Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 21:58 UTC
Apple During the conference call yesterday about Apple's financial results, COO Tim Cook reiterated Apple's negative stance towards the netbook market. While many of us might want to see a relatively cheap Apple netbook with Mac OS X, all the recent figures do seem to confirm that it simply isn't a good idea for Apple.
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Apple NetBooks
by Drumhellar on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 22:10 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

$500 desktop PCs have been popular for a long time, but Apple is barely in that market with the Mac Mini (and that's more like $700 after keyboard, mouse, and monitor).

In a way, I think he is right about the iPod Touch and the iPhone being in that market, in that if they decided to enter the Netbook market, it would be far closer to one of those devices than their laptop offerings.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple NetBooks
by Jon Dough on Sat 25th Apr 2009 21:54 UTC in reply to "Apple NetBooks"
Jon Dough Member since:
2005-11-30

In a way, I think he is right about the iPod Touch and the iPhone being in [the netbook] market.


While I wouldn't consider the iPod Touch a netbook, I would consider it -- and use it as -- a PDA. In fact, once my Dell Axim X51v bites the dust, I most likely will go with an iPod Touch to replace it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple NetBooks
by Drumhellar on Sat 25th Apr 2009 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple NetBooks"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, I think it accomplishes the same tasks most use a netbook for, and if Apple were to make a netbook, it would use the same software and software distribution model as the iPhone/iPod touch.

Reply Score: 1

COO, not CFO
by bousozoku on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 22:16 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Peter Oppenheimer is the CFO and Tim Cook is the COO. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

Comment by flanque
by flanque on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 22:42 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

Sometimes people don't want a PC just to get online. Most of the time people don't need a PC just to get online.

It's hard for him to say this.. netbooks are personal and they are computers.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Comment by flanque
by tyrione on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by flanque"
RE[2]: Comment by flanque
by flanque on Fri 24th Apr 2009 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by flanque"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Are you able to quantify and qualify that for us?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by flanque
by Vanders on Fri 24th Apr 2009 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by flanque"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

He's an Apple fanboy, so he doesn't need too. Apple is right by default so anyone who argues otherwise must be wrong by default.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by flanque
by tonywob on Sun 26th Apr 2009 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by flanque"
tonywob Member since:
2005-07-06

Hardly!!

I and most other people I know spend most of our times on home computers inside a web-browser. I don't need a fast, powerful machine unless I'm playing games, or video editing, etc.. The popularity of cheap, affordable netbooks testify this.

I own a Macbook Pro, but I would rather use my netbook when I want to just sit on the sofa and read news, email, etc. To me, my netbook is still very much a personal computer. Plus, it doesn't burn my lap when it gets too hot.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by flanque
by macUser on Fri 24th Apr 2009 20:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by flanque"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

My TI-85 is personal and a computer as well... Perhaps Apple should jump into that market too...

Reply Score: 1

Partly right, partly wrong.
by Delgarde on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 22:53 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

He's partly right - his comments about cramped keyboards, etc are pretty much on the mark. But they also miss the point, being that they're filling what's proving to be a fairly large niche market. People *want* cheap, compact computers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Partly right, partly wrong.
by Mr. Sanity on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 23:06 UTC in reply to "Partly right, partly wrong."
Mr. Sanity Member since:
2005-07-13

I had a big problem with cramped keyboards on net-books myself. I never even considered one until the Eee PC 1000HE came out. The keyboard on it is decent, even for someone with large hands like myself.

I actively avoided laptops until the 1000HE came out. I've been using computers for more than 25 years, and it was the first one to have a form factor that I considered both useful, and small enough to be portable.

I think that netbooks really are filling a niche where laptops are too big/inconvenient, and iTouches/phones are too small/inconvenient.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I even managed to touchtype fast enough to keep up with University class notes on a Compaq winCE chicklet keypad. Small keys are not such an issue for me as it's more a matter of getting used to it.

Now, the new fad that really slows me down is combining the number row into the upper letter row anding that "numbers" shift key. On a small space like the N810's slide surface, that's fine. I was disapointed to find that type of config on a nice little folding bluetooth keyboard I picked up though.

Reply Score: 3

wanker90210 Member since:
2007-10-26

I fully agree. The only purpose for me to have a laptop is that I sometimes need to bring my computer somewhere. 95% of the time I use external monitor, mouse and keyboard.

I helped some friends to install mr antivirus & friends on their notebooks and this short time with their notebooks was a horrible experience.

