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back to article Apple iPad vs netbooks: fight not over yet

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was rather dismissive of the netbook at the iPad's launch last night. He needed to be: he was trying to win over journalists and analysts who've spent the last 18 months or so asking when his company will release just such a product - and telling readers why it really should. Jobs' criticisms were certainly …

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FAIL

No no no!

This is so wrong it hurts to read it. I watched the maxiPad commercial on apple.com and when the guy types his e-mail on it he rests it on his legs, which are magically raised in the air, presumably because he's lying on the sofa.

A tablet cannot work for typing unless you want a back injury from leaning over. This resigns tablets to passive consumption of media, like books, films, music or the Internet. Books are better read on e-book readers because they don't give you eye strain (or, for example, on books themselves). Films, well that's just silly, as I have a TV, and don't really need to watch entire films on the move. Music, well, I have a much-cheaper mp3 player for that, and the Internet, sure, that might be useful, but not for the amount of money required.

The iPad will fail after the silly people buy one, and then one might come out with USB, etc., and be something slightly useful.

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Stop

yes, yes, yes

1: the keyboard position on your lap would not be different between this and a netbook/notebook, so I'll cimply dismiss this point you failed to make.

2: the sleve for it, which is a real nice way to carry and protect it, not to mention the ergonomics it adds to it, can acutally give you an even better keyboard position than a notebook, and, the keyboard being dynamic means it is by FAR the best system for working in spreadsheets, charts, and presentations...

3: Eye Strain? Have you really tried to read an ebook in the dark using it's backlight? I borrowed a kindle for a few nights from a friend, tried to read in bed. Very glad I did not waste $300... I read from my nice MacBook Pro IPS panel all day long with no issues, including at night in bed for hours straight, and I also have no issues at all outside in direct sunlight. Maybe you should actually TRY it in these scenarios before you compare it to something else you also likely don;t own and have not tried. The ONLY advantage to e-ink I have ever experienced was long battery life (and only while not using a back light, which will kill the batteries in 6 hours or so).

4: Really, you already have a system for connecting a PC conveniently to your TV to stream movies to it? Good for you. The 98% of the restu of us who've been considdering an Apple TV, hassling over cabling up a notebook properly (including power), or looking at other set top options think the iPad is the perfect option to solve this.

5: the living room if NOT the only place I watch video. hanging an iPad behind the car seat for the kids to watch would save me over $800 equipping the car with a video system that's half that good. Car DVD players with 10" screens at 480i resolutions may be cheaper, but they're DVD based, and that's a pain for kids that can't reach the player to change disks... Also, at the beach/pool, on vacation, in a hotel, and on top of all this and an e-reader, it also plays some damn nice 3D games?

6: You underestimate the value of portrait view for both websites and photo management.

7: USB and SD adapters are already advertized, $29 for both. Yea, probably should have been built in, but the form factor would have to change to even include micro-USB, let alone SD. And really, beyong 32GB I can't think of anything I;d need on the device I could not stream over wifi or 3G. (free software already makes this possible on an iPhone).

It;s not going to fail. It;s going to be a huge success, likely selling 3-4 million devices by years end, and then a newer more powerful model next year WITH SD and a camer integrated will be the same price next year.

Keep in mind, Apple can't make the PERFECT device the first time. There's a demand curve that has to be handled as manufacturing ramps up performance. They're not making 30 million A4 chips this year, NO ONE has the fab to handle that today. Its market strategy. 2-3 million people will buy one regardless in the USA alone. Give them just enough, and bring out a better one next year, and a better one a year after that, and they'll sell 20 million in the US in 2.5 years.

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No yes yes!

I'm sitting here leaning back in my chair (working from home of course) with the foot-rest up (no lazyboy but comfortable) using a laptop but could quite easily use a tablet instead.

Plus have a look at iPad case here http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/#case-flat

looks very usable to me.

"This resigns tablets to passive consumption of media" ... umm, yes and what do *most* people do with computers in their homes? Niche users will use it for data input and reference, e.g. medics, pollsters, students etc.

The iPad will sell well because it will fit in with the lives of millions of people .. however the next version will sell even better and version 3 will be even better ... or am I just thinking of the ipod and the iphone alone?

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Coffee/keyboard

erm...

you missed the part where they offer a dock with a keyboard, yes?

