Dell dumps netbooks for Ultrabooks

Tinbox maker Dell has decided that there is no point making netbooks now that the market is being carved up between Ultrabooks and tablets.

Its own tablet experience has not been the best. It recently axed its Streak 7, so according to Slashgear it is going to move into Ultrabooks instead. To be fair it could have gone for ultraportables based on Intel’s upcoming Cedar Trail platform, but Dell thinks that people really want performance from their gizmos and these small form factors do not cut the mustard.

Matthew Hutchison, director of Dell Global Consumer PR, told CNET  that Dell wanted thin and powerful gear which still attracts customers. Dell has had lots of success with its XPS line, for example. Meanwhile, Dell marketing director Alison Gardner told The Verge that models like the XPS 14z are exactly the sort of thing that Dell wants more of.

In short, budget, lower-performance gadgets, are not where it is at, which is a pity really because the netbook did solve a few problems of price and portability. There will be a few Dell netbooks with us for a while. The Latitude 2120 is still listed for sale but with a $469 price tag Dell is not going to shift that many of them.

The first Dell Ultrabooks should tip up in early January and the netbook will become the Norwegian Blue of Dell’s roster.

Dell said it is waiting for Windows 8 before it releases any tablets. That will give it time, we guess, to see if the tablet thing is a fad.