these companies trying to make highend netbooks doesn't seem to get the point of a netbook, battery life, battery life, battery life. if you wanna make a decent mid range small laptop thats cool but battery life under 5 hours does not a netbook make
When I bought the first incarnation of the EEE PC I was drawn in by a few key factors:
* low cost (so if it gets stolen I won't have to break my bank replacing it)
* SSD to make it a bit more rugged when running around (making the screen and the actual physical structure the weak points of the system)
* Small size. I found the original EEE to be about the right size - maybe a hair bigger for bigger keys would have been nice - but they put an undersized screen in it to fit the speakers up front.
What I didn't like after getting it was mainly the low screen resolution which made it nearly useless for its primary purpose - browsing the web. I thought I could get past it, but I couldn't.
New netbooks have been a disappointment. They have really turned into inexpensive laptops that can't quite do what an inexpensive laptop can. At this point, if the prices start hitting the $700-$800 mark, I might as well spend the $900 and get myself a "decent" HP tablet pc that lets me take notes the natural way in class as well as use digital art tools.
As for battery life - well, it I can't do anything on the netbook, being able to do nothing for 10 hours is meaningless to me.
So what makes this a "netbook", the use of an Atom processor? I agree with the others, these 12" or 13" Netbooks aren't really netbooks.
Netbooks were meant to be small, energy-sipping, web browsing and light document editing computers. These new netbooks can play Blu-Ray on a 13" screen and can even handle some modern video games. I'm not even sure why Intel makes Atom processors this powerful. They were worried about desktop cannibalism, yet they make an Atom processor more powerful than their own Celerons?
I saw a laptop at walmart the other day that had a dual-core Athlon processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB harddrive, 14" screen, Radeon graphics, etc.. etc.. that sold for $485 (it was a Compaq, not an e-machines). Unless ASUS can fit this new Eee PC in under $400, its not even worth it. You can get far more powerful laptops for cheaper prices that are practically even the same size. They might only get 2-3 hours battery life, but if this new Eee PC only get 3-4, is it really worth MORE money?
I bought a Cloudbook and my wife owns an Acer Aspire1, but those are 8" netbooks. These new 12" and 13" monstrosities are going to kill the netbook segment. People were saying the iPad was a netbook killer, but the manufacturers killed off the true netbook before the iPad even came out.
It's like slapping gold-trim on a Toyota and calling it a Lexus. These new "netbooks" are just ways for companies to make higher profits off lower-end components.
I have a 1202N and it runs nice. at $500, it does everything I expect it too. I had seen netbook with 7 and10" screens and they look too small in size, but mostly in resolution. The only thing I don't like is that it comes with a HDD instead of an SSD, and I'll have to wait a few months before I upgrade the hard drive because as soon as I do it, it will void the warranty.
The other thing is software, if more software was already using Nvidia's card (firefox, chrome) the computer would be already fast enough to be considered a laptop. The dual core 1.6Ghz CPU feels fast enough, but I think the algorithm to adjust the clock speed does give some gittering behavior (this review is using Ubuntu Linux).
So, I think this is a nice evolotion of the netbook, and the people that don't like it can stick with the old models, or get smartphones that are even smaller than netbook (like the Droid X). I think the biggest difference from a laptop to a netbook is that a netbook should never have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, they are half-way obsolete anyway.