Mind you it is missing a whole load of other face-palm, d'oh, why isn't that in there features that would actually make it competitive with the netbooks.

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Grenade

I cimply have to disagree

1. The position of the keyboard to the screen you are typing to is going to be different. They are infact the same thing.

2. I agree an onscreen keyboard is dynamic, but positionally it still won't be great.

3. You tried to read in the dark? okay then.... also back lit displays of any nature cause problems for your eyes. look at the Sun, it will prove the point...

4. Bullsh1t. The ipad does not fill this gap. It's good for presentations. That is all.

5. you would spend that sort of money for something for the kids to watch in the car??? Lend us a fiver would ya, you must have plenty. For the cost, you could have a system with 2 screens. Probably TV built in too....

6. This goes without saying. Some like it tall and thin, some like it wide. Mind you, its only an oldschool 4:3 screen...

7.For this to have the selling point of being a great photo frame, i'd like to take the sd out of my digital camera, put it in the ipad and display my nice new pics. FAIL.

Your guessing and as a fanboi i'd suggest you think Jesus Jobs got his sums right (In steve we trust). This whole sector is vague. No one knows what they want from it, all i can suggest is Apple have made a fairly good fist of their attempt. The difference this time is apple haven't done anything revolutionary and in missing that trick, they haven't convinced the great unwashed that this is the gadget you never knew you needed. Yes it will sell. But not like the iphone and ipod. Apple spoiled themselves when they pulled off those tricks.

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Jobs Horns

Really?

"They'll get touchscreens, and Windows will get better at working with touch control, and then they'll become Tablet PCs before finally morphing into keyboard-less devices like... the iPad. "

No, I think they won't. They really won't, and I'll tell you for why; people who really use netbooks, who do things like write articles or reports on the train, who use them as cheap and flexible devices for not just accessing but creating and editing documents, emails, whatever, will not want to give up the keyboard for a number of reasons. It doesn't require losing half the screen to use it, it allows a more natural typing position and it's more flexible. Would you want to have written even something as short as this article on a tablet or worse yet on a touchscreen-only device? They won't become tablets, either, because tablets are expensive relative to plain keyboard only machines - if that sort of move were likely it would have happened at the high end ultraportable bit of the market, where the relative cost increase is a lot less significant part of the purchase price, first. Yes, there are high end tablets, but the vast majority of ultraportables are keyboard only. The iPad isn't an alternative to a netbook, or if it is, it's a piss-poor one. It's just another Apple-branded automated wallet-unloader.

Evil Steveil for...well...just because, OK?

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small deal

You might have just eliminated about one thousandth of one percent of people: editors who ride the train and do something other than read the paper...

"people who really use netbooks" Ok, that's about 1 in 100 people i know who own a netbook. most of them barely use it to send a few e-mails, take some notes, and update facebook... Anyone with serious document managament needs, and especially every single "editor" i know, have MacBook Pros or Airs. The rest have regular, full performance notebooks. No one who "really uses" a newbook has a use case for a netbook the iPad can't fill. Very few people care about a real keyboard that much, especially since an iPad in it;s sleve actually presents a better ergonomic position than a netbook on a lap in a vehicle...

A netbook does not do portrait. A netbook does not have multitouch, a netbook can;t hang from your carseat and entertain the kids with a 720p video (since they don't do 720P on their piss ass processors at all)

Is this a great PC replacement for everyone? absolutely not, no way. However, for 50% or more of the people considdering a secondary PC device and/or ebook reader and/or car based video system, this is cheaper and better in almost all use cases. It;s also tougher (unibody build and solid glass/not plastic screen), and it;s weather sealed unlike a netbook at a beach which would get caked with sand and sea air...

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Anonymous Coward

720p video

Any atom based system, even with a crappy Intel IGP, can handle 720P video just fine. They can't handle 720P Flash, because Flash is a pile of crap, but them , the iPad can't do Flash either.

I've watched an awful lot of 720P video on my 37" TV driven by a n Atom base9d MSI Wind. Which cost less than half the price of an iPad.

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Silver badge

720p why?

So why would you want 720p on a 10" 600 pixel height screen anyway? 576 from normal PAL would do just fine

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Stop

6 out 12 new stories on ipad

So come on... how much are they paying you?

