The term netbook was re-introduced by Intel in February 2008 to describe a category of small-sized, low-cost, light weight, lean function subnotebooks optimized for Internet access and core computing functions (e.g., word processing) — either directly from applications installed on the netbook itself or indirectly, via cloud computing. More than 50 million Netbooks are expected to be in widespread circulation by 2011. Netbooks (or sub-notebooks as they may be known) typically come with a 7-inch to 10-inch screen.
The term nettop similarly refers to low-cost, lean-function, desktop devices. Both netbook and nettop platforms combine a lean operating system (e.g., Linux, Windows XP) with a low voltage, power-optimized processor such as the Intel Atom, the VIA C7 or the AMD Geode.
The term netbook
was originally introduced by Psion
in 1999 as a generic term for small form-factor portable computers with a laptop
-like clamshell design and sufficient processing power for office, internet and web work. The Psion Netbook
was a small line of netbooks which ran a custom version of Psion's Epoc Operating System
and later WinCE
. Due to their narrow target market, high cost and non-standard operating system, Psion Netbooks never gained significant market share and their production was discontinued.
Devices such as the ASUS Eee PC
, Acer Aspire One
, Dell Inspiron Mini 9
, VYE Mini-V, OLPC XO-1
, One A110
, HP 2133 Mini-Note PC
, Skytone Alpha-400
, Classmate PC
, LG X110, MSI Wind PC
, Lenovo IdeaPad S9
, Lenovo IdeaPad S10
or VIA OpenBook
may fall in the category of Netbooks. Moblin project
supports the device type.
The unreleased Palm Foleo may have been classified as a netbook if it had made it to market.
International Data Corporation
predicted that the category could grow from fewer than 500,000 in 2007 to 9 million
as the market for second computers expands in developed economies. Also, after Microsoft ceased selling Windows XP
for ordinary machines, it made an exception and continued to offer the operating system
for netbook and nettop makers.