If you noticed, the Intel Atom saves energy. It does not have the full fledge 2MB,3MB, 4MB or the 6MB of L2 cache but merely 1MB the most. FSB is limited to just 667mhz wherelese the more powerful mobile cpus will be running at around 1066mhz! All these down to - save cost. Yes, the beauty is that it brought down the price of laptops. It brings affordability to the people. At one time, laptops cost more than £400 but now? You can get ti at £299! Thanks to Netbooks!!!
The problem is that the screen size of netbooks are small. It started off with Asus Eee PC 700 with a celeron cpu. The cpu consumed quite a lot of heat and power so the battery had to be recharged daily. Then came the more powerful 800, 900,901 and now the 1000 series. There has been some good improvements with Asus but they are having stiff competition now.
With MSI's Wind netbooks - screen size 10.1" and Dell's Mini 12 - screen size 12" together with the latest netbook from Samsung - The flagship NC20, also boost a screen size of 12" and now selling at a price of £379 from amazon UK, the smaller screen size netbooks are becoming very cheap. Yes, we are talking about the first and second generation of Asus Eee PCs. Prices of the 700 series and 800 series have dropped to around £160 for a brand new one.
I have to stress out that the Atom CPU will not be able to handle much complex multitasking as compared to the Core2Duos. The reason why people are buying netbooks would down to the fact that the price is cheap and netbooks are light to carry!!! Just imagine you need to carry a laptop weighing 4kg like me around town... Oh no...You do not want to do that. The downside will be that you don't get an optical drive with netbooks but you save some weight carrying it around town which is sometimes, a pain though.
As for me, I am still holding on to my beloved Presario 2800. I have upgraded it in December 2008 with a brand new 160GB HDD, 2GB DDR memory, Wi-fi, battery and not forgetting, a 4 usb port. I have also upgraded the cpu from 1.4ghz to 2.2Ghz. Sounds interesting? Yes! I am still holding on to a 15" laptop!!!
I think a bigger screen is much better than a small screen to the effect...