iPad or Netbook?

The launch of the iPad is just a few weeks away now, and people think it’s the next "coming". It’s certainly cool and offers some fun, although not revolutionary features, but we always see the comparison of the iPad to the Netbook. These two things are completely different.

In my personal opinion, if you have a Netbook, you have no need for an iPad. It won’t do as much and costs almost twice as much.

Pros of the iPad:

One big benefit for the iPad is the simplicity in installing apps. Click the button, the app installs. Plus, everything will be available in iTunes. Easy to browse and shop.

The performance of the iPad should be as good if not better than a Netbook. The OS is optimized for the iPad hardware.

There is no configuration for the iPad, turn it on and it works. Configuring email and using the web browser will be incredibly simple too. Plus all that software is built in.

And there is no shortage of apps for viewing Facebook and Twitter, for playing games or reading books.

But the Cons are pretty heft against the iPad:

It’s insanely expensive. You can get a full fledged laptop for the same price.

If you can’t find it in the app store, you can’t install it.

Not really a business tool. You won’t be able to belt out spreadsheets or write long emails on it. And because of the virtual keyboard I don’t see many people using it as a portable blogging client. These are handled much more effectively with a Netbook.

Based on my usage of the iPod Touch, I think the iPad could be a lot of fun and I think it will sell extremely well. Games will have plenty of screen real estate, books will be fun to read, and even movies should look good and make watching on the go quite easy. But it’s a damn big MP3 player that’s for sure so I don’t see anyone jogging with this thing or taking it to the gym. You can get work done while on the road, but unless you buy the optional keyboard and stand, sitting in the hotel room writing a business letter or writing an email back home using the virtual keyboard is going to be a pain.

And it certainly doesn’t have the convenience or "stealth" factor of writing quick messages during a meeting, or at the restaurant, or during class. You won’t be slipping that out casually.

I think the big differentiator is that the iPad will be for entertainment and leisure with mild forays into business, whereas the Netbook will be for business with mild forays into entertainment and leisure.

Plus, did I mention the insane cost of the thing?

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