The next wave of small computers is set to hit the market place, with tens of millions being sold during the last half of 2008. But the computer industry is not excited about these new devices, since they view these smaller systems will cut into their already slim profit margins. Since some of these units sell for $300 or less, the industry sees smaller profit margins on these new netbooks. But according to one article, companies like Dell, Acer & HP are not going to let the new guys steal the market place.

The companies that pioneered the category were small too, like Asus and Everex, both of Taiwan.

Despite their wariness of these slim machines, Dell and Acer, two of the biggest PC manufacturers, are not about to let the upstarts have this market to themselves. Hewlett Packard, the world’s biggest PC maker, recently sidled into the market with a hybrid of a notebook and netbook that it calls the Mini-Note.

Several makers are taking the low-powered PCs one step further. In the coming months, they are expected to introduce “net-tops,” low-cost versions of desktop computers intended for Internet access.

A Silicon Valley start-up called CherryPal says it will challenge the idea that big onboard power is required to allow basic computing functions in the Internet age. On Monday it plans to introduce a $300 desktop PC that is the size of a paperback and uses two watts of power compared with the 100 watts of some desktops.

It wants to take advantage of the trend toward “cloud computing,” in which data is managed and stored in distant servers, not on the actual machine.

These new netbooks also offer something else that their larger brothers also do not. First their is energy efficency dues to their smaller size and greener cpu’s from Intel. Also most of these netbooks will be using Microsoft Windows XP or a varient of Linux.

In addition there may, just may, be another benefit of these mini-computers for us consumers. If sales of the little guys take off, the large companies could lower prices further on their larger laptop systems down the road. We will see if this happens during the Christmas season this years. One example of lower pricing was the sale Wal-Mart had last weekend for a Toshiba system for $398. The system itself was well featured except for the anemic Celeron processor which is not a power house when it comes to running Vista.

What do you think? Will you buy one of the mini computers or will you stick with the bigger laptops?

Comment welcome.