Netbooks driving competitive PC pricing

Over half of consumers don’t see a netbook as a replacement for a laptop, according to a new survey by

While netbooks are not viewed as a replacement for laptops, their popularity has been influencing pricing in general in the portable computing sector. A netbook, defined by the survey, has a screen smaller than 11 inches, costs less than $500 and runs a low-power processing chip.

The report asked 1,680 online consumers from 7-25 January, 2010, comparing the results to a similar survey from January 2009.The number of consumers who own a netbook has risen to 15%, up from 10% year-on-year. An additional 11% of buyers intend to buy a netbook this year.

The survey found that generally, buyers think that netbooks are a good investment but they work better to complement a laptop rather than replace one with the technology as it is right now. Importantly though, the increasing presence of netbooks on the personal computing market is driving new price expectations. According to PriceGrabber, consumers are willing to pay significantly less for their next computing device than the amount they paid for their last device.

Of those surveyed, 65% said the absolute maximum they plan to spend on their next rig is $750, though 52% spent over that on their last device.

The full report is available here.