But here we are in the first quarter of 2012 and netbooks are continuing to trickle out, and they're doing so with new CPUs at the helm. We've seen HP get the ball rolling with the Mini 1104, and now Acer is getting in on the act with the Aspire One D270.
We appreciated what the Aspire One D260 had to offer back in 2010, but the upgraded model pictured above arrives with an Intel Atom N2600 processor acting as the new brains of the operation.
The dual-core, four-thread Atom chip, part of Intel's latest Cedar Trail architecture, operates at 1.6GHz while keeping within a 3.5W TDP. Users shouldn't expect any significant increase in terms of CPU performance, but the shift to a 32nm process and improved power-saving features should result in greater battery life.
Graphics are provided by the chip's integrated Intel GMA 3600 processor - which itself is said to offer a 2x performance boost over the previous generation, as well as a built-in hardware-accelerated decoder that enables full-HD video playback.
Ideal for entry-level computing? Perhaps, and Acer's system attempts to meet those simple needs with a 10.1in display that offers a basic 1,024x600 resolution, a couple of USB ports, HDMI output, integrated webcam, 1GB of memory and a 320GB hard disk.
The quoted eight hours of battery life sounds promising, and if the US pre-order price of $280 really does translate to £215 inc. VAT, then the Aspire One D270 could become interesting as a highly-portable companion that isn't as limited as a tablet.