They once roamed coffee shops and college lecture halls, now it looks like the netbook is heading to that scrap heap of old, unwanted technology—at least that’s what Dell thinks. The company has decided at the end of 2011, that it won’t be making any more netbooks.
The folks at the mydellmini.com forums first noticed Dell quietly pulling the small and inexpensive notebooks from the online store. Try it yourself, a search for laptops with 10” displays pulls up nothing. Also, if you check out either the Inspiron mini 1012 or 1018 product pages, you’ll get an apology and a recommendation to speak with a sales rep. The company will suggest the next best thing, the small Inspiron 11z which is selling currently for $399.
The folks over at the Verge received confirmation from a Dell representative that Inspiron netbooks are not in the company’s future, though the Latitutde netbooks are still available for businesses. It’s not just old netbooks getting the ax either, Dell says it has no plans to release any netbooks in the future. However, its hybrid Inspiron Duo netbook will be back in stock next year.
It seems like Dell may instead be focusing its energies on developing Ultrabooks. The representative further told the Verge the company’s strategy for laptops in the coming year: “Thin and powerful is where it is at for us.” And while that doesn’t necessarily spell out Ultrabooks, Acer recently made a similar announcement, cutting out “cheap, unprofitable” products, and changing its focus to super-thin Ultrabooks.
Earlier this year, Dell slimmed its inventory by cutting production of two tablets: The Streak 5 and the Streak 7. Companies will definitely need to be efficient with their resources as the future Ultrabooks market is looking like it will be quite congested. 50 Ultrabook models are expected to debut come January at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.