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Inexpensive Atom-Powered 'Netbooks' Popular at Launch

CultofMac reports on the relative popularity of recently introduced "Netbooks" from Asus, Acer and Dell. Amazon's top laptop sales list is now dominated by the $400-$600 devices, with Apple's $1299 MacBook being the notable exception in the top 10.

Netbooks refer to a class of laptops that are small-sized, low cost, light weight and optimized for internet usage and word processing. While versions of these laptops have previously existed, Intel is once again pushing this form factor with the recent release of the low-powered Atom processor. These Netbooks typically have 9-10" screens and can cost as low as $329. Analysts believe that a large part of their popularity is due to their lower costs during worsening economic conditions. It has been suggested that Apple may drop the price of the upcoming MacBooks to try to counter this trend.

It has also been rumored that Apple will eventually adopt Intel's Atom (formerly "Silverthorne") processor in an upcoming device. While talk of an Apple sub-notebook has died down since the release of the MacBook Air, at least one analyst expects that Apple is still planning on another sub-notebook.

Related roundup: MacBook Air