Dec 292009
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Rising prices and better alternatives may mean curtains for netbooks.

The small, portable computers were popular in 2009, but some industry watchers are convinced that their popularity is already waning.

“The days of the netbook are over,” said Stuart Miles, founder and editor of technology blog Pocket Lint.

As prices edge upwards, net-using habits change and other gadgets take on their functions, netbooks will become far less popular, he thinks.

“Technology has advanced so much that it’s outmanoeuvred itself,” he said. “You wouldn’t go for something so basic anymore.”

His prediction stems from his belief that the netbooks of 2009 are losing touch with what made them so appealing.

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Asus kicked off the netbook trend in 2007 when it launched the Eee PC 700 and 701. The 700 sported a 2GB solid state hard drive, 512MB of Ram, a 900 MHz Intel Celeron processor and a seven inch screen.

It was cheap, cheerful and a boon for those wanting to check e-mail and go online while out and about.

But, said Mr Miles, the success of the small, portable notebook has been its undoing because it has spawned so many imitators.

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