Netbooks seem to be all over the news these days. Low-cost, ultra-mobile laptops have flooded the market over the last year, and are helping drive down laptop prices while squeezing the profit margins of Microsoft, Dell, HP, and a number of other companies which have a vested interest in selling you more feature-packed (and costly) mobile computing solutions.
My colleague Brian Reinholz recently blogged that the thought of buying a netbook left him cold, while contributing author David Chernicoff recently sang the praises of his diminutive Dell Inspiron Mini 9.
Sales of netbooks like the Acer Aspire ONE, the HP 2133 Mini-Note, and the ASUS Eee PC 2G Surf have been booming, fueled by tough economic conditions that make price an important purchase criteria. Research firm IDC reported late last year (via BusinessWeek) that Netbook sales surged in 2008, with sales of more than 11 million, an increase of more than 180,000 netbooks over 2007. Netbooks also seem to be filling a consumer need for light and less complex mobile devices, perhaps filling the gap in functionality between a smartphone and a more fully-featured laptop.
So where do you fall between these two opinions? Are netbooks as cool as a 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible, or as lame as a 1951 Ford Edsel? Cast your vote in our quick poll (or add a comment to this blog post) and let us know what you think.