Netbooks are a dead-end experiment in un-usability. Smartphones are the natural evolution that has already arrived.
— David Chartier on this.
I don’t believe in netbooks, either. It’s logical to think that people like laptops to get ever smaller and ever cheaper, but there are practical limits to that. The mass market really doesn’t like tiny keyboards or tiny screens, a lesson we learned a decade ago, so that puts a pretty hard cap on how small laptops can reasonably be and still appeal to most buyers. (The MacBook Air is a great example of doing it right, size-wise: full-size keyboard and screen, tiny everything else, 3.0 pounds.)
Netbooks want to be your tiny cheap portable computer with no power or capacity to supplement your big desktop computer with tons of power and capacity. But increasingly, people are eschewing desktops and just using midrange laptops as their only computers. There’s very little real demand for tiny, ugly, underpowered desktop-Linux computers with crappy screens and crappy keyboards no matter how cheaply anyone’s able to produce them.