Netbooks remind me of Monarch Burger’s apple pie. Just as Monarch Burger tried to take the standard apple pie form and attempt to fit it into a fast food menu, the netbook approach tries to take the standard laptop form and attempt to fit it into mobile computing. The end result, to my mind, is a device that occupies an uncomfortable, middle ground between laptops and smartphones that tries to please everyone and pleases no one. Consider the factors:
- Size: A bit too large to go into your pocket; a bit too small for regular day-to-day work.
- Power: Slightly more capable than a smartphone; slightly less capable than a laptop.
- Price: Slightly higher than a higher-end smartphone but lacking a phone’s capability and portability; slightly lower than a lower-end notebook but lacking a notebook’s speed and storage.
To summarize: Slightly bigger and pricier than a phone, but can’t phone. Slightly smaller and cheaper than a laptop, but not that much smaller or cheaper. To adapt a phrase I used in an article I wrote yesterday, netbooks are like laptops, but lamer.
I don’t really get the fast food reference – but hey, whatever floats your boat, eh?