CBC.ca - Low-powered machines being overtaken by ultra-portable laptops, tablets


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(5-Mar-10) The popularity of netbooks helped computer makers shore up their sales through the recession, but analysts suggest the market is changing again and the booming sales of these super-portable computers will be short-lived.

Netbooks came to prominence in North America in 2008 when Asus unveiled its Eee PC, a lightweight mini-laptop that had a seven-inch screen and cost less than $300. It was a low-priced, low-powered, light and easy-to-carry machine designed for basic tasks such as emailing, web browsing and working on documents.

As the Eee's popularity increased, PC manufacturers such as Acer, Lenovo, HP and Dell released their own netbooks. Competition increased, and before long, configurations and specifications were altered to allow for larger screens and hard drive capacity (although processing speed and the amount of random access memory, or RAM, remained virtually identical regardless of the manufacturer).

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