Yes, bring back netbooks

Originally published at: Yes, bring back netbooks | Boing Boing


I loved netbooks. I started with the 10" Eee PC, which was nice and portable, but not comfy typing on at all. Went to a 12" one, which was perfect. I even got an expanded battery that stuck out more, but acted as a keyboard stand.

And it wasn’t a netbook, but I also owned and loved my Asus Transformer, an Android tablet with a keyboard/battery attachment that basically turned it into a laptop. That plus Evernote was pretty much all I needed. I also think it might be the best-looking computer I’ve ever owned.

1 Like

Do these qualify as netbooks?

HP-Mini 110 (purchased at a garage sale for $10, upgraded memory to 2 gb and SSD to 500 gb)
Lenova ThinkPad 11e, sturdy version, bought from Woot.

The HP is running a compact version of 32 bit Linux. It’s drive is big enough to sync in my entire NAS drive (so far!).
I tried running Linux on the Lenovo, but it kept freezing up, so I restored the Windows 10 install, which runs nicely on it.
I really need to plug these in, charge them up, and let them sync.


My main complaint about my Acer Aspire A150 is the 1024 x 600 screen resolution. The second is that it only uses 1.5G of the 2G ram installed.

Both easy fixes today.


Nipple-less Thinkpads make me sad.


I’m still looking at my disassembled transformer in the back of my desk. I’m still not really mentally ready to accept that it’s irrepairable.



net·book /ˈnetbo͝ok/ noun
a small laptop computer designed primarily for accessing internet-based applications.

So just a low mass laptop? Here’s my (current) vote: Lemur Pro
damn they’ve run out. …nevermind.

1 Like

I believe inexpensive was one of the requirements. From the Ars Technica review, the Lemur Pro is in the range of a new MacBook Air.

1 Like

As I wrote on the other thread, Pinebook Pro could be also considered a modern netbook. 14", ARM CPU (so only linux), 4GB ram, 64 GB eMMC, with optional NVMe, USB-C with video out. Current price 220$.


Netbooks were nifty in their day, but I feel like they’ve been replaced by Chromebooks and tablets with keyboards and raspberry pi cyberdecks.


I think screen size is the wrong metric for netbookyness. The key stat for take-it-everywhere portability is mass and price. My eeePC was just under three pounds. Which is available in a large number of chromebooks and so on. A refurbed or used macbook air probably serves.

1 Like

I hereby demand the return of the classic netbook form factor

haha, YES! :smiley: and with a life expectancy of at least 10 years, no less!

thanks rob.


thats one of my mainpoints; still too big. my eee901 has about 9" and thats perfect.

you are some lucky bastard… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

I still miss my Fujitsu Lifebook P1000, bought cheap from ebay. It had a touchscreen before that was a thing. And a Transmeta Crusoe. It’s the only laptop I’ve ever owned that reliably made people stop and ask “What is that?”.

I use a rather old and indestructible Stinkpad these days (X230), which works pretty well. That 7" Pocketbook looks nice…

1 Like

It is weird how hardware sometimes goes somewhere, then backs out of the notch.

There was a bunch of small, under-8 inch screen sized, cheap Windows 8 tablets running on Intel Atom hardware. Like, under $80 cheap.

Now, they are all gone. I searched Amazon, and there was one hardened industrial Windows tablet with a screen size under 10" - and it was $500.

There are some $130+ low end 10" tablets left, but even those are few and far between.

At one point this hardware design was so popular that even Dell made one. (The Dell Venue 8 Pro, which I have one of.)

There seem to be some Android tablets left out there in this form factor and price range, but even they are a lot thinner on the ground than they used to be… and you used to be able to get a crappy, barely functional craplet for $30.

You can get a keyboard for the 11e which has a trackpoint.

1 Like

Of all the notebooks I’ve owned over the years, none had a better form factor than my IBM 701c (with the butterfly keyboard). However, it never worked very well, probably due to driver glitches, and I eventually got IBM to replace mine with a ‘better’ model. I’ve occasionally thought about buying another and retrofitting it with modern innards, but they’re collectable and too expensive for tinkering.

1 Like

I don’t understand. Why not older 4K display laptops? You should want a bunch of past-gen i7 Lenovo plus maybe a Gram or two, but you don’t? To run Win10 and not also emanate hate for life you probably want something more powerful than the AMD A6 1.4GHz (anyone know what other part needs heatsinking in these? No heatsink on the chipset. Just swap in an A8?) or even an i5. Somehow you’d rather have multiples than a single AMD 4800U laptop? Is having 0 remorse if the old display gets fragged important?

So you’re beggaring making credible use of old stuff, but not choosing OpenBSD, which I don’t understand. Maybe you want the bezel on the thing for something? Can you encase it in pine and carve a roll-top desk in a foldy formfactor?

Juggling all that, woo! It does make less chunky a carry than modding game consoles with screens and keyboard/Synaptics setups and batteries, I guess? Gotta catch all those falling PS4+ that would otherwise get addicted to oxygamecon…

I’m not really sure what you’re looking for. You can get a device that’s the same form factor as a netbook. It’s either going to be more expensive (like the GPD), or just kind of shitty. But netbooks were also kind of shitty, in case you’ve forgotten.