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What ever happened to netbooks?

Small screens, underpowered but inexpensive they were for a time a traveller’s choice for mobility. Until tablets came along.

But the inexpensive laptop hasn’t completely disappeared. Apparently they’ve been surpassed by Chromebooks.

As Computerworld U.S. notes in a piece on an upcoming Acer unit, Chromebooks accounted for 21 per cent  of commercial laptops shipped in the U.S. last year.

And for road warriors who don’t need heavy number crunching and only want Internet access and light word processing, a Chromebook could fits the bill — as long as the keyboard is acceptable.

The new Acer C720P-2600 cited  – to be available next week — has an 11.6-in screen, will deliver 7.5 hours of battery life and weighs only 1.35 kg. For storage it uses a 32 GB solid state drive.

But the keyboard is, pardon the pun, the key. Unfortunately too many small laptops have cramped keyboards. It doesn’t help that in Canada we get international keyboards with extra keys that force the Enter keys to be small.

Still, I have a netbook for some assignments. As an older guy with a bad back I appreciate the weight saving.

Look for more Chromebooks to appear this year.

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