Netbook or Tablet?
A Road Diverged My Friends!
What Kind of User are You?
As a user of technology and a writer, I’m always trying to decide what bit of technology will best fit my style. While at a Best Buy store looking for Netbooks a few months ago, a sales person said that they no longer carried Netbooks because tablets were the direction of the future. As a writer in need of a portable, lightweight device, this seemed strange. Weren’t Netbooks just as valid?
I walked away from the store, uncertain what to buy. I like writing and I like being mobile. None of the computers seemed to suit someone who breaks technology at the drop of a hat and wants to take her computer everywhere as if it were like Linus’s blanket from Charlie Brown. Some time after this experience, I began to use my husband’s unused Galaxy tablet that he bought from Verizon back when they were having a special sale on tablets. What a change!
Although I still use my netbook primarily for storage purposes (the poor thing has a broken screen and my tech savvy husband hooked up a monitor to it so that I could use it), I have found that tablets fare better in very specific ways as opposed to the netbook. Here is a list of reasons why you might consider getting a tablet (or ye-Gods, an iPad) as opposed to a netbook)
Which One Has Less Option of Breaking?
Although the netbook is tiny and portable, the tablet is even more so. Frankly, I’ve noticed a lot of people having problems with how delicate netbooks are. You break one, and you immediately have to get a new one. Who wants that? The only reason I’m able to use my netbook is because I have a monitor hooked up to it. For someone who breaks technology very easily, the tablet is nice because it has a higher threshold in terms of breakability.
Which One Is More Portable?
One of the problems I encountered with taking the Netbook out to a restaurant is that you have to find a plug to plug the device in. The battery life just doesn’t last as long as the tablet. But with the tablet, you have a much longer battery life (ten hours worth as opposed to six), meaning you don’t have to plug the device in somewhere. Actually, unlike the Netbook, you can take the netbook to bed, in the car, to the gym, or anywhere because you can hold the device in your hand. Another factor to consider is size. The tablet is also much smaller than the netbook, which allows for ease of access. Besides which, you don’t even have to open anything to get to the tablet (unless you’re doing an iPad where it’s in a folder).
What makes the tablet unique is that it has the touch screen. The touch screen is much more efficient than the tracking pad on the small computers because unlike the tracking pad, which still has some margin of error, the touch screen reacts to your finger. Going from the netbook to the tablet, I found that I could navigate through different options much faster. And in a world where everyone is telling you to hurry up, isn’t that something we all need?
On this point, I would say that the laptop still comes out ahead, but again, what do you value? I find myself just needing to write and that doesn’t take up much space. Besides, I can still rely on the (broken) netbook I have to hold my music and other writing files. But, as I mentioned before, I want something that I can take everywhere and not worry so much about breaking it.
On this point, the tablet again comes out ahead. Angry Birds, anyone? What makes the Tablet better than the netbook is that the uniqueness of it’s interface allows it to have a wider variety of games that are addictive and fun. Now I personally am not a huge gamer like my husband, but as games are becoming more and more geared for phones and tablets.
Like I said, I have just recently started using the Tablet. I’ve found that there are even accessories like keyboards that go with it, which makes it just perfect for people who like to write and need to write everywhere. Consequently, my husband’s Netbook just died and he decided to replace his Netbook with an iPad (a radical decision for him since he doesn’t approve of Apple’s business practices). We, who are both creative types, have decided that these serve us much better in terms of mobility and apps available to it. I DO hope Netbooks keep getting made as I value small devices that I can keep at home for storage purposes.
But that’s my experience. What’s yours? Are you a tablet fan or a netbook person? Do you think netbooks will eventually be phased out? Leave a comment with your own thoughts.
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