Netbooks Vs Tablets

Almost every second day, there is a new tablet as well as a new netbook being launched. With the success of the iPad and with Samsung Galaxy Tab in stores now, could it the end of the Netbook? Will tablets be able replace our Netbooks? Read on to find out what I think of the above questions.
Lets Get Ready To RRRRUUUMMMBBLLLEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

Before we go ahead and get into a Netbook vs. Tablet fistfight, let’s have proper description of each device

Full of features bundled in a small package


Netbooks: Netbooks are just miniature laptops. They have the classic clamshell design and that’s about it. The only thing you have to adjust to is the smaller screen and the keyboard, everything else is just the same as your bog standard laptop.

Samsung Galaxy Tab, get yours now!


Tablets: The Tablet is the new kid on the block. Tablets didn’t take off in a big way until the arrival of the highly successful iPad, has multi-touch functionality and employs all the latest tech that you would love to get your hands on. Every manufacturer is now jumping on the Tablet bandwagon.


So why is this such a conversation topic? This all started when a friend of mine got a brand new iPad straight from the US and declared “I’m going to sell my netbook, don’t think im going to need it anymore”. That got me wondering, have tablets progressed far enough to be considered as a viable replacement for a netbook??

Let’s begin by having a look at what a netbook brings to the table when compared to a tablet.

Hardware Counts:
Netbooks have actual keyboards that offer you a lot more help than a touch screen tablet when it comes to typing out long e-mails or entering large strings of information. A keyboard also helps you in  reaching out to people who are not as used to a touch screen like you or me and still prefer the good ol’ keyboard for input.

So does the Hard Drive space:
Netbooks also provide you with more storage space than a tablet. A basic netbook comes with a 160 GB hard drive, where as a tablet gives you a paltry 64GB of storage space. As a wise man (name withheld on request) (not really) once said "You can never have enough of storage space". Netbooks also allow you to upgrade the hard drive with little or no effort

How can you type?
A netbook can always be placed on your lap when you have to use it for an extended amount of time. But what about tablets? You could hold it for the entire time you type something out, or lay it flat on a table, but even then it’s at an awkward angle to send out an email (that is unless you use an elevated iPad case, which would have been like using a netbook or laptop anyway).

Do you need some juice?
Another awesome feature that puts netbooks ahead in my eyes is the ability to swap batteries when your netbook is low on juice and there is no access to a power point. But with tablets, once you run out of battery, there is no way to use it unless you get it plugged to the nearest wall socket.

One at a time folks
Ah yes, multitasking. It's something netbooks do with relative ease and is almost taken for granted, well that is until you get a tablet, specifically an iPad. It still doesn’t have multi-tasking which is quite an important feature in my opinion. Want to listen to music, chat with your buddy and send an email at the same time? Well, you're out of luck mister.

And before you decide to track me down and punch me in the mouth, I know the iPad will be getting much awaited iOS 4.2 update which adds Multi-Tasking. Let me also add that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has Multi-Tasking, but it isn’t as popular as the iPad.

Now that we are done with netbooks, lets see what a tablet does better than a standard netbook.

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The X Factor
Lets get one thing straight, tablets just look cool. They are sleek, thin and designed to blow your mind when you encounter it for the first time. This is one of big reasons why the iPad is one of the best selling products in 2010.

The OS significance

The iOS is extremely user friendly and it only takes a few minutes of use to steal your heart. Some people just can get back to any other form of OS after using the iPad.

But do not fret my Android loving friends, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is no slouch either, the amount of customization is mind blogging on both OS platforms.

The App store and the Android market both offer applications for every imaginable situation you can think of. From barcode scanners to time waster games, the app count just keeps on climbing.

Please Stand Up
Sometimes your situation doesn’t permit you to sit down, whether it be taking down small notes in a crowded business room or when you are literally on the move, traveling in a train or maybe you are just too busy to take a seat. It is at this time a tablet allows you the flexibility to hold the tablet in one hand while surf with the other.

It seems that both are equally matched and making a choice may seem a bit confusing, but actually its not. The choice between a netbook and a tablet all depend on what your requirements are. Are you someone who always has to reply to emails, work on spreadsheets and like to have multiple applications open at the same time but are always on the move? If yes, then a netbook is a good choice for you.

Different strokes for different folks

Tablets offer a more flexible way to surf the Internet, play games, read books, use mobile apps, and consume movies, video, and music. Tablets also offer an easy-to-use touch interface and thanks to the rich computing environment delivered by the iPad and Android-based devices, it transforms itself into a single computing tool that people from all walks of life can integrate into their lives.

So, finally we go back to the question I had asked in the beginning of this write up. Can tablets be deemed as a viable replacement for the Netbook? In my opinion, the answer is “No”, in its current form tablets need a bit more work and horsepower if they want replace netbooks in their entirety. Tablets are an alternative for people who just want to consume the information on the internet, rather than those who create content for it. Slowly but surely, tablets are taking over the scene, but it will not spell death to the Netbook anytime in the near future.

So what is your opinion on the whole Netbook vs. tablet thingamajig? Let us know in the comments section.

Published Date: Nov 12, 2010 03:11 pm | Updated Date: Nov 12, 2010 03:11 pm