The Real Fad: Netbooks

  • April 11, 2011 12:28 pm

How many times has it been said that tablets are the latest “fad”? Countless times, actually. Everyone from high profile CEOs to tech blogs just like GS have made the claim. The common claim is that in the end, people really want a powerful desktop/laptop for their hardcore computing needs. And when they don’t, the often herald savior of traditional desktop computing, the netbook, would fill the void.

The reality: they haven’t…

What was once an exploding market just 1-2 short years ago is now nothing more than a Walmart clearance isle has been. Evidence of this is growing, with new reports that Acer is refocusing their efforts on tablets instead of netbooks. Further bolstering this claim comes by way of recently discovered code hidden within a Chrome OS build specifically mentioning tablets. This change in thinking is in no small part related to the “new fad” — tablets.

While there’s no argument that Microsoft as well as many other software and hardware companies have tried cracking the tablet market for many years now, the only company to successfully get the ball rolling occurred in early 2010 when Apple released the first generation iPad. Since then, other manufacturers have been scrambling to catch up. Android is the closest competitor thus far, but RIM is breathing down their necks with their QNX-enabled BlackBerry PlayBook as is Palm/HP with the PalmPad.

So in reality, it is not tablets that are a fad, but netbooks. Nothing reeks “too little too late” than a traditional computing device shrunken down merely to fill profit margins and appease the low-end of the market. Tablets are a new breed. They don’t rely on the decades-old input method of physical keys, mouse-driven navigation, and other relics of the 80′s. They incorporate the latest in finger-friendly design with developing user interfaces.

And if by chance a traditional keyboard/mouse interface is required, tablets are far more configurable and adaptable than a netbook, not to mention lighter and more portable.

Just remember this the next time you find yourself eyeing a $300 netbook and a $600 tablet. The real “fad” is rather obvious…

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