Are you like one of the many people I have spoken to recently, trying to decide what is the right device for you? Do you need a very mobile device, but are not sure if you should go with the traditional Netbook or get caught up in the tablet hype? Well, I can tell you first hand, I own both types of devices and there is a time and place for each of them. What I hope to accomplish here, is provide a little bit more insight on the pros and cons for each.
What is it? A netbook is a stripped down laptop that runs the same type of operating system, your typical desktop or laptop runs. Some netbooks these days are borderline laptops and vice versa, but generally a netbook sports a screen size between 10-13 inches, does not have any CD/DVD Drives and is less powerful, than your average laptop. Netbooks are designed to provide portability and efficiency, hence the small screen sizes and less impressive specs. They were originally targeted at people looking for a more economical system that would allow them to surf the web, check e-mail and perform basic pc tasks (ie. MS Office). Today, some netbooks are a bit more powerful, like the one I am typing on right now. Mine houses a faster processor and graphic card, but comes at a price, specifically, greater cost and 6 fewer hours of battery power than your average netbook. It’s all really personal preference. The bottom line is a netbook is good for anything that will require you to type a lot and jump between applications. If you are like me and want to work remotely every now and then and need to link into another desktop or device, a netbook would provide the perfect blend of functionality and portability. If you are a blogger, like some others you might know, and will be doing a lot of typing, a netbook would also meet these requirements.
What is it? It’s an iPad…okay, just kidding, obviously there are more tablets out there than just the iPad. A tablet is a flat device with a touch screen that allows you to do various tasks. It runs a mobile operating system, like iOS, Android, or WebOS. What are these mobile OS I speak of? Do you have a smartphone? If so, you have a mobile OS on your phone. As you already know, one of the advantages of how your phone operates is instant gratification. Another words, as soon as you turn the device on, it is ready to serve you. Even when you completely reboot the device, it comes back to life, ready to roll, fairly quickly….of course, unless you have Blackberry…sorry RIM, but 11 minutes to reboot my Blackberry Storm 2 was never a fun experience (at least it was consistently always 11 minutes). This leads me to one major advantages of a tablet – it’s always ready to go. There are no long boot times. If you are looking for a very portable device, that you can turn on and off without delay, the tablet could be for you. If you have a smartphone, and love it, but find the screen too small, then the tablet is for you. If you want that device you can sit on the couch and surf the web, the tablet is for you. The tablet provides quick, on demand portability. What it won’t provide is the ability to multi-task efficiently between applications or type well (although the tablet is making strides here with 3rd party products).
Still confused on what this all means? Here is the quick and dirty rundown:
- Fully functional OS – true multitasking and integration with other devices
- Easier to type (for the most part)
- Slower start-u whether full boot-up or just being “woken”
- Harder to manuever, while in transit – opening and closing screen and typing..there’s a reason they are called laptops (and physically, other than size, a netbook is inherently a laptop)
Who would benefit most – users looking to work remotely, bloggers, students, people who want a more portable device to their laptop, economical alternative to a laptop or desktop replacement
- “Always ready” – little wait to boot up and ready to serve when needed
- Easier to use on the go – no keyboard and completely flat
- Inherits same full functionality a desktop would have since it uses same OS
- Multi-tasking between apps is very challenging
- No keyboard built-in other than touch screen
- functionality is limited since it runs on a mobile OS and not the same OS a full-blown desktop would run on
Who would benefit most – couch surfers (Internet), users who are looking for a personal assistant (portfolio) replacement, students (as a supplement to a netbook), workers in the field that normally carry client info (ie. sales, real estate, Dr, etc.), e-readers who want the best of all the e-reading device world.