By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: The large size notebook category is set to get bigger and bigger, with netbooks not a threat to the longterm viability of the 16-inch plus market. The smaller sizes are growing too, all at the expense of the mid-range category, which is set to shrink into oblivion.

Intel delivered this message last night at a media event at Tetsuya’s in Sydney to celebrate the launch of its latest processor range. According to Intel general manager ANZ, Philip Cronin, the larger size notebook market will almost double in size over the next four years, with this segment stealing share from the once dominant 15-inch section.

Worth almost 60 per cent of the market in 2006, Intel projects that by 2013, this category will have almost halved. Meanwhile, the netbook category is continuing its surge into homes and offices, with 10 per cent growth expected.

The big winners, however, are the larger screen sizes. Powered by Intel Centrino 2, this category is expected capture 25 per cent of the market by 2013.

At the media conference last night, Cronin outlined how Intel Centrino 2 is designed to make improvements in four key vectors of mobility. Increasing the mobility of the larger notebook specifications is naturally key to increasing the uptake.

The first is Performance, for which Intel claims improved HD media and visual quality through its 3.06GHz processor. Second is battery life, for which Intel is promoting some models at 329 minutes. Third is form factor, with specific processors being used to bring thin form factors into the mainstream and more attractive price points. The fourth is wireless, with Intel’s My WiFi technology at the heart of this feature.