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Thumb Up

At last

"They'll get touchscreens, and Windows will get better at working with touch control, and then they'll become Tablet PCs before finally morphing into keyboard-less devices like... the iPad"

So Apple will finally catch up to where MS were 8 years ago, we had a load of tablet PC's at school and they were pretty good. MS were let down by the available hardware and battery life. The hardware is finally there.

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N2
Bronze badge

Yes but

Eight years ago, you diddnt have the CPU soaking pig of an operating system that Windows is.

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They failed because they didn't work

PC Tablets failed because they just didn't work the way you wanted them to.

And I know as I had a Toshiba tablet for several years. Loved it dearly, despite its ability to eat a hard drive each Christmas, but I rarely used its tablet function.

The problem is that a tablet PC just doesn't work. You come up with all these ideas on how you can use it, and it doesn't happen. The Windows interface just doesn't lend itself easily (and there is much difference in functionality between XP and W7 - you still click in bottom left hand screen, lists come up, move across, select the app, and the app behaves the same way whether its XP or W7). I doubt the OSX interface lends itself to purely touchscreen either.

But the iPhone interface is an excellent user experience.

And there is the key words, I said them "user experience". And that is why this device will sell truck loads. We're going to buy one, and if it works, a second one. They'll make sofa surfers and traveling machines.

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Hallelujah!

Someone else sees the light.

Apple don't do technology for its own sake. They do *interfaces*. That's why Jonathan Ive—their lead designer—is in the iPad advert, right at the beginning. He's the chap with the British accent. Apple owes much of its present success to him and his team. (And to the guy who designed "Delicious Library"; the iBooks GUI will look suspiciously familiar to owners of that app...)

Yes, the iPad is *technically* just an evolution of the iPod Touch (and, to a lesser extent, the iPhone). But it's the *user interfaces* which make it different. Note that it does not use the same GUI as a Macbook Pro, but borrows primarily from the iPod Touch / iPhone GUI instead. *This* is why all those Windows-based Tablet PCs have bombed. It's the interface that matters, not the physical components.

The most significant element of Jobs' presentation wasn't the whizz-bang games, or even the iBooks stuff. The most important part of the whole event was presented by Phil Schiller and involved... iWork. Watch it. Then watch it again.

Consider that all the media stuff is *built-in* to the device itself. (Yes, you can tether it to your traditional computer or laptop, but you don't *have* to.)

Now, recall that a keyboard dock is also going to be on sale for the iPad. So, when you're sitting at a table or desk, you have a keyboard with a touch-screen computer right there in front of you.

What all this points to is the beginning of the end for the ageing desktop GUI metaphor and WIMP models.

And about damned time, too.

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Just not getting the idea

I couldn't help but notice Jobs missing the point of netbooks big time when he talked about them. Obviously that is his job, but the point about Netbooks is that they are good enough that you can get things done with them and cheap enough that you can take them out with you and not have to panic about breaking them or losing them. Mine has been great for keeping in touch with home when I'm travelling, writing up adventures and editing photos as I go. Given Wine it even plays the old games that i mean't to finish on my PC but never got around to. Basically it can do everything my PC of ten years ago could do ( and that's not so different from what I need to do now ) it just does it on a slightly small screen with a slightly dinky keyboard.

Good enough really is good enough most of the time.

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Anonymous Coward

too true

Not only Jobs but netbook manufacturers too. I won't pay iPad prices for a netbook, and lately all manufacturers see to think I will. Something simple, dosn't need more than a SSD because I keep all my real work on another pc, Cheap enough to drop or leave on the train. Browse web, check email, revise and make a presentation. that's all I want.

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Flame

You missed the point

The netbooks are already nearly there.

They will probably be there by the middle of the year by which time the infatuation with the overgrown phone which can run ONLY ONE APPLICATION AT A TIME would have faded.

0. As you correctly noted - first they need a touchscreen. There is already at least one that does so.

1. 360 degree hinges so you can fold it back or full split/undock at hinges. The current tabletPC idea of rotation around a central hinge is an idiocy. It is fragile, big, clumsy, clunky and has Redmond User Experience written all over it.

2. Undock/split the keyboard which remains connected to the main unit via Bluetooth. Yes that pesky Keyboard thing which the God of Apple and his prophet continuously deny to the user. iXXX is the only smartphone group not to support a BT keyboard profile which is hysterical considering that Apple remains as the only true faithful user of Bluetooth for keyboard and mice.

