A new survey shows that a lot of consumers who buy netbooks may be dissatisfied with their purchases. In late spring, consultant NPD surveyed 600 online consumers to gage their impressions of the popular mini-laptops called netbooks.
The survey yielded some suprizing results: Sixty percent of consumers thought that netbooks would function exactly like regular laptops. As a result, only 58% of consumers who purchased a netbook instead of a laptop were satisfied with their purchase (as a point of reference, about 70% of regular laptop buyers were satisfied with their purchases).
One of the reasons is, consumers aren’t using their netbooks as intended, for light Web browsing and e-mail via Wi-Fi or 3G wireless networks outside the home. Some 60% of the netbooks purchased never leave the house, according to NPD. After making their purchase, many users realize the netbooks’ chips aren’t as fast and capable as those of laptops, and don’t support video as well.
Clearly, PC makers and retailers need to do a better job explaining the differences in capabilities between netbooks and regular laptops to consumers. After having played with an HP Mini netbook for the past couple of months, I can attest to the fact that netbooks are great — if used for what they were intended. I loved using mine to quickly check Hotmail or to watch a video off of YouTube. But try multitasking, such as downloading a photo or a document while streaming a video off of YouTube, and their performance falls off the cliff. Consumers need to be made aware of this before they make their purchases.