68% of netbooks over 10”

Posted on 19 May 2009, Last updated on 12 November 2019 by

I did some analysis of a German price comparison engine today and I was able to knock-up the following graph which shows how screen sizes have moved up way beyond the original 7 inch netbook idea. Compared to the original netbook concept, most are now big, heavy and outside what I would consider for ultra mobility usage. Germany is one of the leading countries for netbook sales and in my opinion represents what’s happening across Europe.


The graph shows the distribution of screen sizes (rounded down to nearest inch) across 243 models (SKUs) that are listed on the German Geizhals website under the notebooks (under 11 inch) section.

  • 68% of the devices are over 10 inch
  • 6.5% are 7 inch or below.
  • 71% are over 1KG. (not shown in graph)
  • 8.5% are Linux-based devices
  • There are no 7 inch netbooks based on Intel Atom
  • 76% of devices are Intel Atom based.

It would be nice to have some more data points from other countries but if you look at screen size alone, it’s clear to see what’s many people already believe; the netbook category is merging into the notebook category.

In a few months I’ll take another snapshot. It will be interesting to see if the sub-7 inch segment is growing in numbers despite falling in %. It will also be interesting to see if devices are getting heavier. Most of the sub-1KG devices are first-gen netbooks that are likely to drop out of the list in the next six months.

18 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    68% of netbooks over 10″ : http://cli.gs/smGtR0

  2. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    68% of netbooks over 10" : http://cli.gs/smGtR0

  3. cloroman says:

    #linux 68% of netbooks over 10”: I did some analysis of a german price comparison engine today and i was able to http://tinyurl.com/pacldn

  4. Sokonomi says:

    It makes you wonder what exactly defines a netbook.

    Are there any official guidelines?
    Ive heard some company shout the term netbook can only be used on internet capable clamshelll devices without any form of drive (DVD/CD/Floppy), but thats about it.

    For me netbook just means weak but cheap notebook. :P

  5. turn.self.off says:

    and stef’s kind claims another buzzword victim…

  6. DwaynePhillips says:

    2/3s of netbooks have 10"+ screens. Growing too much http://bit.ly/vezI6

  7. fixup says:

    Actually 9″ screen is enough, but people want full-size keyboard so >= 10″ is the right size to have a full-size keyboard without wasting screen space.

    Even a tiny-freak like myself never liked the 7″. It is still not pocketable, then what’s the point? To me, it is either a think and light >= 9″ like the eeePC 900a, or a pocketable like the UMID mBook M1. Nothing between is going to have a market.

  8. Felip says:

    Forget definitions, any computer with a 1024×600 screen is too limited for heavy use. Netbook or not, I’m more for 11-12″ ultraportables with WXGA screens and comfortable keyboards.

  9. turn_self_off says:

    Ok, ill bite. Whats your definition of “heavy use”?

    whatever the big brands whats to sell netbooks as, i dont think asus ever intended the eeepc range to be anything more then a cheap web surfing machine for kids…

  10. Felip says:

    Well, the most heavy use I give to my MSI Wind is to browse the net using Firefox (4-8 tabs) for a few hours (reading news, replying e-mail, writing blog posts…). I got somehow used to the small keyboard and performance was not too bad, but some webs didn’t fit in the screen and my eyes (and neck) suffered the long time looking at the small screen.

  11. johnkzin says:

    I’ve been doing all of that on my 7″ 1024×600 screen without any problems, for the last 7 months (Samsung Q1 Ultra). The only reason I moved to a Dell Vostro A90 (9″ 1024×600 screen) from there was that the 4 row thumb keyboards become a little too restrictive for mobile typing. If it had had a 5 row keyboard, I might have stuck with it though. Eye/neck strain weren’t a problem at all (it’s a small device, I move it up to my field of vision, not move my field of vision down to the device).

    IMO, a 1024×600 screen is more than capable of 4-8 browser tabs for reading/replying to email, reading RSS, blogging, web forums, etc.

    And, frankly, an 11″-12″ screen is too big a device for me to care about. 12″ is the low-end of the laptop arena, and I am completely not in the market for a laptop.

  12. Who at Computex will cover this? says:

    Who is going to Computex (if going, can you cover this)?

    Gecko Netbook runs on AA batteries (YouTube Videos to watch)

    “Sipping only 1.2 watts, this allows the Netbook to run off eight NiMH
    AA-size batteries for up to four hours, though there is a lithium ion
    option with a six-hour uptime. Using store-bought AA cells allows the
    Netbook to be used in rural areas where electricity might get spotty.

    Word is NorhTec’s Gecko EduBook will be launched at computer expo
    Computex Taipei in June and will retail for less than $200”.

    Introducing the Xcore86 and new Gecko Edubook

    Windows XP running on new Gecko Edubook

    If this had a Pixel Qi screen, I would like it (and if it had a better keyboard for adult use, like the 10″ class, or even the Sony one, that would be better too. However, I do like the power use, and the AA battery concept.

  13. johnkzin says:

    Are they classifying the 8.9″ netbooks as 8″, because I have seen _zero_ 8″ netbooks… but a ton of 8.9″ and 9″ netbooks.

  14. KevinR says:

    Chippy mentioned that the graph was “(rounded down to nearest inch)” and the website might also have strained the accuracy if they’ve been working in SI units rather than imperial inches.

    So there are probably a few statistical wobbles in the data.

  15. KevinR says:

    Hi chippy. It does sort of prove the discussion in various “Asus only three models” threads on the web, that the manufacturers have all chased the mass “hey, thats a cheap laptop” market rather than making a new UMPC-ish or webbook niche.

    The crazy thing is that they are (all) stealing sales from their normal laptop market with these devices. Even if the netbook units were underpowered for a particular job, Joe Bloggs is unlikely to know afterwards let alone beforehand. Or conversely its the proof that you only need a high end machine for a) games and b) micro$ofts latest bloat.

    I’m wondering if the (smaller) convertibles will save a true netbook niche as they are better suited for ebook, bedtime reading, webcam monitoring, etc. Folded you can hold them close enough to read cleanly.

  16. Felip says:

    Yeah, the small convertibles are an interesting device. We’ll see if they are a success.

  17. johnkzin says:

    My Dell netbook didn’t steal a sale from the Dell laptop line. If a netbook hadn’t been available (anywhere) I wouldn’t have bought a laptop either (from Dell nor anyone else). If Dell didn’t have the netbook I wanted, I would probably have gotten the ubuntu version of the HP Mini 1000. If netbooks in general didn’t exist, I would have stuck with my Samsung Q1 Ultra.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in the “I don’t want a laptop” part of the mobile market… so I’m sure that the “[netbooks] are (all) stealing sales from [the laptop] market” is only partly true, not entirely true. There are definitely sales that the netbook makers are getting, that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten at all, if they hadn’t entered the netbook market.

  18. KevinR says:

    I do sort of agree with you, but my contention is that in the un-evolution of the netbook the newer models get nearer and nearer to a laptop and further and further from what you (John) or an UMPC craver or a small mobile user (Smartphone escape-y) might want. In many ways John you were lucky you were OK with a clamshell design and an HDD; otherwise the choices are narrowing and getting more expensive.

    All the newest model netbooks are I still contend becoming cheap laptops and will steal from the laptop market while bringing nothing new to the table. The interesting models, the SC3s, the M528, the convertibles, the E700s, SSD machines, anything-not-a-clamshell are all falling by the wayside or pricing back into the usually rather expensive UMPC market.

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