Study: Consumers still confused about netbooks

netbooksWe have three netbooks in our house, and to be honest, I rarely use them unless I'm going on a trip. They're actually very useful if they have a big screen, a webcam, and full-sized keyboard, otherwise they'll just sit in a corner to collect dust like my first netbook did.  I'm sure Techie Diva readers don't have this problem, but according to a recent study, the average consumer can't tell the difference between a netbook and a notebook.  That is a serious problem.  Sadly, consumers believe the two have the same functionalities!  So next time you're shopping for a notebook, keep this in mind and shell out the extra cash for something you'll be happy with in the longrun. Netbooks are meant as a companion, not a replacement.

Check out the study below for more details regarding the study.  Via Engadget

NPD Finds Consumer Confusion about Netbooks Continues

Port Washington, NY, June 22, 2009 – Netbook, notebook – they sound the same. According to a new report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, many consumers believe the two have the same functionalities. NPD's Netbooks II: A Closer Look report, found that 60 percent of consumers who purchased a netbook instead of a notebook thought their netbooks would have the same functionality as notebooks.

That confusion about functionality is leading to some dissatisfaction. Only 58 percent of consumers who bought a netbook instead of a notebook said they were very satisfied with their purchase, compared to 70 percent of consumers who planned on buying a netbook from the start.

Satisfaction was even harder to ascertain among 18- to 24-year-olds, one of the main demographics manufacturers were hoping to win over with the new products. Among that age group, 65 percent said they bought their netbooks expecting better performance, and only 27 percent said their netbooks performed better than expected.

One marketing aspect that has interested buyers is the portability factor. It's been the key marketing tool for netbook manufacturers, and consumers agree that it is a great feature. Sixty percent of them said that was a main reason they bought their netbooks. However, once they got home, 60 percent of buyers said they never even took their netbooks out of the house.

"We need to make sure consumers are buying a PC intended for what they plan to do with it," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "There is a serious risk of cannibalization in the notebook market that could cause a real threat to netbooks' success. Retailers and manufacturers can't put too much emphasis on PC-like capabilities and general features that could convince consumers that a netbook is a replacement for a notebook. Instead, they should be marketing mobility, portability, and the need for a companion PC to ensure consumers know what they are buying and are more satisfied with their purchases."

Nearly 600 adults from NPD's online panel who were identified as netbook owners completed this survey between April 27 and May 4, 2009.


  1. Hicham 3 July, 2009 at 21:44

    Techie Diva, it’s funny how they can not make such difference! I think it’s very important to do some online homework before buying anything and this includes: reading about the product, checking reviews, comparing prices ..etc

    Anwyay, thanks for sharing this nice study!

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