When the netbook market first exploded onto the scene with the original Asus Eee PC, the seven-inch wonder was all we knew. Since then, the different configuration have left the market quite cluttered and confusing. Well, it’s about to get a little more confusing.
LCD panel makers will be producing a series of 11.6-inch panels this year and netbook manufacturers will be snatching up a bunch of these to plunk into their latest mobile computing solutions. This 11.6-inch size is in addition to the existing 7-inch, 8-inch, 8.9-inch, 10.1-inch, and 12.1-inch models that already populate the industry.
The plan is to have these 11.6-inch screens ready for the third quarter of this year and there’s already word that heavy hitters Acer and Asustek Computer have expressed a lot of interest in launching 11.6-inch netbooks.
There are two main advantages to this size. The 11.6-inch screens allow for a rich 1366×768 resolution at a more affordable price than the same resolution on the 10.1-inch models (that’s why most do the 1024×600 pixel thing). Also because of the slightly larger size, a more comfortable keyboard could presumably be integrated into the netbook.
At the same time, you’ve got to wonder if there is any point to 11.6-inch netbooks when they’re already making 12-inchers. Is that extra half of an inch really that big of a deal?