The first versions of netbooks appeared on the shelves towards the end of 2007. They were aimed at the bottom end of the laptop market – people who didn’t require the functionality of an ordinary laptop. They all offered web access, but the majority of them had no hard drives.
Keyboards and screens were smaller than those of laptops. Features were scaled down quite a lot. They were initially marketed as ‘companion devices’ – not to replace but to supplement your other computing devices. As time went by, netbooks have become more powerful though and right now they can rightly be considered to be simply smaller and cheaper notebooks.
The lower prices of netbooks are already making them accessible to people who could not afford to have a computer before. Greece, for example, announced in 2009 that Electrical Maintenance Engineer they plan to provide netbooks free of charge to all school children at the age of 13 to encourage them to use computers and the Internet for research purposes.
The concept of netbooks originated during the 1990s with the ‘network computers’ of that time. These computers were not fitted with hard drives – they were basically meant to be used only on networks. The Apple eMate 300 that was released during 1997 is a good example of one of these. They did not prove to be popular with consumers at all and by 2000 they stopped being manufactured.
The first real ‘netbook’ as we know it today was the Asus Eee PC released during 2007. Asus’s original intention was to market the Eee to emerging markets, but it proved to be surprisingly popular among consumers in the Western world. It weighed only 0. 9kg, had a 7 inch screen and a keyboard 15% smaller than the average laptop. It featured the Linux operating system with a simplified user interface.
Netbooks proved so popular that by the end of 2008 it was already clear that they were going to affect the sales of laptops. More and more manufacturers therefore decided to introduce their own version of the netbook. Looking at the sales figures one can clearly see why: Sales during 2008 was more than thirty times higher than during 2007 and estimated sales figures for 2009 indicates a further of 300% increase over 2008.
The reasons for the popularity of netbooks are not difficult to understand. A typical netbook of today offers the same computing power that a desktop PC offered in 2001 – but at only 25% of the price. All of them offer Internet access and with the increasing availability of web based College Engineering Projects applications such as spreadsheets and word processors many users don’t even make use of desktop applications any more. Software developers had to react to this new trend and software applications requiring fewer resources, like Google’s Chrome soon started to appear on the market.

By Master