All of that is achievable provided that the iPad (this sounds like a brand of something ladies use...) does generate user interest.

And nobody said it needs to be Windows. I replaced my "BIG Laptop" running my "BIG applications" with a netbook which runs the same apps. However both of them funnily enough never ever ran windows. They ran debian from day one and never caused me any problems with it.

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FAIL

Hate to ruin the rhetoric

..but iPad thingy supports normal BT keyboards just fine.

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you are not getting it either

0: touchscreen on XP/Win7/Linux are simply not the same, the OS does not have native proper support for it, not do any available Windows apps. Single touch, yea, but multi-touch is not developed properly yet.

1: that hinge, and the compenents underneath for the keyboard, extra bezels, and core components, mean that thing can't be much less than 1" think, and then it will also either be very flimsy, or way more than $499. That also increases weight and reduces battery compartmentalization. plus, that thin screen is going to have its own issues as well... The iPad is a SOLID built device you;re not afraid tyo toss onto a couch. A cheap plasitc netbook with a touch screen that would try to compete within $100 of the price point of the iPad will fall apart in a year of casual use...

2: THE iPad DOES SUPPORT THE BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD PROFILE. Read the fucking specs!

However, my BIGGEST gripe with any alternative is this: I want a DEVICE to accompany my PC, NOT a second PC I have to patch, maintain, and buy expensive software licenses for! The iPad already runs the 40+ apps I have for my iPhone, exchange support is free, and a complete office suite is only $30 (and can run on up to 54 other iPads under the same license). I don't need to AV protect the iPad, It needs patching only infrequently and that's automatic when docked, and it;s easy to get files in/out of and through the cloud through all the services i already use today.

Oh, and an instant gratification device, like a reader, tablet, etc, needs to be INSTANT ON. I can't STAND waiting for a netbook to boot, and when it;s hibernating, it doesn't get notifications. The iPad has 1 months standby time on Wifi/3g. That's amazing, since I'll get e-mails, chat notifications, or be able to look up something on my mind or that I see on TV nearly instantly, without going into the other room to get the laptop, wait for it to boot up, just to check a message, and by then I've forgotten what i was looking up, or missed something on TV...

This device is not an end-all be-all replacement for a portable PC, but it filly 90% of what i want a portable system to do, so now i only need this and one real, full performance notebook.

Oh, a netbook is NOT a good vehicle video Solution for the kids. The iPad, hung from the back of a seat, would be PERFECT!

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Stop

@AC

"Undock/split the keyboard which remains connected to the main unit via Bluetooth. Yes that pesky Keyboard thing which the God of Apple and his prophet continuously deny to the user. iXXX is the only smartphone group not to support a BT keyboard profile"

You obviously missed the part where they're shipping a dock with keyboard, and that the iPad will support any bluetooth keyboard.

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Happy

Point 1 - Already been done

HP TC11xx Series PChs had a rotatey - folding hinge and the hinge and keyboard was removeable. It was a USB connector so once removed it didn't work ie not by bluetooth but the unit has bluetooth so it was certainly possible

That faield to set the world alight either, they were good for surfing but the touch screen nedd is a PITA to do email or any decent amount of text input on.

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Anonymous Coward

RegisterFail fail

Mac mini faded into obscurity? Since when? Not only do I own two, but I can see eighteen from my desk. It's arguably the best Mac that Apple have ever made.

p.s. never heard of this Asus 'seashell' thing though. What processor does it have? Unless it's an Apple A4 you're comparing the proverbial with oranges.

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No, the iPad won't be good at drawing

Because it's capacative, and includes no stylus.

It's useless for everything.

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Grenade

Seashell? really

1: 1.6GHz are is SLOWER than the C9 dual core 1GHz CPU used here. in fact, the C9 is more powerful than the 2GHz snapdragon... Also, the Atom has no 3d capability, and can't do HDTV video playback.

2: might be 10.1", but it's not IPS and has lower resolution.

3: that 160GB is A0 a slow spinning disk compared to flash, and b) with Win 7 good luck using more than 120GB of it without loosing even more performance (never leave less than 30% free space on your OS drive). Since the iPad natively streams with other PCs as well, you really don;t need all that storage, and since you can't run Win7Pro on a netbook, you don't get media center on it...

4: 10,5 hour battery? Engadget's testing showd 3hr 7 minute playing an mpeg file. The product spec says 6 hours, not 10. Your facts are simply wrong here.

