Just In Case Computing – iPad vs HackBooksBy Paul on January 28th, 2010 in Technobabble
Tags: apple, dev, iPad, mobile
Everyone is talking about the iPad. I reckon all we’re going to hear for a while will be “iPad iPad iPad!”
Is the iPad better than a Netbook?
Many early commenters expressed hopes for a Mac Netbook instead of an over-sized iPod Touch (with no camera and limited storage). So the first thing I did was look for some articles on Netbook Hackintoshes.
I found three significant posts relating to running OS X on a Netbook (most commonly on the Dell Mini).
- MacSparky – The Netbook Experiment
- TUAW – Road Tested: Why the hackb00k is a fail
- OS X 10.6.2 on a DELL mini10v Inspiron 1011 (How To Instructions)
What I noticed almost immediately was that no one really blogged about how slow OS X was, or how badly an adult sized OS fits onto a baby sized laptop!
Instead, everyone griped about the form factor of the keyboard, the lack of storage space on SSD drives and the lack of durability of the Netbook’s construction. What they complain about is the hardware.
To quote MacSparky “the Netbook phenomena is all about compromises.” The words “disposable computing” seem very appropriate.
Having used an ASUS Eee for over a year in and around Tokyo, via a broadband eMobile dongle, I found Netbooks to be superior to “no computer whatsoever”. However, they truly don’t stack up against a real notebook. Believe me, I’ve even programmed in Ruby on Rails whilst standing on a crowded subway train, typing with both thumbs!!
Despite a Netbook’s limitations, they have great price to feature balance for “Just-In-Case Computing”.
Pricing is interesting too. Just cheap enough to compete with Netbooks, yet still a little exclusivist. Today’s parents are well trained in buying Apple merchandise for their net savvy offspring. So iPads will definitely be high on the Xmas/Channukah/Ramadan/Deepavali lists for 2010.
As for teenagers and students buying their own iPads, that may have to wait until mobile providers or ISPs start offering low barrier, bundled subscriptions. It will happen. In Tokyo many ISPs with paid WiFi networks have been bundling free Netbooks with cheap WiFi subscriptions since 2008. Broadband wireless subscriptions are cheap there too, alas Tokyo is blessed!
Today’s young are the disposable income spenders of the near-future, and will be pushing for cheaper non-3G connectivity, which may see more demand for WiFi access points. That’s right folks, you heard it hear first: iPads will drive growth of cheaper 3G alternatives.
A Way Premature iPad Verdict
As for the new aPple iPad itself, I think that extra power beyond an iPhone will be welcomed by many. Whilst the iPad solves the Internet Connectivity Problem for those not satisfied by an iPhone, the closed nature of the platform means that unlike a Netbook, you cannot just copy your existing software and go mobile.
Once enough good iPad Native Applications are released, those made to take advantage of the iPad’s extra screen real estate and processing power, we will find more and more people suddenly need something to solve their just-in-case computing problems.
*Originally posted on the author’s blog at www.crunchytoast.com