Not to mention the windows license issue which in practice cripples netbooks to 1GB.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Partly right, partly wrong.
by Narishma on Fri 24th Apr 2009 00:03 UTC in reply to "Partly right, partly wrong."
Narishma Member since:
2005-07-06

In my experience cramped keyboards are only a problem during the first few days, then you get used to it and it's no different than any other keyboard.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Partly right, partly wrong.
by troy.w.banther on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:10 UTC in reply to "Partly right, partly wrong."
troy.w.banther Member since:
2008-06-28

Not me. I can not stand small devices.

There is a medical reason here. I suffer from arthritis in my hands and joints. Also some wear and tear from the Marines (88-94).

Typing on the miniature device is painful enough without trying to use a toothpick to type with.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Partly right, partly wrong.
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 24th Apr 2009 19:49 UTC in reply to "Partly right, partly wrong."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

He's partly right - his comments about cramped keyboards, etc are pretty much on the mark.


I laughed when reading that part of TFA - Mac laptop keyboards have never been anything to write home about (or with), IMO.

That said, keyboard size is one of the factors that kept me from purchasing any of the netbooks I've tried. I find that the keyboards on the Thinkpad x-series laptops are about the smallest I can touch-type on comfortably.

Edited 2009-04-24 20:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

No Surprises There...
by galvanash on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 22:59 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I mean I wouldn't be surprised if Apple continues it's trend of trying to make their notebooks smaller and smaller, but they are not and will likely never be "Netbooks". They may even end up with close to identical form factors, but they wont be Netbooks - not in a market where the primary determining factor in calling something a Netbook is that its retail price must fall below some rapidly shrinking price point... Nope, that is definitely something Apple would avoid like the plaugue. Who can blame them?

Netbooks are neat and all. I have one, and I like it. But from a business point of view it looks to me like all those guys making them are a bunch of lemmings rapidly approaching the cliff... To me its akin to economy cars - their only popular when times are bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No Surprises There...
by Delgarde on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 23:09 UTC in reply to "No Surprises There..."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Netbooks are neat and all. I have one, and I like it. But from a business point of view it looks to me like all those guys making them are a bunch of lemmings rapidly approaching the cliff... To me its akin to economy cars - their only popular when times are bad.


Only in part. If you're looking for a very portable machine, you seem to have two choices - go cheap (the Acer/Asus/etc model), or go expensive (the Sony or Apple appraoch). Unlike your car analogy, there's not really a middle ground - even in good times, buyers have to pick between two extremes. And a lot of them *will* continue to choose the low end, because there's little reason to pay so much more.

Reply Score: 1

Will never happen
by google_ninja on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 23:17 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

I have said it before and I will say it again, Apple has been in the business of offering high quality end to end premium user experiences, not "good enough and cheap". They have built their business on this, have built their brand image on this, and are making a lot of money on it. Why in the world would they change it now?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Will never happen
by dagw on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 23:42 UTC in reply to "Will never happen"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple has been in the business of offering high quality end to end premium user experiences

How does this in any way negate them making a small portable laptop? I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Take the touch screen tech from the iPhone, increase screen size to 9-10" then take the case from the macbook air and shrink it. There you go, a perfect apple netbook.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Will never happen
by google_ninja on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Will never happen"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Because part of it is sub 500$ and a tiny keyboard. If you put a full sized keyboard on it with good components, you basically end up with a 13" macbook anyways.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Will never happen
by sbergman27 on Fri 24th Apr 2009 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Will never happen"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If you put a full sized keyboard on it with good components, you basically end up with a 13" macbook anyways.

What if you don't want a 13" macbook? What if you want a 10" macbook? Netbook usually means sub $400. But Apple being Apple, could get away with a little higher price. And I imagine that Apple could come up with some ways to make the requisite keyboard size nice enough.

And make the whole thing out of acrylic, or titanium, or something, with Steve Jobs' signature embossed. :-P

I expect that there is a market for something between the iPhone and their current smallest macbooks. It's not something I'd want. But then I don't care for Apple.

Edited 2009-04-24 02:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Will never happen
by rockwell on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Will never happen"
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//What if you don't want a 13" macbook? What if you want a 10" macbook?//

Listen, don't get uppity. You like what Steve gives you! Steve knows best!

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Will never happen
by sbergman27 on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Will never happen"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Listen, don't get uppity. You like what Steve gives you! Steve knows best!

