About a year ago I launched Liliputing , a news and information site covering netbooks and low cost ultraportable computers. I’d been interested in tiny computing devices for ages, ever since I picked up my first PDA back in 2000: A Phillips Nino 300 running an early version of Windows CE. And in 2007, I was one of the first people in the US to pick up an Asus Eee PC 701 netbook. You can still find the unboxing video I posted to this blog.
After a short while, I realized there was a lot to say about this new generation of little computers that people were starting to call netbooks, and I launched Eee Site. But by April of 2008, it was clear that this wasn’t just about the Asus Eee PC anymore. HP, Dell, Acer, and a number of other computer makers were getting in on the action, and rather than try to squeeze all of that information into a web page named for a single computer, I decided to launch a site with a broader focus. And Liliputing was born.
It turns out the low power, low priced computing trend was even bigger than I had anticipated. In 2008, practically every major computer maker (with the exception of Apple and Sony) launched a netbook. And a ton of companies I’d never heard of joined their ranks, including some companies that had never even released computers before. In 2009 we’re starting to see a few new trends in the netbook space including:
- Mini-laptops with touchscreen interfaces
- Mobile carriers subsidizing netbooks the same way they do with cellphones for customers who sign up for long term data plans
- A number of companies are starting to talk about releasing netbooks based on low power ARM processors which could run Windows CE or Linux and get battery life that blows away today’s Intel Atom/Windows powered machines