BOSTON (TheStreet) -- If befuddled consumers can't decide between a netbook and a low-priced laptop this holiday season, manufacturers certainly aren't helping matters.
When the season's top netbook, the 12-inch Acer Aspire Timeline, has dimensions, memory (3 gigabytes) and pricing (around $600) that's similar to a 14-inch Toshiba Satellite dual-core laptop, it's little wonder that buyers are having an increasingly difficult time telling the two apart. In fact, according to a NPD Group report issued earlier this year, almost 60% of consumers who bought a netbook instead of a notebook thought they would have the same capabilities. Roughly the same percentage was satisfied with its netbooks, compared to 70% of those who planned on buying a netbook all along.
"The notion of the netbook was that it was small, cheap and light, but because of profit margins, they started to creep into the 12-inch category without beefing up the internal components," says Jeff Fox, technology editor at Consumer Reports.
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