I momentarily forgot that I was Steve Jobs' bitch. Won't happen again. ;-)

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Will never happen
by dagw on Fri 24th Apr 2009 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Will never happen"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think that sub $500 is a necessary condition to call something a netbook. Both Sony and Asus (and probably others) have netbook like laptops costing over $500. As for the keyboard, I'm quite convinced it is possible to design a good enough keyboard without having to go to the 13" form factor. Sure nothing that's going to make a seasoned writer give up his favorite keyboard, but something plenty good enough for the intended purpose.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Will never happen
by ssa2204 on Fri 24th Apr 2009 00:46 UTC in reply to "Will never happen"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I have said it before and I will say it again, Apple has been in the business of offering high quality end to end premium user experiences, not "good enough and cheap". They have built their business on this, have built their brand image on this, and are making a lot of money on it. Why in the world would they change it now?


Exactly!

I have said it before and I will say it again, How does this in any way negate them making a small portable laptop? I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Take the touch screen tech from the iPhone, increase screen size to 9-10" then take the case from the macbook air and shrink it. There you go, a perfect apple netbook. [/q]

Except they could not come out with a cheap netbook that would be acceptable to their consumers. Again I will reiterate my feelings that I believe the majority of these devices are being bought just to fulfill a tech geeks needs. The most valid argument for them is they are cheap, but then again you do get what you pay for. I don't think Apple wants to be in that same boat of providing something just because it is cheap. That as Google Ninja pointed out well is simply just not Apple, nor is it the Apple THEIR customers want.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

So the being only too fill a tech geeks needs explains the high rate of sales for University non-tech students then naturally.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Will never happen
by wakeupneo on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Will never happen"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

Except they could not come out with a cheap netbook that would be acceptable to their consumers.


Pfft....their 'consumers' would buy anything wrapped in shiny plastic with the logo prominently on display...I think that much has already been established.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Will never happen
by leos on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Will never happen"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Again I will reiterate my feelings that I believe the majority of these devices are being bought just to fulfill a tech geeks needs.


If that were true they wouldn't have nearly so many sales.

The most valid argument for them is they are cheap, but then again you do get what you pay for.


You mean like a truly portable, robust, solid state computer that can run all the normal programs I run on my main machine? Yeah I guess that is pretty crappy.

I don't think Apple wants to be in that same boat of providing something just because it is cheap. That as Google Ninja pointed out well is simply just not Apple, nor is it the Apple THEIR customers want.


BS. They don't offer one because to do so and still be competitive would kill their profit margins. Nothing wrong with that, but don't pretend the form factor is no good. In many ways netbooks are superior to regular laptops. I can't be bothered to bring a regular laptop anywhere anymore. Way too big and too heavy. Netbooks are what laptops should have been.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Will never happen
by Bobthearch on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Will never happen"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Yep. Imagine an iPhone with a 10" monitor running a full version of OSX. Package, market, and price it as an 'upscale' netbook. I think Apple users would really go for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Will never happen
by dagw on Fri 24th Apr 2009 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Will never happen"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Except they could not come out with a cheap netbook that would be acceptable to their consumers.

But I don't see them having a problem coming up with not so cheap netbook that would be acceptable to their consumers. It doesn't have to be cheap.

Again I will reiterate my feelings that I believe the majority of these devices are being bought just to fulfill a tech geeks needs

And again I'll reiterate that my personal observations doesn't back this up at all. Of all the people I see either owning or interested in owning a netbook very few fit the classic tech geek mold. For example walking around the university libraries I see more netbooks among the humanities students than among the comp sci students. They also seem to be popular with women, because the netbook is small enough to fit in their handbag.

What are you basing your assumptions on?

The most valid argument for them is they are cheap

Most people I know who bought a netbook where atracted to them because they where small and light, rather than just because they where cheap. There have been laptops around that price point for a while before the netbook became popular.

but then again you do get what you pay for.

Which is exactly why I believe that people would be willing to pay more for a better netbook. I know I certainly would.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Will never happen
by kaiwai on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:52 UTC in reply to "Will never happen"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I have said it before and I will say it again, Apple has been in the business of offering high quality end to end premium user experiences, not "good enough and cheap". They have built their business on this, have built their brand image on this, and are making a lot of money on it. Why in the world would they change it now?


I agree with what you're saying but at the same time I think Tim Cook's criticism is more geared towards the design and implementation of Netbooks rather than the underlying goal of what the Netbook is trying to bring to the end user. There has to be a better way of delivering a light device that is bigger than an iPod Touch/iPhone but smaller than a traditional laptop and is low cost.

