[LINK] Netbooks

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Jan 28 19:27:24 AEDT 2009

Hi all,

The NSW EdDpt is buying 200,000 'learning devices' .. probably Netbooks?

Netbooks hit right spot for schoolchildren

for-schoolchildren/2009/01/28/1232818513771.html> Asher Moses Jan 28 2009

Sales of netbooks in Australia have exploded, with the mini low-cost 
computers now accounting for more than one in 10 laptop and desktop PCs 
sold - no mean feat considering they've been around for just over a year.

Retailers say the growth has been driven in part by cash-strapped parents 
seeking to equip their children with simple, low-powered computers for 
doing homework before the new school year, which for state schools began 

"We sold over 4500 laptops in a week during back-to-school sales in Dick 
Smith stores across the country," Dick Smith spokesman Luke Schepen said.

"Netbooks appear to be driving this growth with customers looking to 
switch to the smaller formats which offer the basic functionality needed 
for students at an affordable price."

Intel, which produces the chips that power the netbooks, said sales 
across all brands in Australia had increased from 10 per cent of the 
consumer laptop market six months ago to 21 per cent today.

"The volume of netbooks sold in Australia doubled between Q3 and Q4 of 
2008 and sits well above 10 per cent of total desktops and notebooks sold 
which, as far as Intel is concerned, moves the netbook very solidly into 
being a legitimate product category in its own right," Intel Australia 
marketing manager Kate Burleigh said.

The netbook category was pioneered in November 2007 by Asus with its Eee 
PC products and immediately appealed to tech-savvy users looking for a 
highly portable, inexpensive laptop for use as a second computer and for 
browsing the web while out of the house.

But parents have also been buying them for their children to take 
advantage of the Rudd Government's Education Tax Refund. This allows 
parents to claim up to $375 in education expenses for each primary school 
child and $750 for each secondary school child.

Netbooks typically range in price from just over $300 to $800, depending 
largely on the size of the screen and other extra features such as a 
bundled wireless broadband plan for connecting to the internet when out 
of the house.

They typically weigh about one kilogram and some can easily fit into a 
jacket pocket, making them ideal for people who want to be able to surf 
the web on the go and always have access to email and social networking 

"[Netbooks] are an extremely fast growing category in the notebook 
market," Evan Williams, Dell's consumer sales and marketing manager for 
Australia and New Zealand, said.

"A lot of people who already have a productivity notebook in the home are 
taking this as a second device for while they're out and about."

Analyst firm IDC has predicted global netbook sales would grow by up to 
300 per cent in 2009 compared with 2008.

At the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas this month, HP, Dell, 
Lenovo, MSI Computer, Asus and Acer all showed off new netbook models. 
Asus will soon sell one with a touch screen that swivels into the tablet 

Although netbooks are low-powered, the trend toward web-based email, 
office and other services (as opposed to installing software on the 
computer itself) means that it is not essential to have a powerful 

In fact, the lack of grunt might be beneficial in a school context 
because an inability to play games, watch DVDs or even stream YouTube 
videos smoothly means children have no choice but to concentrate on work.

The NSW Department of Education and Training is about to select a 
supplier of "learning devices" (laptops) that it plans to give to 200,000 
secondary students.

The laptops must be $500, no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, weigh less 
than 1.75 kilograms and be tough enough for school use (dust and moisture 
resistant and with no moving parts).

The price and specifications indicate the eventual design will resemble a 
ruggedised netbook.


Cheers people
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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