Netbook Nonsense

"...Netbooks aren't better at anything. They're slow, have low-quality displays, and run clunky ol' PC software. They're not better than laptops at anything...they're just cheaper. They're just cheap laptops. And we [Apple] don't think they're a third category of device."

---Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs said that during his January 27 keynote address while introducing his company's latest creation, the iPad. And I agree with his sentiments wholeheartedly. Netbooks suck ass. I wouldn't use one even if I were given one gratis. In fact, the whole netbook market should fear the death knoll that is the iPad's launch because Apple's new tablet is going to kick it in the balls and drive a stake through its heart before burying it.

I can see the headstone now: HERE LIES THE NETBOOK MARKET. And to that I say, good riddance.

I understand the concept behind netbooks -- they're something between a smartphone and a laptop where you can check email, surf the Web, view and edit documents, etc. Basic computing tasks. What I don't understand is why anyone would choose a netbook to do these things. Aside from netbooks being slow, clunky, and hard to see, their keyboards are cramped and their trackpads even more cramped. They're also pretty bulky, especially when you add an extra battery. Even an iPhone or iPod touch does better than a netbook.

That's where the iPad comes in. It has a 9.7" LED-backlit, high-res display (made of glass) with a Multi-Touch user interface that's perfect for sending email, surfing the Web, and creating/editing documents. Not to mention all its multimedia capabilities. And it's all built into a gorgeous, sturdy anodized aluminum enclosure that's half an inch thick and weighs 1.5 pounds. And the iPad is priced like a netbook: $499 gets you a 16GB model. Maybe my Apple bias is sticking out like a sore thumb here, but I honestly don't see how anyone could choose a cheap toy like a netbook over a piece of art like the iPad. In my mind, the iPad does everything a netbook can do, only it does it better. And I haven't even gotten my hands on one...yet.

Mark the calendar -- April 3, 2010 is Doomsday for Netbooks.