What I'd like to see from Apple is a 10 inch touch screen tablet - imagine an iPod Touch that has a 10 inch screen rather than what it has now. Add to that the ability to expand storage via two SD Card slots coupled with the iPod Touch interface. It would big enough to be useful and yet stripped down enough not to cannibalise their traditional laptop sales and have a simple interface to achieve what Netbook's are meant to achieve.

Reply Score: 2

awkward
by lqsh on Fri 24th Apr 2009 00:09 UTC
lqsh
Member since:
2007-01-01

I find the 7-9 inch netbooks a very awkward size. I agree with Apple completely.

I can actually 'see' what I'm doing on a 13 inch MacBook. It's not too small. Netbooks are too small.

I can actually put my iPod Touch in my pocket. It's not too big. Netbooks are too big.

I think Apple has totally nailed it!

Reply Score: 3

RE: awkward
by bibe on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:34 UTC in reply to "awkward"
bibe Member since:
2005-07-09

I can actually 'see' what I'm doing on a 13 inch MacBook. It's not too small. Netbooks are too small.
....
I can actually put my iPod Touch in my pocket...


Wait a minute, you are happy with iPod but a 10" screen is too small?? The Idea is that an Apple Netbook would rather have the iPod Touch/iPhone OS than the full desktop MacOSX, ver. 3.0 would be sufficiant for Netbook uses.. Imagining that doesn't seem so bad does it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: awkward
by tyrione on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:55 UTC in reply to "RE: awkward"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"I can actually 'see' what I'm doing on a 13 inch MacBook. It's not too small. Netbooks are too small.
....
I can actually put my iPod Touch in my pocket...


Wait a minute, you are happy with iPod but a 10" screen is too small?? The Idea is that an Apple Netbook would rather have the iPod Touch/iPhone OS than the full desktop MacOSX, ver. 3.0 would be sufficiant for Netbook uses.. Imagining that doesn't seem so bad does it?
"

The iPod Touch isn't for general computing. Apple wants to design for a general computing market without cannibalizing their iPhone/iPod Touch markets.

Get it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: awkward
by Bobthearch on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: awkward"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

The iPod Touch isn't for general computing.
Get it?

I certainly ~could~ be, and I bet many customers wish it was.

Get it? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: awkward
by lqsh on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE: awkward"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Wait a minute, you are happy with iPod but a 10" screen is too small??


Pay attention. For me, 10" is too small for general computing and 10" is too big to be comfortably mobile.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: awkward
by bibe on Fri 24th Apr 2009 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: awkward"
RE: awkward
by adkilla on Fri 24th Apr 2009 06:15 UTC in reply to "awkward"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

12" with a 1280x800 resolution seems to be nice sweet spot. 13" with that resolution is OK, but pixels get a little more obvious IMHO.

Gone are the days of the 12" PowerBook. *Sigh*

-Ad

Reply Score: 1

netbooks not a PC
by richmassena on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:32 UTC
richmassena
Member since:
2006-11-26

I came to comment on Apple calling netbooks not a PC, but I didn't see that stated anywhere in the linked article. They are personal computers, they're personal (for an individual's use) and a computer. qed

It's obvious why Apple doesn't want to compete in this market. Putting out a netbook would completely deflate the perceived value of their product line. If they produced a laptop in the sub-$500 price range, that would lead to a perception that their other laptop models were overpriced and go against the marketing of their equipment as being the Mercedes or BMW of computers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: netbooks not a PC
by Leroy on Fri 24th Apr 2009 15:02 UTC in reply to "netbooks not a PC"
Leroy Member since:
2006-07-06

I believe Apple's stance on the PC is that PCs are not Macs. Even though Macs use Intel processors. To call their Macs, personal computers, would demystify them.

Notice how iPod is never mentioned as a MP3 player.

Therefore if Apple made a netbook, they would be like all the other PC makers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: netbooks not a PC
by Johann Chua on Fri 24th Apr 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: netbooks not a PC"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Macs are personal computers, but they're not PCs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: netbooks not a PC
by qroon on Sat 25th Apr 2009 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: netbooks not a PC"
qroon Member since:
2005-10-21

So what is your definition of PCs? Computers that are used and made for the dirty masses?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: netbooks not a PC
by WereCatf on Sat 25th Apr 2009 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: netbooks not a PC"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Macs are personal computers, but they're not PCs.

I just HAVE to pop in and ask: what is the difference? Can't be the software since OSX can be installed on any 'PC' and Windows can be installed on MAC.. can't be hardware either since they both use x86 architechture.. So, what is the difference?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: netbooks not a PC
by Johann Chua on Sat 25th Apr 2009 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: netbooks not a PC"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Apple's secret sauce.