5: Non-US pricing for the iPad has not yet been revealed, where did you get your $399 numnber, huh? The 1008ha is $429 here in the US, not much cheaper than the iPad, but without half the performance, battery life, worse rez, no 3d, and on top of all that, software licenses, support, security, and patching are a huge burden compared to an iPad that just works out of the box...

Uh, oh yea, it;s not a touch screen....

next competitor?

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Stop

Netbooks

First, lets give the iPod/Touch/Phone the credit it deserves.

1. I have NEVER seen a better user interface for something with a touchscreen. It is FANTASTIC.

2. They do appear well built

Problems

1. Locked down OS

2. Fuck it, no SD slots? WTF..

Basically fantastic UI, pretty good build quality, but crap realisation in terms of OS, expansion, customisation.

I have done quite a few important things on the run on netbooks. Written/patched/debugged windoze (I hate windows but I have to live with it) and linux stuff, on my netbooks. Yes, I will emphasize the plural there. At airports whatever.

I have NEVER bought an apple iPhone/Touch... And likely never will. They are nice and fancy but it would seem you can't do diddly squat on them.

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iPad

Show me gcc building itself by default with no hacking and then we'll talk.

I mean, apple are so coy with their specs I don't actually even know

1) how much RAM this thing has.

2) what sort of CPU this thing has. Does this thing ACTUALLY have cortex 9 cores? Apple have been so coy I have no idea.

Where would one get such information? The apple site remains coy, there's nothing of any substance on wikipedia yet.

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Coffee/keyboard

You made me laugh RegisterFail

I liked the way that you raised several arguments and then when they were shot down in flames what happened?

You said they were all irrelevant anyway.

From what I can see this entire thread consists of three groups:

1, Apple haters

2, Apple fans

3, People who have something sensible to say

Group 3 seem to be in the minority.

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Well...

The way I see it, the iPad is just a cartoonishly large iPod touch, and the only function it really has is to replace the kindle as a more media centric semi-ebook reader. The things it does are pointless if you have an ipod or iphone. Also, if it was supposed to be an intermediate device, I cannot for the life of me understand why in the hell they would have put a freaking 16, 32, 64 gb choice in it. Basic netbook tend to be ~120 (unless you go for ssds), and I realize that this device isn't supposed to be used with real applications, but I feel like they could have put a bigger memory in there so people could actually have their music and video collections on it, and all that... Just a thought.

A glorified ebook reader. Yay. Let's hope the competition steps up to the plate.

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Stop

"rea;" applications?

You mean, like iWork? Creating full documents, spreadsheets, charts, presentations? If it can do that, it can do just about anything else... Editing/croping photos won't be far behind with a software update, OS 4 will have much improved multitasking support (already confirmed).

Considdering it's cloud connected, and designed to stream, i see no reason at all for more than 32GB on it. For those who will never take it out of their home, 16GB would be compeltely fine.

Netbooks have 120GB HDDS not because there's a use case for them, but because THAT'S THE SMALLEST HDD YOU CAN GET!. SSDs are 32 and 64GB for most machines, and most people don;t use 100% of that. Also, with a Windows OS, you need 30% free at all times for fragmentation/OS performance/cahce files/snapshots, etc. The iPhone OS could use 99% of the storage and not suffer performance, so a 64GB flash disk is the same or better than a netbook with an 80 or 120GB SSD. (and the flash here is high performance class 4+ flash, and should outperform spinning disk without question).

Glorigfied color e-book reader? No. Glorified car video solution, maybe, at a lower price point, and including free exchange support, not needing AV, and not needing PC licenseing, and not needing PC maintencance, with better battery life and half the weight and size? Find me a REAL comparrison that satrts at $499 and I'll print this text and eat it.

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Anonymous Coward

comparison

"Find me a REAL comparrison that satrts at $499 and I'll print this text and eat it."

Well, hopefully for MUCH less than $499 you'll be able to learn to spell.

I'll bet the iPad store has an app for that...

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WTF?

Eh?

Several things strike me about this...

>>> No, the only real difference between netbook and iPad - the price of the two devices being much of a muchness

It is? At $499 for a base model (which will undoubtedly convert to £400 at least) this iPad's 50% more expensive than a middle of the road netbook like an Eee 1005HA, which has significantly more flexibility and a similar battery life. That's not really much of a muchness at all, in my book.

