July 7, 2011 11:52 AM | By Jared Newman, PCWorld
12 tech revolutions that fizzled

Netbooks (2006)



Netbooks (© PC World)
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Only a few years ago, netbooks were primed to become the new face of computing--low-cost, ultraportable devices that left most of the heavy lifting to the cloud. The craze apparently was kicked off by the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) movement, which solidified in 2006 and was dedicated to providing laptops to children in developing countries.

But Apple's iPad stole netbooks' revolutionary thunder starting in the spring of 2010, and demand for mininotebooks is in decline as tablets take over. To their credit, netbooks removed some significant cost barriers to computing, but no one argues today that they're the future of computing.

* Video: Are Google's Web-only Chromebooks worth it?

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