Netbook nuttiness

by admin on February 2, 2009

in General,Innovation

asuseeI freely admit that I don’t get the current vogue for Netbooks. I remember years ago, HP brought out what I suppose we’d today call a netbook – I think they were called sub-notebooks then – and at the time I was tempted. Long battery life, flash drive running Windows ME (??) all seemed a good idea except there were two basic problems:

  • The 8 inch screen was way too small for anything other than the most basic tasks
  • The keyboard was far too cramped for my stubby paws

The last few years I have variously run 13 inch and 15 inch laptops. For me, the 13 inch is about the minimum I could go, even with high screen resolution and yet here we are in 2009 being pitched 10 and 12 inch machines.

Fortune says:

…the netbook, that shrunken, low-priced laptop that lately has been a rare bright spot in the moribund PC industry. To hear Lurie tell it, AT&T’s next hit phone might not be a phone at all, but a netbook with built-in Internet access that works anywhere you can get a cell signal.

My normally technophobic wife said the other day: “Have you heard about those laptops you can put in your handbag?” Someone’s been doing a good marketing job. On AccountingWeb it seems the professional fraternity are getting with the programme:

Asus Eee PC S101 Rated by our executive peripherals editor as “way ahead of the competition”

Great! Except it’s not for me. As someone who is obsessed with what I have to carry on away trips, laptop weight is high on my list of priorities. But even 7 hours of battery life isn’t going to cut it if my fingers can’t type quickly enough or if I’m going to be squinting at the screen. If someone can tell me what the real allure of these glorified toys is then I’m all ears. Otherwise, it’s just more evidence that the IT industry really is a fashion game.

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Martyn February 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm


I've got an eeePC 901 – very happy so far.

>>If someone can tell me what the real allure of these glorified toys is then I’m all ears<<
For me, personally….
1. cheap
2. light
3. good enough for what I need to do on the move
4. Runs FOSS out of the box (no windows tax)


Zoli Erdos February 2, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Dennis, it's February 2nd, your wife is clearly hinting at something

Dennis Howlett February 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

@zoli: My missus already has a pink DS Lite, Wii + sports + Fit plus fair shared use of my MacBook. This would be toooooo much ;)

Zoli Erdos February 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

And you call her technophobic? OMG, I can't imagine what she would need if she was interested in Tech :-)

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