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Dell quits netbooks: Time to wave goodbye to little laptops?

Dell has stopped making netbooks, focusing instead on light and skinny laptops. Are we witnessing the death of a category?

Dell is to stop making netbooks, ditching diddy computers in favour of thin and light machines like ultrabooks.

Dell confirmed with the Verge that it was done with netbooks, though it told our sister site CNET News that it was still focused on making thin and powerful laptops, an area where Dell reckons it's seen "strong success". We were pretty impressed with the recent Dell XPS 14z, which was powerful without being too bulky to fit in a bag.

Samsung is also reportedly giving up on netbooks, again choosing to focus on ultrabooks and other thin-and-light devices. We wouldn't be surprised if other manufacturers cave next year, also trading in their netbook options for ultrabooks and tablets.

We had some good times with netbooks, but we won't mourn their passing too much. While once the notion of getting a tiny laptop with ace battery life for under £500 was very appealing, now that reasonably cheap larger laptops can muster decent battery life without skimping on processor grunt, there's less and less reason to buy one.

The other nail in the netbook coffin is the rise of tablets -- Apple's iPad isn't much more expensive than most netbooks, and it's great for basic tasks like email and web browsing -- the very tasks that originally made buying a netbook a tempting proposition.

This isn't the only market that Dell's sneakily shimmying out of -- it recently ditched the Streak 7 Android tablet, suggesting that Dell's efforts in the Android tablet arena have also come to a close.

Do you own a netbook? Do you think they're better than tablets? Tell us in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.