>>> But netbooks' future is limited. They'll get touchscreens, and Windows will get better at working with touch control, and then they'll become Tablet PCs before finally morphing into keyboard-less devices like... the iPad.

These have existed for quite a while, i'd love to know how come suddenly after yesterday everything similar will be morphing into an iPad, and not the countless "prior art" devices that already exist and work fine?

An Eee T91MT is a good example... touchscreen (with multi-touch), check, windows, check, works fantastically well with touch control, check, is a tablet pc, check, still has a keyboard to allow input as well as consumption to be much more a flexible device than an ipad, check, still costs around the same as a base model iPad, check.

The only place it falls down is battery life, and hell, portable media tablets that can achieve 10 hours are nothing new either, an archos 7 can manage about 10 hours of straight video (or signifiantly more when browsing / listening to music), has been around for a year, has a browser (*cough*which supports flash*cough*), and again, is significantly cheaper than a base model iPad.

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FAIL

In my eyes the fight is over

The personally think it's all about the keyboard.

The netbook is good because it fits in your bag and when you need to do some proper computing, you got the keyboard there to do it with.

Anything else you can do on your android/iphone/blackberry/n900

the ipad you can't carry on your person, so you gotta put it in your bag, why not just take a netbook instead?

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Welcome

Other missing facets of netbooks

iPad will cost about $600 -700 when connected to wifi / 3g - something my netbook is already capable of and costs less than half the price.

It also supports the vast majority of the windows software I've bought over the years, and the networking side is already geared up to the way my office works.

It's a small cheap machine that frankly isn't a disaster if I lose or break it.

Don't get me wrong - I think this'll be a fairly significant shift in the way portable computing happens over the next few years and is going to be just as much fun (and just as much of a hindrance) as using an iPhone, but the points above shouldn't be neglected - they're main reason I bought the netbook in the first place.

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Coffee/keyboard

I would swap my EEE for anything

I don't need a full laptop since my PC is for gaming, but for quick website checks, email etc, the EEE is great, especially for writing when I'm out.

However, I have to say, if I need to check the weather fast early in the morning before leaving for work, I don't switch on the EEE, I use my iPod Touch to get the weather instantly and painlessly. Maybe if we wanted quick access to the internet, or youtube (or any flash application if they ever implement it) then maybe the iPad would be useful.

Dropping one would be hellish though, can't imagine it surviving a fall onto my marble floor...

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Sly
FAIL

Real keyboards account for a lot

in my book at least. I'll never pony up for something that requires me to spend extra time cleaning the screen just to see something because I have smudged it with my oily fingers again. For me, the Fujitsu Lifebook u8x0 is still a superior design for portability. I would like that one better with a 7-9 inch screen, but then there's the Asus EEE T91 that seems to fit the bill (and is a far sight less expensive). The iPad just doesn't compare. Again, Apple has released something that's shiny but overpriced for it's capabilities.

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FAIL

Ipad is so much better than a netbook

That the fist accessory is a keyboard to make it work like a netbook.

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FAIL

@DeFex

"the fist accessory"

What about the elbow and ankle accessories?

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Thumb Up

He did it right

I actually found this launch (and the first hand-on videos) very reassuring:

- I was expecting it to be overpriced: it starts at $499 ($629 with 3G) and the 14.95/month for 250MB data plan is quite affordable

- I was wondering about typing: the keyboard dock looks really good

- I was worrying about eye-strain: the IPS screen is nearly as comfortable to the eyes as a Kindle

- I was wondering about software availability: it runs 99+% of the current iPhone software library

- I was wondering about productivity: they redesigned iWork for the iPad and if you get the keyboard dock, it should work quite well.

As per the comparison with netbooks, I'd say that it's nearly impossible to get MacBook-like build quality and design on netbooks (probably only the Nokia Booklet 3G comes close) so the iPad is a good compromise, without ruining yourself. Moreover, being only 0.5" thick, it's much more portable than a netbook.

I'm no Apple fanboy (hell, I don't even own a "Jesus Phone"), but I definitely will put this gadget on my wishlist.

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Build quality

I have had no problems with Eees. I would specifically recommend 1000HE's, if you like macbook type keys( By the way, I am typing this on a macbook with those new chichlet keys, so yes I use macs too). The clamshells are also well built.

