10 Things Netbooks Still do Better than an iPad

Discussion in 'Macintosh' started by natehugg, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. natehugg

    natehugg OSNN One Post Wonder

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    While the iPad might win out on some particular functions--video playback quality, in particular, the truth is there are a great many things Netbooks can do that an iPad just can't. Right now, at least. And while that may not make a Netbook better than a laptop, in some instances a Netbook certainly seems better than an iPad.

    1. Video chat.
    Most Netbooks, even low-end ones, now have Webcams enabling basic video chat over Skype or any other program. The iPad, however, does not. We wish the iPad had a camera and iChat, especially since it would make the tablet a unique communications device to rival the iPhone. Perhaps cost was a factor, even though most Netbooks manage the feat in a package under $500.

    2. Run Flash.
    While Steve Jobs called the iPad "the best Web experience you've ever had," there is a big missing piece right now, and that's the whole Web. Browser-based apps and Flash-driven content are huge elements of cloud computing and of many Web sites, and right now it's not even clear whether the iPad can even run Hulu or Netflix. Atom Netbooks can be slow and stuttery when playing Web video, but at least they can.

    3. Programming.
    Most people aren't programmers, or anything close to it, but most Netbooks do run on a full Windows 7 OS that can be used for programming or modification. For the friendly hackers out there, that's a deal-breaker on the iPad.

    4. Upload photos from a camera.
    No USB ports on the iPad mean no connecting cameras or other peripherals, which can be a drag if the iPad is meant as a portable computing replacement for bloggers. Netbooks have at least 2 USB ports standard. We should use iPad photo transfer to upload photos, but when we're on the go we prefer a direct connection.

    5. Store more than 64GB of data.
    We expected a little more memory on the iPad. Even the most basic Netbook has a 160GB hard drive. Cloud storage can assist with data, but it's still no replacement for onboard capacity.

    6. Play Facebook games.
    Without the aforementioned Flash, browser games aren't really possible on the iPad. Those looking to play Farmville will have to wait for the App or just flock to a Netbook.

    7. Swapping batteries.
    Sure, the iPad is slim, attractive and very showy. But its battery is fixed, while a Netbook can not only swap its battery, but upgrade from a three- to a six-cell or more.

    8. Install CD media
    With the addition of a simple USB DVD/CD-ROM drive, disc-based software can be installed on a Netbook even without an optical drive built in. Netbooks can also install files off USB drives, or via any other input method. The iPad wasn't designed with this flexibility in mind, but it's still nice to be able to do.

    9. Type on your lap.
    Yes, the iPad has a virtual keyboard, and even a cool keyboard dock that turns the tablet into a quasi-desktop device. But the dock can't be used for lap typing, and the Apple demos didn't make iPad typing seem as comfortable as pounding away on an old-fashioned hinged Netbook. For long-term writing on the go, a physical Netbook keyboard with an attached angled screen still wins.

    10. Upgrade.
    Netbooks can upgrade their RAM--albeit slightly--and with a little effort, that hard drive can be swapped, too. The iPad is a fixed entity, so there's no going back once you've picked 16, 32, or 64GB.

    More Related iPad Resources
     
  2. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    I think many people miss the part that the iPad isn't a netbook/laptop/desktop replacement and never was suppose to be. It's a entertainment device.

    As for the list:

    1. You can't have video chat w/out a camera (look for one in v2)

    2. Why would you want to run flash on a portable device like this? I'm happy to see more and more sites dropping flash for portable devices ... only hope this spills over into the web as a whole.

    3. This programming thing doesn't even make sense. If your writing code all you needs is a text editor.

    4. Ever hear of iTunes?

    5. Why would you ever need to put more then 64GB on a device like the iPad?

    6. I would consider this a "good thing". But since your uninformed, it's being worked on right now by the major facebook game player to make non-flash versions of them.

    7. Get over it, it's and Apple device. You know this going in.

    8. Again heard of iTunes?

    9. If your writing a novel, why would you choose an entertainment device to do it on?

    10. You know this going in also ...
     
  3. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    @natehugg: Re pt 2, "Cloud computing" doesn't mean what you think it means.

    Also, more for point two, most phone based browsers didn't get Flash until a couple of weeks ago (yes, this is Android), and most if not all web based games require a mouse to function correctly or a keyboard, so games really don't matter. Flash for video and whatnot is the last thing missing and all the major content providers are already serving up h.264 based video for those using an iPhone/iPad, or are coming out with apps that can do so (Hulu, NetFlix for example).

