Flash in the Pan

One of the developments in computer hardware which has caused most excitement among game publishers in recent years is the arrival of "netbooks" - a freshly rebadged corner of the market which focuses on small, light laptop style computers, primarily designed for carrying out online tasks through a browser rather than running offline applications.

This segment is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, netbooks are cheap - the most expensive netbooks are priced at around the same range as the cheapest laptops. They are extremely portable, weighing very little and taking up little room in a bag. All of them are wi-fi enabled and many have a 3G data card built in, making them into highly connected devices. The dream of netbook designers is clear - this is, in their minds, the final step away from "a computer in each household", finally delivering "a computer for each person".

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