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iPad will be ok

Your missing the point of the iPad, its not for people that want to run linux or windows or even for that matter OSX, its for people that don't want an OS at all, that don't want to have to download drivers, or virus checkers, or have to know how to install or un-instal programs. its for people who only want to surf, do email, watch a casual movie or tv show, people that don't need, want, or even know how to multi task, and there are a lot of these people, my brother is one of them he CANNOT use a computer, as soon as 2 programs are running he loses all idea of where to find which program is doing what, if its not visible its not running as far has he is concerned. So the iPad may not be for you or even for me, but it will appeal to a lot of non teck punters.

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The competition is not from netbooks...

...but from smartbooks.

Smartbooks like Lenovos Skylight or the upcoming products by HP and Dell are more comparable to iPad than Atom-based netbooks: The weight is similar, they (mostly) run a Unix/Linux-based OS, the screen resolution is similar (or better), the processing power is similar and so on.

Though Lenovos initial offering is announced to be around $500 (same as iPad), this is likely to fall once the competition starts. The iPad announcement alone might get Lenovo to push the price down, but if HP and Dell announce products more similar to Skylight, that will definitely do the trick.

Lenovo also announced the IdeaPad U1 which has a detachable tablet screen. If Lenovo sells the tablet separately, this would be very close to the iPad form-factor (though it would be a bit bigger). I don't really see the point in having two CPUs and operating systems, though, so the full U1 package leaves me cold. But the tablet on its own might be interesting if it isn't too expensive.

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Quite taken by the lenovo separating one.

Where you can take off the display and a low power CPU and linux kick in. Have the note/netbook for creating stuff and user the top as a tablet for consuming stuff.

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Stop

So many nay-sayers...

..it's almost funny. You can almost feel the denial and rage they feel, that actually...they secretly like it. Resorting to spec sheets is just to justify the denial.

Ok, it's real simple - watch the keynote. Saint Jobs states that the Ipad will not REPLACE a) smartphones/iphone b) laptops. He's openly state he wants to create that "3rd way" thingy. Ie a NEW sector. So stop bl00dy comparing the spec sheets FFS!

If you want instant-on, non-complicated, quick "in and out" access to media and internet consumption - the ipad will beat netbooks/laptops/ hands down. *That's* what it's there to do. It's NOT a f**king replacement for 'product xyz' and was never meant to be!

Having said that...no streaming/accessing of existing media server/PC libraries (especially itunes) is a dumb omission for such a device. Deal breaker for me.

Cameras? Irrelevant. Multi-tasking? Irrelevant. Lack of storage? Irrelevant. 3G & GPS? Irrelevant. Flash? hmmm. 50/50 on that one. If I wanted to do more "hardcore" things like that...guess what - I'd use the desktop/laptop/netbook....

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Boffin

Much of a muchness

"No, the only real difference between netbook and iPad - the price of the two devices being much of a muchness - is the presence of the real keyboard."

I paid under £200 for my netbook and I would not contemplate buying one at iPad prices.

To me, then, the real difference between *my* netbook and *my* iPad is that the former exists and the latter is never likely to. That's a pretty big difference.

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More iBling?

Looks very pretty and there are plenty of the "look at meeeee" brigade who will buy into this thing, but is it of any practical use.

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FAIL

Steve's RDF working overtime

My netbook - heck, *any* netbook - puts the iPad to shame in terms of it can do and the iPad doesn't.

What was that Steve said about netbooks awhile back? That Apple wouldn't make a $500 netbook because it would be crappy and Apple doesn't do crap.

So, his solution is to make a $500 tablet that's crappier (in terms of features) than what even the most basic netbooks offer?

Hahahahaha.

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FAIL

Missed the point

How many of you have missed the point entirely?

This isn't INSTEAD of a netbook - it's aimed at an entirely different market.

If that hasn't sunk in yet then go away, kick yourselves 20 times in the groin and repeat "I must learn to open my mind"

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I bought a netbook because it's cheap and small

I bought an EeePC 900 because I wanted to write on the tube or in cafe's (and do a bit of programming) and I didn't want to worry too much about the cost if a thief snatched it off me. The larger and more expensive they become, the less useful for that kind of thing. I do miss a touch-screen though because I like to sketch diagrams and what-not with my laptop's stylus.

An iPad is less tempting for using when out and about because it's more expensive, more fragile, and harder to type on.

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