Remember netbooks? Those 10-inch laptops with pokey processors that everyone was expected to carry around for light work like surfing the Web and checking email? They vanished suddenly late last year in part because people did that sort of thing on smart phones, and the price of 15-in. laptops kept dropping.
But the demand for a light, inexpensive laptop hasn’t died. Intel-designed Ultrabooks have partly filled that gap, but prices are still relatively high. Hewlett-Packard thinks the answer is the Sleekbook. First put on the market earlier in the year, HP has just announced new models will be released Oct. 26 with the release of Windows 8.
(An HP Envy Sleekbook announced earlier this year)
A Sleekbook might be considered a beefed-up netbook, or a toned-down ultrabook. Sleekbooks have 14- and 15-in screens, so they’re easier to see than a netbook, and bigger keyboards. But they have the lightness of an ultrabook, although with fewer features.
As this story notes, the street price of HP Sleekbooks on the market in May has already fallen. An HP official interviewed says the company believes many buyers want something light at a lower price than an ultrabook.
My bet is they’ll find a market. Too bad they’re coming in October. I suspect a lot of students shopping in September would have snapped them up.