When the original iPad launched, it seemed netbook manufacturers were going to have to find a new gig. As the more powerful iPad 2 continues to break sales records, maybe it’s time for PC makers to panic.

CENS, a Taiwan Economic News website, is reporting today that the world’s top PC vender is lowering its first quarter PC sales goal. The projection went from a 3% increase in growth from the prior quarter to a 10% decrease, causing their stock to plummet 7% on the Taiwan Stock Exchange this morning.

Acer claims that weakened demand from the U.S. and Europe is the reason for the drop off in sales. The truth is Acer (and every other major PC manufacturer) might be in real trouble. As the iPad 2 lines around the globe have pointed out, Apple’s on to something.

It’s hard to explain really. The combination of design and functionality really set Apple devices apart from other consumer electronics. Although it’s not quite there yet, the iPad is just an update or 2 away from completely replacing a lot of peoples every day laptop.

I was in an Apple store in Santa Monica the other day and overheard a gentleman tell an Apple rep that his G4 MacBook was aging and that he was trying to decide between an iPad 2 and a MacBook Air as a replacement.

As Acer and other companies struggle to respond to the handheld tablet craze that Apple has sparked with its iPad lineup, it may be too little too late. A year after the original iPad was released, the competition is just now starting to look decent. But Apple priced the iPad 2 so aggressively that when it comes down to cost for a consumer, the iPad is generally cheaper than other tablets with similar specs.

The bottom line is tablets and other post-PC devices aren’t a passing trend, they are the future. And it looks like Acer and other PC manufacturers are starting to find that out the hard way.

Has anyone replaced a laptop or netbook with an iPad? Do you plan to? Tell us below!