Archive for February 13th, 2010

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Why I Chose a Netbook Over the iPad

February 13, 2010

Yes, I know I’ve been writing a lot about the iPad as of late. Just bear with me here.

Since the announcement of the iPad, the latest in a long line of portable gadgets from Apple, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this thing and trying to find a place for it in my day to day life. While I haven’t exactly caught the iPad fever here, I’ve warmed up a bit to the concept of the device. It’s the sort of device that seems to have a certain niche appeal and will end up polarizing the market. One trip to one of the many gadget blogs and websites out there will show you that it has already done an excellent job of doing just that. In thinking of the iPad, I was drawn to another gadget, a gadget that saw its beginnings in 2007 with the launch of ASUS’s now famous Eee PC.

With the launch of that tiny laptop designed for browsing the net on the go, the netbook was born, and created a new segment of the PC market which has exploded since and made significant gains in terms of marketshare and popularity. These little portable laptops, most of which are powered by Intel’s underpowered (for the purpose of delivering long battery life) but enduring Atom processor, have become a staple among consumers looking for a small device that’s capable of checking email, playing YouTube clips, updating Facebook profiles and writing MS Word documents and be thrown easily into a backpack or purse at a moment’s notice. While Apple has yet to produce a product that could be classified as a netbook, they’ve certainly taken notice. In fact, Steve Jobs aimed a shot at netbooks in his presentation prior to the unveiling of the iPad, calling them slow, clunky and bogged down by “PC” software (an obvious jab at Windows). After hearing this, I began to think, “Are netbooks truly inferior to whatever Apple has cooked up?” Well, after seeing what exactly Apple has created here, I don’t think so.

While it’s quite obvious that netbooks have their limitations, the iPad has quite a few limitations of its own. Quite frankly, I’d even go as far as to say that the iPad has more limitations than the average netbook and I’m going to run down a list of them as I continue on.

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