Analyst: Netbooks to stick with 10-inch screens

Despite the new crop , vendors will mostly build models with 10-inch screens in coming years because of cost and size, says one market researcher.

Vinita Jakhanwal, an analyst with iSuppli Inc, said also that the screen resolutions for 10-inch netbooks, usually 800x480 (VGA) and 1024x600 (SVGA), were unlikely to improve because of the increased manufacturing cost involved. But she expects netbook makers to and replace conventional CCFL-based LCDs with brighter and more environmentally-friendly LED-backlit screens in coming years.

"It's just a couple of dollars more for backlit LEDs," Jakhanwal told Computerworld on Tuesday. LED screens do not use mercury in the manufacturing and are said to use less power.

iSuppli projects 24.4 million netbooks will be produced this year, and for that number to grow to 47.7 million in 2012.

Screens 10-inches in size should comprise about 55% of the market this year, and 8-inch to 9-inch screens are expected to comprise slightly less than 40%, according to iSuppli.

When netbooks were first introduced by OLPC and Asus Inc. in late 2007, they came with 7-inch screens. This was to keep netbook manufacturing costs down, prevent the internal chips from being overtaxed, and to make them more portable.

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