Background and Identification
Netbooks are a type of laptop computer that were introduced in 2007 as an alternative to a full laptop. Netbooks, also known as UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PCs) are generally smaller and cheaper than normal laptops, with less computing power. Netbooks were very popular for several years, from around 2007 to 2010. However, as portability became a top priority of consumers, devices such as tablets and smartphones were favored more than netbooks and people started to prioritize being able to take their device with them wherever they went. By around 2012, most Netbooks were out of production. While the concept has been dead in terms of “Wintel” netbooks for years, the concept lives on with Chromebooks today.
Netbooks have also had a long and complicated legal history. In 1999, a technology company called Psion launched a small, lightweight computer called the Psion netBook. The computer was aimed at the mobile enterprise market. They eventually discontinued the product in 2003. However, when cheap, lightweight laptops gained popularity in 2007, Psion claimed that they owned the rights to the name Netbook. This prompted a movement to make it a ‘generic’ (non-trademarked) term. After clashing with other tech companies like Dell and Intel, Psion eventually agreed to withdraw the trademark for the word Netbook in 2009.
Netbooks have been produced by many companies, including: