Last week we looked at the Black Friday 2010 Laptop Deals. Now lets have a look at what netbook deals we can expect. Netbooks are facing growing competition from the tablet segment. At least this is what you can read about in the tech world these days. I see netbooks in a bit of an identity crisis. The new netbooks like the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM offer more performance at a price that is in the low-end notebook segment. The 1015PEM sells for $368.59 right now. The bestselling Laptop on Amazon (Acer Aspire AS5251-1805) sells for only $10 more. Where are netbooks going? If you want ultra-portability a Tablet might fit your bill a little better. If you want performance and flexibility a laptop is still your best choice, and you get that with just a bit more investment.
I think netbooks need to focus more on low price to establish a sharp identity. A $199 netbook creates a clear distinction to laptops and decent Tablets will struggle this year to match that price point. All new netbooks I have seen so far are not priced in the $200 region. Right now the bestselling netbook on Amazon has a price of $275. To see a $199 netbook we will have to wait until the Black Friday 2010 season. During last year's Black Friday the $199 Netbook was a reality. Target offered an Acer Aspire One with Intel Atom N270 CPU at 1.6Ghz, 160GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 10.1-inch WSVGA screen, 3-cell battery and Windows XP for $199.
I expect to see a Window 7 netbook for $199 this year with an N450 Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 6-cell battery. I don't think retailers are going to offer a Windows XP netbook again at a lower price than $199. If they do, I suggest not going for it. Windows 7 is here now. Of course there are also going to be exotic offers like the $99 Sylvania netbook sold by CVS today. But I would stay away from a Windows CE machine like that one and save up.
I actually pinned some hope on the Toshiba AC100 Android netbook to trigger a revolution in the netbook segment. But Toshiba apparently missed the point. The AC100 already went on sale in the UK for £299 (~$470). This price is just ridiculously high. If Toshiba would sell this hot looking Android Netbook for $199 it would be a winner.
To sum things up. Netbooks are a great choice if you can get them at a low price. When a netbook scratches $400, you need to carefully think about why you want this netbook.