver real performance--a major failing of the Netbook.

"We sold through the Dell Mini some time ago. We're committed to the highly portable space and have focused on delivering thin + powerful solutions, for which we've seen strong success, particularly in our XPS line," Matthew Hutchison, director of Dell Global Consumer PR, said in a statement sent to CNET.

Hutchison said Dell's mobile consumer focus is on products like its recently introduced XPS 14z (which got an "excellent" rating from CNET Reviews) and the XPS 15z.

Netbooks debuted in 2008 and Intel said in August of 2010 that about 70 million Atom processors had shipped for the small laptops.

But Apple's iPad, and other tablets that followed, began making serious inroads into the category in the second half of 2010. And the Netbook has never really been the same since.

Major U.S. electronics retailers offer very visible proof of this. Go into a Best Buy today and you will see display tables filled with tablets but only a handful of Netbooks--if that--on display.

And Intel has moved on too. The chipmaker has reset its sights on ultrabooks, which offer comparable portability but much better performance.

Via Liliputing.

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