2009 was the year of the Netbook. Practically all laptop companies, with Acer and Asus leading the pack, released their version of this lightweight and modestly powered portable computer. Running a full version of Windows and supporting a lot of the programs you can run on a more powerful machine, some people call netbooks 'mini-laptops'. Enticed by the netbook's cute frame and low price tag, many consumers - mostly students and young professionals - purchased the device to be their everyday word processing and netsurfing companion. Netbook sales was so good in 2009 that some analysts suspected that netbooks were already cannabalizing on the sales of full-blown laptops.
But all that changed the year after.
In January 2010, Apple announced the iPad, a tablet that features largely the same operating system as that of the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The device allows users to read e-books and magazines, check and compose emails, surf the web, run applications, browse through music files, watch movies and play games on the go on a screen bigger than that of a regular smartphone. Prior to its release, Apple's slate received its own share of criticisms quoting, among other things, the device's inability to play flash and its lack of built-in camera. Nonetheless, the iPad went on to sell more than 4 million units worldwide. Perhaps inspired by the iPad's success, other electronics companies - even the relatively small ones - came up with their own tablets, starting this current slate era. All of a sudden, the netbook was pushed to the sidelines -- if a bit, with tech blogs and magazines featuring tablets in their headline articles and top gadgets lists.
But as they say, 'New Year, New Beginnings'. A lot of changes can happen in the tech scene in 2011. Will the netbook make a comeback this year? And if so, will you choose it over a tablet? Will tablets still reign supreme?
Yesterday, we asked our friends on Facebook, "Netbook vs. Tablet: Which one are you more inclined to get this year?" Here are some of their answers:
"Tablet because it's the latest trend, [and it offers] portability and ease of use."
- Zir Daluddung
"I really don't go for the latest trends but I might get a netbook because I'm a photographer and you can easily connect your external HDD and your memory card to transfer files. [Netbooks are more robust while tablets can suffer from] wear and tear of the screen. [My] niece (2yrs old) has a HP netbook which [also has a] touch screen but she prefers the ol'skul mouse."
- Gerhard Deveza
"Netbook! Because it can do more tasks than a tablet."
- Christian Paul Casino
"Netbooks aren't good at anything." - Steve Jobs on Apple iPad keynote. I'll have to agree with Jobs on this. As for tablets, so far I haven't seen any good tablets on the market. They're running either a blown up smartphone OS or an OS loosely integrated to a specific hardware. We'll have to wait for Honeycomb and iPad 2 to hit the market this year. If ever, I think I'll get a tablet this year. Oh and some people might want the hybrid ones. Ya know, with detachable screens."
- Laurence Kit de Castro
"Both have their own pros and cons, weighing them would not just be logical, but also practical. First thing to consider would be the Processor, as we know almost all netbooks are somewhat short on the processing power, commonly netbooks are equipped with an Intel Atom processor, few netbooks have an Intel Core i3 for their brain. Tablets do share the same low-end processor, which is sad to hear, we know that multi-core technology for mobilephones exist and as a matter of fact they are starting to invade the scene when it comes to smart phones."
- McNemuel dela Cruz
- Ed Milan
"I would go for a netbook. Though they are more [...] cumbersome [to carry around because of] the lid and shrunken keyboard, you can do more task[s] than any other tablets around. And as far as I know, it's cheaper than a tablet, and I dont like on-screen keyboards."
- Ruichi Realista
"I already have netbook, [I wanna try a] tablet. I want BlackBerry Playbook or Motorola Xoom."
- Fatzz Veliganio
"Tablet because of [its] portability and you look rich when you have one. But I'll for at least 6 or more months to let it "mature". Even though Honeycomb tablets and iPad 2 from Apple [are arriving soon, I'm sure that more tablets with better features and more competitive price tags will also be released this year]."
- Eric John Vicente
"I am getting a Samsung tablet this summer. For anything else, I would go for a standard laptop than a netbook."
- Neil Tracy Garzon Malnegro
"[I'm not sure about the netbook. As they say, it's better to get a laptop, which is very useful, has bigger memory and better quality. So if I'll have to choose between a netbook and a tablet, I'll choose a tablet.]"
- Philip Corridor Perilla
"I'm leaning towards the tablet. I like Android tablets."
- Robert Tan
"I've been comparing this two since [the] tablet was launched. [Both] netbook and tablet were designed for web surfing, social networking, and basic operations but netbooks' OS are windows based while tablets' OS are OS used on mobile phones. Netbooks have [an actual analog] keyboard so it has better configuration than tablets. But tablets are more portable without the keyboard. well for me if you are just web surfing and nothing much to do and want more portability then go with the tablet, and netbooks are a great choice to people who wants portability and who needs keyboard for doing their work. (Therefore, NETBOOK is for me.)"
- Jezer Garcia
I totally agree with Jezer; It all depends on your preference and on what you need. If you just like surfing the net, checking out apps and games and updating your status on your social networking accounts, and you want something totally portable, then get a tablet. But if you want a device that allows you to easily create word files and use Windows programs -- in short, something that will let you actually 'work', get a netbook.
Which one am I more inclined to get this year? I'll try to get both. :)