Monday, March 09, 2009

Netbook? Notebook?

As you know, from reading my blog, I recently purchased a new laptop computer. My first one, the Dell Inspiron 1000. It was a budget computer, but it did all that I wanted a computer to do, web surfing, word processing, spreadsheets and the sort. I also used it to experiment with Linux, installing Ubuntu on it, and loving the ability to play around with this great operating system.

So after four years, the computer bit the dust, it has been suggested to me that there was an issue with the motherboard. So I waited until the new year and purchased my bright shiny Dell Studio 17. I could have bought any one of a number of computers, but I chose Dell because:

a) when I went to a electronic store, the staff was way too busy to answer my question and
b) I like the ability to pay monthly.

I won't go into the full details of what the computer has, because you can read it elsewhere. I can say it has a 17" glossy screen and has 3Gigs of Memory. It is a fast operating machine- plus I do like the built in webcam. Just the thing when I want to do a quick video for Seesmic or perhaps do a video message on Facebook. I haven't done that yet, I tried in February but the message I got was the servers at Facebook were down.

Of course, it is a large laptop, weighing over 7 lbs, but that's the price to pay if a person wants a larger, clearer screen for viewing videos and movies.

After saying all that, the major news has been towards the new version of laptops that are called Netbooks. I did look and consider them for a while but I must admit, I was not impressed with the small size. I know that is the main selling point, but I look at the keyboard and consider I may have problems typing. I recently saw a person use a Dell Mini-10< was not overly impressed with the compactness of it and how it operated. The one I saw had the Windows XP system, and I know this because the organization has options that can only apply to Windows software.

I undertand the machines have very reasonable prices, certainly it something to consider that a person can buy a computer for under #300.00 and have a good operating machine. Regardless of that, I like a computer that is a computer, plus I liked the fact I can get a green cover.

It seems my thinking may be a bit behind the curve, Wired Magazine reports that netbooks are becoming popular with business. It seems netbooks were all the rage at this year's CES. The author of the article I mention states:
At the Consumer Electronics Show here, much of the buzz is about netbooks. Nearly every major computer manufacturer has one, and some manufacturers are explicitly targeting businesses that want a cheaper alternative for employees than full-blown laptops.

"The netbook is catching up as a much more mobile device," said Vijay Rakesh, a ThinkPanmure analyst. "They're great just for storage and working when you're out of the office."

There is a strong push now to get into the netbook game, Om Malik wrote in his blog a couple of months ago, an article entitled: Five Things to Consider before Buying a Netbook. His main piece of advice, go with something you would be comfortable using if the thought is to go highly mobile, to use his words.

With all sorts of companies now making netbooks, and if the numbers are correcting, starting to become a major player in the computer landscape; I suppose it would be only a matter of time before the Other Computer Maker enters the fold. So right now the rumours are flying of an Apple Netbook. The rumour is that Apple has commissioned a Asian company to make the touchscreen for their netbook.

Now has engendered some discussion on the merits of an Apple Netbook. some positive and others negative. John C. Dvorak mentions in his latest Tech 6 of the fact that Apple Netbook rumours are swirling again. His point of contention is that it will be an expensive netbook.

I know there are a lot of players already out there, but as we all know, the moment anything with an apple logos shows up, there will be the MacFanatics throwing their money to purchase it, no matter how over-priced it is. Of course, if history is any guide, it will be very pleasing to the eye and be a work of modern art.

I do wonder if this is another example of the hype that tends to grip the tech world every so often. There are other voices, Joe Wilcox wrote an article entitled: The Problem with Netbooks.

There are some problems and I have to say I'm happy with a regular sized laptop then one of those smaller models.

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