I have followed the Netbook craze with some interest and it is rather fascinating how fast this part of the marked developed with more and more companies putting out small notebooks with 12 inch and under screens with predominately Atom processors. While these machines are decidedly underpowered compared to most notebooks, there purpose is as the name suggest used for web browsing and other tasks that don’t require much power. Many of the Netbooks have some form of Linux installed on them (or Windows XP) so they do make good use of the processor power and fairly small memory they do have. Their main appeal is having a small and very light computer at your disposal.
They are though not a Techtemption for me since the idea of having such a small display and less than full sized keyboard is less than appealing to me. Though I can understand their appeal by others. I am more of a desktop person wanting full power and lots of display space, so my idea of a laptop is one with a full sized keyboard, lots of power and and 15 or 17 inch screen. This is pure prejudice since the things I would do on a laptop fit within the Netbook’s area of expertise.
The quest for ever lighter notebooks has reached a point that bothers me. Now as someone who use to carry around a Zenith Supersport 286 laptop that I am sure made one arm longer than the other, I can appreciate that carrying around a heavy machine is burdensome. But when we complain about carrying around a five or six pound notebook it just seems overboard to me. It sounds to me like telling your grandkids “I remember having to lug around a six pound computer” as if the weight is something so excessive. I can just imagine arms atrophying over time. Now the footprint of the computer can certainly be a concern depending on where you need to use it, but the whole weight thing just seems a trifle excessive to me.
Maybe the largest factor of why a Netbook is not tempting to me is that I use my iPod Touch pretty much like I would use a Netbook. I can check email, browse the web, use an RSS aggregator, monitor and update Facebook/Twitter/Plurk etc. The fact that the iPod Touch’s display and keyboard is even smaller than a Netbook only shows that I have an irrational prejudice against them.