When the netbook was gaining popularity, there was much debate as to whether to buy a netbook or a laptop. When it comes to the tech world and electronic gadgets, change happens faster than lightening. It’s not because the users are bored of their toys and they want something different; it’s the environment around them that is constantly changing. Laptops, cameras, phones, navigation systems, and other handheld electronics are constantly getting faster, stronger, smarter, and smaller.
It can get annoying actually. Just when you think you purchased the top of line best computer available, you see another model come out a few months later that’s even better. If you want the latest technology, the fastest laptop, or the most pixels in your camera, then you constantly have to upgrade. You know trends come and go, so is the netbook coming or going?
When new devices come out, consumers cannot expect the new big thing to be the “end all be all” king of WIFI. It is no longer a contest strictly between hardware only. I’m sure you heard the saying, “content is king,” and content seems to be more important than screen size. Netbooks cannot compete with the power of laptops for content creation. Netbooks also cannot compete with tablets for content consumption. However netbooks seem to be more popular than the media tablets.
According to ABI research, it is estimated that around eleven million media tablets will be shipped this year compared to forty three million netbooks being shipped. After the IPad came out, sales of the netbook continued to climb.
Netbook Or Laptop?
A consumer has a lot of choices when it comes to buying a portable computing device. But, in order to make the right decision that suits their needs, they have to understand the options. The main differences between netbooks and laptops comes down to several options. As far as cost, netbooks are clearly much cheaper than laptops. If size is a concern and you want something
smaller with a smaller screen and cheaper than a laptop, then the netbook is for you.
The mobile connectivity between the two is about the same. Netbooks come with WIFI and most also offer Bluetooth connections. The newer models may even include built in 3G. The big difference between the netbook and laptop as far as
comparing mobile connectivity is that netbooks have low RAM. They are great for surfing the web but when it comes to viewing videos or playing games, they don’t compare to laptops. With low RAM, the picture may not be smooth and clear especially if multiple programs are running. It also makes it difficult to do some graphic designing or editing pictures with low RAM.
Another disadvantage of the netbook is that they don’t have an optical drive. So, if you want to use a CD or watch a DVD you will need a separate hard drive that you can connect through the USB port. If you want to watch movies, burn CD’s, or play games, then you may not want to purchase a netbook. Netbooks are not built to handle multitasking and can really slow down when running multiple programs. Laptops have a lot more RAM and can run many applications at the same time. Additionally, laptops can run any operating system while netbooks are usually limited to Windows XP or Linux, which can limit the programs that can be installed on the netbook. I personally would prefer the laptop for its power. Light weight, smaller gadgets like
netbooks and tablets don’t do it for me.
Netbook VS Smartphone
Smartphones today have become so much like mini laptops that it makes you wonder, should you get a netbook or a
smartphone? Again, the consumer has to decide what his/her needs are and then go over the options. Smartphones are being designed so powerful, almost as powerful as a netbook, however their use is limited due to their size. The smartphone provides you with an Internet connection, email, texting, chat and many other applications, but its size is what limits it. It is not nearly as versatile as a netbook. The netbook can provide just about anything a smartphone can except for the exclusive applications,
and it provides it on a much larger scale. The netbook is not as big as a laptop but it has a huge benefit over the smartphone because of its screen and keyboard size.
I would prefer a netbook over an expensive smartphone for the simple facts of easier viewing, more multitasking, and more of a comfortable user experience. But then I wouldn’t be able to call my mother. With a smartphone you have to pay monthly fees to remain connected, and if you’re not connected then there isn’t a whole lot you can do with its offline features. If you have
netbook, you can connect to the nearest WIFI without paying any monthly subscription. So what do you do, get a netbook and a cheaper phone or go with the smartphone?
The netbook’s main criticism is its ability to perform compared to the laptop. But, if netbooks and media tablets continue to gain in popularity especially after the iPad came out, then maybe it is the laptops days that are numbered! Netbooks remain popular for productivity tasks at a lower price point but for now, laptops will probably still be on top. Will the netbook continue to grow using its lighter weight and lower cost as leverage? Or, will it slowly fade out due to its processing and storage weaknesses?
Netbooks and tablets are both slowly being adopted on the enterprise front. However the enterprise market for tablets and netbooks as a replacement for laptops and smartphones is extremely thin. If netbooks and tablets continue to be in demand and grow, then maybe a radical change will happen in the adoption rates of both netbooks and media tablets with the netbook having an advantage.
The netbook in the near future could feature traditional I/O (keyboard, touchpad) to enable productivity tasks at a lower cost and become more portable. But, it still will mostly likely be second seed to the laptop. When traditional productivity and enterprise technology suites persist, so will the full featured laptop. Laptops in the next few years may become smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper, and tablets may become more powerful. But, netbook manufacturers are also looking for advancements in features and quality.
Consumer demand will push the level and pace of netbook adoption. The tablet grew in popularity and support tremendously based on iPad sales. Netbooks could achieve more strategic dispositions if stakeholders demand it.
So what do you think the future holds for the netbook?
Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net