Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why I think Netbooks don't suck.

Jeff Atwood did a blog article on Netbooks in response to a article by some other guy who says they are lame. For some reason, the comments are disabled so I'm commenting here:

The other guy basically says that Netbooks are a worst of both worlds cross between laptops and cell phones. Well, I have to agree with Jeff on this one that this is dead wrong.

I'll grant that Netbooks aren't that spectacular a computer but that's not what there supposed to be. As I see it, Netbooks are as close to a cell phone as you can get without giving up the reasons people even bother with real computers:

- A keyboard that you can actual type on with more than two thumbs.
- A real OS

I don't care that it's not that powerful or that the keyboard is somewhat undersized or that it doesn't actually fit in my pocket. What I care about is that it's easy enough to pack that I carry it even if I'm not sure I will need it. I care that I can run any windows program I'm likely to use. I care that I can plug it into my wired network at home. I care that it runs for hours on a single charge. I care that I have full control over the file system.

Down near the bottom, Jeff even goes so far as to question if Netbooks might take over the whole computer market. Well, I'm sure they won't. I'll grant that for most people's portable computing, Netbooks are it (small, cheap and powerful, pick two) but making things portable forces to many compromises that get in the way of other stuff. (A while back, about '03, I was shopping for a laptop and priced what I really wanted and compared it to the same things as a desk top. The difference in price could buy a low end laptop.) I see three end user markets; Netbooks for pack-it-with-you computers, desktops for no-compromises power processing and lots of screen space, and a small slot for desktop replacement type laptops for IT techs and what-not.

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