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Netbook Popularity Continues to Grow

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PriceGrabber.com research shows one in 10 online consumers have purchased a netbook

PriceGrabber.com, a part of Experian, explores netbook trends and solid-state technology in its latest Consumer Behavior Report. Results are based on a survey of 1,545 online consumers conducted in January 2009. PriceGrabber.com defines netbooks as having a screen smaller than 11 inches, costing under $500, and employing a low-power processing chip.

Netbook trends
The netbook is a highly portable device primarily designed to access email, browse the Web and use Web-based applications on the go. Consumers who have purchased a netbook are using it as a complement to their laptop or desktop, not as a replacement. Of those surveyed consumers who own a netbook, 91 percent own a laptop and 87 percent own a desktop. The majority of netbook owners have all three – most likely because each device serves a different purpose. The popularity of the netbook industry continues to grow with the introduction of attractive options, including: ultralow price points, solid-state drives, touch-screen capability, integrated 3G broadband wireless connectivity and larger screens to enhance user experience.

Solid-state technology
Sixty-eight percent of online users surveyed are familiar with solid-state technology and its current application in laptops and netbooks. With continued innovation and price drops, the solid-state drive may be a popular replacement for the hard disk drive. Forty-three percent of online users say they would consider purchasing a netbook with the higher performance solid-state drive option only if prices drop considerably.

Are netbooks simply a trend in a tough economy?
Online consumers continued to show interest moving into January 2009 with netbook traffic increasing to 22 percent of the total Laptops Subcategory from 19 percent in December 2008. Consumers are responding to the netbook for the ultrasmall form factor, ease of Internet accessibility and affordable price. Netbooks may forge a long-term market presence with the continued development of cloud computing and wireless ubiquity. PriceGrabber.com will continue to track online shopping trends and market shares in the coming months. View the full Consumer Behavior Report (pdf) which also includes lists of the most popular netbooks and solid-state drive pricing trends.

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