iPad vs Netbooks – Quick Thoughts

Introducing the iPad:

Apple iPad

When the iPad was announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in January, the rumours were confirmed as true. Apple were bringing out a portable tablet device, to shake up the computer industry and increase their share on the market.

Outselling the iPhone in it’s successful initial release, the iPad has now been tried, tested, and reviewed, and the question being asked today is whether the iPad can transfer it’s market potential to sucesfully  compete with netbook.

iPad vs Netbook: Today 

With a starting price at $499, powerful applications, and fast streaming of media , the iPad is a strong competitor for the Netbook. Despite these factors however the iPad cannot seem to be a replacement for the the Netbook as a versatile and well rounded computing device.

The major attraction point for the iPad thus far has been the diversity in it’s applications. With the increasing need for information on the go, the iPad has been serving the consumer well with it’s pre-loaded as well as readily available applications from the iPad App Store.

The free iBook and Amazon Kindle App, ensure the iPad is a well equip and alternative reading device for users. It’s fast performance also ensures that it is more practical for ebook reading when some of us want to avoid the hassle of sitting down and booting up a netbook. This is also a similar advantage for users who want quick access to popular websites such  Facebook, Hotmail, and Wikipedia.

Other applications such the GQ and the Wall Street Journal App are making the device a cheap and efficient source for magazine and news subscribers – These factors along with the increasingly smooth gaming applications are making the iPad have an edge over the Netbook as a quick mobile device for general media needs on the go.

Despite these advantages however, the iPad seemingly falls short of the pricing aswell as computing needs of the average user - These weaknesses make netbooks stand out as a portable and affordable computing devices.

Firstly looking to the cost, many top netbooks from Asus as well as Acer are now being priced as low as $300 making the top netbooks more cost friendly than the cheapest iPads available. This added to the number of netbook companies, as well as netbook computers being produced,  give the consumer far more options to choose from when buying a device to suit their own personal needs.

If you are to take a common or rather standard netbook as an example, you get some of the features which are completely absent and often sought for from the customer – the mega pixel camera to enable video conferencing with colleagues as well as family, a practical keyboard which can get real work done, and of great importance – the ability to multi-task.

Consumers wishing to do basic things such as edit their reports, essays and dissertations will be at a loss on the go when using the iPad. Whilst you can purchase an iPod Keyboard Dock, it does not compete with netbooks in terms of ease of use.

If you are to consider the iPad as a multimedia device, you can still see it’s weaknesses – a large amount of netbooks today double and sometimes quadruple the hard drive space avaliable on iPads. Many of us looking to store family photos, work files, as well as music play lists on the go, may find ourselves being selective with what we put on our iPad because of the shortage of space.

iPad vs Netbook: Tommorow

In the future, the iPad may be updated with much larger hard drive disk space, multi-tasking software, and hardware to enable greater ease of use for practical processes.

Despite this  however, we do not see it replacing portable computing devices such as netbooks.  The iPad itself works fantastically for quick multimedia, but suffers as an actual computer which many users will use to multitask, and do real work with on the go.

While the applications of the iPad, make it a powerful entertainment device, we just need to look at the ever  improving specifications as well as increasingly affordable prices of netbooks today, and we can safely predict them to remain a popular machine with consumer in the short, and long term. 

Where the future is concerned, Apple will seemingly have to bring out a more revolutionary device to cut netbooks out of the market for good.

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