    As more and more content producers see that HTML 5 could offer them what Flash used to offer them, and it provides them access to one of the hottest new platforms they will not hesitate to produce content in HTML 5. People can complain about Flash all they want, but I think it is an excellent move knowing how unstable Flash is on my Mac, not only that, but how often it crashes, or when doing extremely simple things like listening to music on Pandora it runs my one core at 100%. That is just unacceptable. If Flash were allowed, people would run Flash based stuff and then complain that the battery life of the iPad is not the quoted 10 hrs (BTW, people have tested this with video and movies, you get 12 or more hours out of the battery, so a replacement is not really required).

    Pt 3, programming ... ehm, it's been jailbroken, friendly hackers can do what they want, also, Xcode on the Mac is an absolutely amazing toolkit that allows building awesome programs for the iPad. 99% of the people using an iPad or Netbook won't need a programming environment, this point is moot.

    Pt 4, 95% of the people in this world won't care ... why cater to the 5%....

    Pt 5, 64 GB of solid state space is expensive, how much music, apps, and movies do you have? Since the device can't get pictures from camera's or all that other jazz what is the point of a bigger hard drive?

    Pt 6, **** Facebook games, re-read my Pt 2. Flash can go die in a fire.

    Pt 7, It has a 12 hour battery life while watching video's as tested by David Pogue, why would you need to swap the battery for a 6 cell? This thing easily outlasts most of the Netbooks I've seen with more features and better usability.

    Pt 8, App store ... download new apps over the air. Simple.

    Pt 9, I disagree. Netbook keyboards are small, I've got big fingers and it just doesn't work well. Hinged screen doesn't really change anything, especially at 6 foot 2 inches I am still craning my neck down to see any device sitting on my lap. The iPad keyboard feels natural and is extremely easy to type on. My friend owns a device and I spent a good three hours writing various blog posts on it, as well as emails just to test it out. Netbooks cramp my fingers, make me angry when I miss the key and have to go back, hit a function key instead of the backspace.

    Pt 10, That is like complaining about the fact that you can't go back and replace your Rio with another version with more storage space. It is meant to be a gadget, not a computer, yes that means you can't replace anything in it.

    Clearly if this is the list you are complaining about, go buy a HP Slate, since the iPad is not for you. The iPad was made with a certain group of people clearly in mind, and for those people it is going to work extremely well, those that need features that are only available in a laptop or desktop computer should go that route since the iPad doesn't have the features you need it to have.

    I would love an iPad, not to replace my laptop though, it would be as an extra device that sits on the couch so I can surf the web while watching TV, quickly read my email, create a document or two while lying in bed, I know it wouldn't replace my laptop, but for many of the things I enjoy doing it would make my life simpler. There is just something to be said for a portable device that is easy to bring with me to a class or two at uni to take some quick notes. I've wanted a Netbook for a while, but never got one because I can't type on it, whereas the iPad has proven to me that I can type on it accurately and never miss a beat.
     
  4. bobmacans

    bobmacans OSNN One Post Wonder

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    Very informative. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. failurbydesign

    failurbydesign music MUSIC music Political User

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    Great stuff....they can run OS X
     
  6. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    Netbook can run OSX, yup. I would rather have a netbook then the iPad. just for the convenience of it and the limitations the iPad has. Not too mention they are half the price of an Ipad..
     
  7. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Hey, I agree! And you look like a tool carrying around an ipad. No Offense to anybody :D Why we would need something bigger than a cellphone that can do just as little. I don't know...
     
  8. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    Have you held one? Or used one? I think the iPad has a way of making normal things like browsing or looking at pictures (stuff you would do w/ a netbook) a bit more ... fun/interesting. I also don't think they are in the same category. :)
     
  9. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    I do like the iPad and think they are cool, the more I look at them the more I do like them. I also still see them as an over sized iPod. I would take one, if given to me. But as far as buying it? I'm not sure yet.
     
  10. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Although I agree that they aren't in the same category per say, the netbook is about 3 times better value than the iPad since the netbook can do more in terms of functionality. Don't get me wrong, if someone came up to me and offered me an iPad for a hundred bucks I'd take it in a heart beat, but for much more than that? Its just a giant iphone/pod. In My opinion
     
  11. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    It's an entertainment device, not a computer. If you want do computer type things, buy a netbook (or a laptop since price diff isn't that much). If you want to just watch a movie, play a game, surf the web, email ... iPad would be more then fine and would allow you to do so in a more interactive way (touch).
     
  12. ming

    ming OSNN Advanced

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    As Xie mentioned, the ipad isn't a (portable) alternative to a mac/netbook. Yes, the ipad can't do a lot of the things that a Netbook can, but it also can't do a lot of the things that a Mac can either.

    I see the ipad as no different to a ipod/iphone but with a massive screen.

    ipod touch + SIM card = iphone
    iphone + big screen = ipad

    Netbook = Portal PC with limited hardware capabilities

    The two are aimed at a totally different market.
     
  13. mrnikhilsudo

    mrnikhilsudo OSNN One Post Wonder

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    I agree ... keyboard is something you miss on an iPad