Acer won't be phasing out netbooks after all, the company said today, despite claims from one its staff that its upcoming tablets will put the squeeze on mini laptops. The computer giant said it "finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer" and that it "recognises that the computer market is changing". The …
Sitting in a starbucks today I saw 4 ipads a few powerbooks and a couple of XP Laptops (looking rather tired), plus me on a PackardBell (made by Acer) netbook running linux mint.
I can in fact imagine tabs taking over, but not at the 500ish quid they are asking!
My 10" netbook was less than half of that! and it even does flash!
Now if we ever see such things for less than 300 i can just about imagine having one.
The Advent Vega 10" tablet is £250, and selling so fast I've not been able to get my hands on a unit. There are various el cheapo ones for a lot less, too, but the Vega is the front runner in price/quality at the moment, from what I hear, in the 10" market.
MY local computer store is selling a no-name chinese tablet with android 2.2 and a micro-sd slot for UKP90. it's got GPS too. Only downside I could see is it takes about 4 mins to boot from cold, but in normal use you'd put it on standby and wake it up - both instantly. rouyghly half the screen size of the iPud, but nice and clear.
I still prefer netbooks:
* I get a physical keyboard.
* I can run a real OS (Windows 7 or Linux) not one designed for phones.
* It has a much better design - I can let it sit on a table or my lap, without holding it, and the screen is angled perfectly. Unlike a tablet that you have to awkwardly hold with both hands, or strain your neck looking down on it.
* Compatibility with x86 is also handy.
* It's cheaper.
I'm not bothered about a touchscreen when you have a keyboard and multitouchpad - but there are touchscreen netbooks out there, and these may become more common in future anyway.
A tablet is better if you need a computer whilst you're walking around. But most of us don't, and a phone is much more portable for that task. I suspect that tablets will become more popular only when they become cheap enough that having one as well as a phone and netbook becomes affordable for most people. Alternatively, I suspect that what will actually be more useful is colour e-readers, especially with the development of "electronic paper" that's thin and rolls up like paper.
Having said that, I fear the manufacturers pushing tablets more, or the media hyping them more, leading to less support for netbooks. I hate how it's so hard to find a phone with a keyboard these days.
It's also worth noting how netbooks are held to a different standard - they're deemed as being "slow", because Atom is poor compared to desktop CPUs, yet it's not clear that tablets do any better; they're considered rubbish for gaming, because they can't run the latest PC games, yet a tablet is considered amazing if someone ports a ten year old game like Quake 3 to it. Microsoft were ridiculed when they considered a limit of 3 applications, yet Apple are praised when they make a tablet that can't even multitask at all...
I don't see why tablets and netbooks are counted separately - we don't divide phones by whether they have a keyboard or not. Alternatively, why shouldn't touchscreen phones not be counted as tablets - I would argue that in that sense, tablets are already mainstream, sell more than netbooks, and the market leader is Nokia. It's only the overgrown-sized Ipad that isn't as popular.
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