Before we get down to the debate as to why tablets will kill netbooks, let's get some tech-specs clarified with regards to these two computing devices. I know, I know―now you'll say you know the difference between a netbook and a tablet. But of course, anyone can make out the difference by just casting a glance at them―the difference in appearance and handling is just too obvious. What I am going to share here digs a little deeper beneath those sleek exteriors and designer skins, so bear with me.
Difference Between Tablets and Netbooks
A netbook is a small, reasonably priced (read inexpensive), laptop computer that is lightweight and less bulky than a standard notebook computer. Another technical specification that differentiates a netbook from standard notebooks is its legacy-free architecture. A netbook does not have an optical drive, legacy ports, and ISA bus.
Sometimes, it may completely lack an internal expansion bus. A netbook has a smaller keyboard than a conventional laptop, and offers lower computing features and processing power as compared to notebook PCs. The key functional utility of netbooks is derived by those who want a personal computer exclusively for browsing the Internet or for social networking.
A tablet is primarily a touchscreen interfaced portable flat computing device which may or may not come with the option of being connected to a detachable keyboard or any other input device. While most tablets have inbuilt virtual keyboards, they can also be used with Bluetooth keyboards with equal ease. Some tablets also come with handwriting recognition technology to provide users an additional input mode.
Tablets are equipped to provide the processing power and all computing features of a standard notebook with the exception of a DVD drive. You can download and watch movies on your tablet, play high-definition games on it, and perform all other multimedia functions that you can on a conventional notebook.
Besides these technical specifics, there are a few more points of difference that separate tablets from netbooks, and these are:
- Tablets are more fragile when compared to netbooks, as their touchscreens are prone to scratches and damage. The netbook keyboard is more robust than the touchscreen interface of a tablet, making it ideal for rough use among the two.
- When it comes to the price, netbooks are dirt cheap, while a good tablet costs a fortune.
- In terms of portability, tablets score above netbooks as they involve less bulk and can be easily carried around without posing any weight issues to the carrier.
Tablets Replacing Netbooks―Trend of the Times
Here are a few pointers on why tablets will kill netbooks in the very near future.
- With more and more tablet manufacturers going for jazzy and better operating systems, all the latest and upcoming tablets are going to be faster, have more apps and features, and be cheaper than the first generation tablets that ran on full-fledged PC operating systems.
- Besides, the fact that tablets come equipped with complete processing power and computing features of a standard PC, which netbooks lack, is reason enough to fall in love with tablets.
- Since it is a relatively new concept which was still in the developmental phase till now, the initial models were priced high to cover the initial development costs. Next year's tablets will be priced at almost half the price of the first generation tablets. Hence, when you can get full computing functionality by paying a price which is only marginally above that of a standard netbook, why would you be foolish enough to settle for last-decade technology over the fresh, new, latest alternative?
- Since PDAs are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller, the line that distinguishes both is bound to blur in a couple of years. People would no longer be buying a cell phone AND a laptop/netbook. One tablet will satisfy both needs.
As is the general trend in all electronic products, the prices fall as time progresses, with technology only getting better with each passing quarter. If you can just wait till the last quarter of this year or till next year, you'll get a lot of inexpensive options in tablets to choose from. Besides the better functionality and expected drop in price, tablets look sexier than netbooks. Still wondering why tablets will drive netbooks to extinction?