Everyone I know, knows that I’m not a fan of netbooks… the short list goes like this:
- They’re not that much smaller – Yes, they seem small and cute at quick glance… but then you notice how thick they are, and you quickly realize that a sub-notebook is about the same weight overall. Oh, and the tiny keyboards on the netbooks are a pain to type on.
- They aren’t any less expensive – back in the days when laptops cost north of a grand, a $300 to $400 netbook sounded like a good idea… but these days you can get full laptops in that price range – fully loaded too with DVD burners and plenty of RAM.
- They’re not a full PC – They have really slow processors, hardly any storage, and tiny screen… you can try to surf on the web with them, but deep down inside you wish you had a real laptop… did I mention that terrible and tiny keyboard?
Ultimately – you keep yearning for a full notebook….
I could go on and on, but this article isn’t about netbooks… its about the iPad… so here’s what I think about it:
- It isn’t not that much smaller – Yes, its only a 1/2 inch thick… but even the Apple Macbook Air is just a shy thicker than the tablet… there are many PC laptops that are in the sub one-inch catagory now as well…
- It isn’t any less expensive – With an average price of about $600 to $700 you could just get a real laptop (PC or Mac).
- Its not a full PC – you can’t run actual applications… there’s no Flash support in the browser either. And I can’t imagine what it would be like to type on the on-screen keyboard for a long email message or anything.
Ultimately – I think you’d be yearning for a full notebook…. if you were traveling you’d either carry a laptop along with the iPad or just leave the iPad at home…
Many of the limitations of the iPhone (no Flash, expensive, no keyboard) were great compromises since it fit in my pocket.. in fact, the iPhone is so compelling I still carry it in addition to my Blackberry everywhere I go… its always with me. But in a large size – I’m not willing to compromise.
With all that said – I’m sure it will sell well enough to keep its shelf-space in the Apples stores for many quarters to come, but…. to me, its just another toy from Apple like the Apple TV… neat toy… but not something everyone will need or want to have.
Update: For those of you who think it’ll crush the Kindle…
- The kindle is tiny – its about the equivalent to a small magazine in my bag. In comparison, the iPad is huge.
- The Kindle is inexpensive for what it is – Its less than 1/2 the cost of the iPad and here’s no subscription fee for data access.
- The Kindle is what it is – Its an ebook reader and it doesn’t try to be more than it is. The e-ink screen is amazing. It has a real keyboard so those few times you want to type in a something (search, etc) its easy to do.
The kindle’s competition is the paper book (not the iPad) – and I think its better than a paper book – much better.