May 29, 2010

What?! The netbook's not dead yet?

I was scanning the gadget blogs while waiting for the MacBook Pro to copy a bunch of files to my brand new Mac mini server and something struck me as odd. There are still posts about netbooks, as in brand new upcoming netbooks.

Wow.

Now, I wrote all those Apple gadgetary things to tell you I love Apple products. I work on a 17″ MacBook Pro, write on my beloved MacBook Air, own three (3) iPhones, and am totally in love with my iPad. In fact, the only non-Apple things on my home network are a gaming PC, the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360.

Apple does it best, the whole ecosystem product thing.

Which brings me back to the netbook. In my mind, the iPhone killed the netbook with the 3G edition. I’ve owned a bunch of netbooks, and the only thing that made me to actually keep one (I’ve had a bunch at the same time) when I got my iPhone 3GS was that coding on the go was just about impossible on the Apple phone, whereas it works well enough on the netbook. And it still had a reason to exist side by side with my Air, since the netbook still was smaller, albeit just as heavy/light.

But today? The iPad with a bluetooth keyboard is just about all I need when I’m on the go. Some widely quoted study, which I really can’t put too much weight on, says that a fourth of the Americans are planning on buying an iPad.

That will slash the netbook sales for sure.

So. Again. I was reading up on the gadget blogs, and saw a bunch of netbook posts. Two things:

  1. What decent computer company would release a netbook in the wake of the iPad?
  2. Gadget blogs earns money by getting a ton of readers, but who wants to read about the netbook today, post iPad?

The answer? A bunch, on both accounts.

The netbook’s not dead, but the craze is over. Apple’s iPad and all its upcoming competitors, along with more visual interfaces, will force the netbook makers to position their products even more as a low budget alternative.

That’s OK. I just don’t see a reason to buy one anymore. I used to have a bunch at the same time, as I said before. Not so anymore. In fact, even the Air is in question when it comes to the iPad and the needs when on the road.

Computing will be an interesting concept in the years to come.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.