Seriously, not much difference now. Intel Macs are basically legacy-free PCs, but Apple wouldn't get much mileage out of PC vs. PC ads. Magazines with PC in the title don't have much Mac coverage, etc. Inertia from the days when PC meant "IBM-compatible", I guess.

Reply Score: 2

Apple's missing the point ...
by GenBlood on Fri 24th Apr 2009 01:55 UTC
GenBlood
Member since:
2006-07-05

Netbooks are selling good right now, due to
they are small and cheap. Asus 1000HE and
Dell mini 9 have a big following. I have 2
laptops , 1 Asus netbook and 5 desktop PCs.
A little over kill,but it's what I do for a
living.

So bottom line is, I would take my netbook
on trips for email, messaging and docs.
I prefer using a netbook because it's small
and if I damaged it or lost it. I wouldn't
be to heart broken over it. Damaging a $2500
laptop on trip sucks, but if I had to pick
between a damaged $2500 laptop or a $400 ...
The $400 netbook "WINS" ..

As far as I'm concerned, netbooks are only
used when I can't seat in front on my main
system at home.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple's missing the point ...
by lqsh on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:28 UTC in reply to "Apple's missing the point ..."
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

I disagree.

Netbooks are too hard to type on, too hard to read, too small to view web pages, and too cheap to last.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Apple's missing the point ...
by leos on Fri 24th Apr 2009 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple's missing the point ..."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I disagree.

Netbooks are too hard to type on, too hard to read, too small to view web pages, and too cheap to last.


There is no evidence that the build quality is any worse than the average laptop. They should be more reliable because of LED backlights, and solid storage (at least in my EeePC). I know I've dropped it a couple times already with no problems.

Reply Score: 2

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

There is no evidence that the build quality is any worse than the average laptop. They should be more reliable because of LED backlights, and solid storage (at least in my EeePC). I know I've dropped it a couple times already with no problems.

I agree. The EeePC feels more durable than many laptops costing 4X more, especially in the hinge area.

Reply Score: 3

Netbooks CAN work
by RavinRay on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple's missing the point ..."
RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

I disagree. Netbooks are too hard to type on, too hard to read, too small to view web pages, and too cheap to last.

Huh? Not for me and my IdeaPad S10, and for the students I've seen around campus using them. We all have different threshold and tolerance levels, after all. And too cheap to last? The oldest netbooks (the original Eee) is just appoaching two years in usage; if units of those are still working, I'd consider them stable.

Reply Score: 1

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I disagree.

Netbooks are too hard to type on, too hard to read, too small to view web pages, and too cheap to last.


It is very difficult to type on one - substandard size and mediocre tactile feedback. Better than many laptops, but nowhere near as 'clicky' as a real keyboard. Data entry with no number pad is especially frustrating.

The small screen is difficult for me too. It's good for a couple minutes at a time, but I couldn't stare at it all day without going blind. But think of the tiny screens on cell phones, PDAs, and portable game systems; and how much time people spend using those.

So obviously the netbooks are a poor substitute for a full size desktop. But they're not intended to be. Instead, think of them as an Extreme PDA - a Dell Axim that runs a full version of XP, has a screen that's 4X larger, has a physical keyboard, and costs half as much. Not that doesn't sound bad, does it?

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I might be the only one, but I don't miss the numpad. For me, it's always been easier, even when entering long strings of numbers, to keep my hands stationary instead of moving one of them off to the side to reach a numpad.

Reply Score: 2

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Which netbook is hard to type on?

There's multiple (more than 5) different netbooks, possibly even more than 10.

The first asus EEE keyboards were pure crap. I bought an acer aspire one specifically because its keyboard is superior to the 17" HP at work and my wife's 12" compaq. I can actually touch type this keyboard with no adjustments and the tactilefeel is good. Interestingly enough the netbook gets the most use in bed where its a bit harder to get in a position to type with both hands.

Posts above hit it dead on. Its about price and perceived value. If apple sold a netbook at netbook prices it would likely destroy their profits and make their high margin lines look very expensive (and they are).

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I disagree.

Netbooks are too hard to type on,


Personal opinion, and depends on the size of your hands. For many, the keyboards are just the right size without affecting total package size. Think elementary school kids (we have several schools here that have sign-out programs in the library for eeePCs, 1 school with a 1-to-1 math/art class using eeePCs, and a couple more school wanting to test them out), teenagers, etc.

too hard to read,


Depends on your eyesight, I guess. I find my eeePC 701 with 8-pt fonts quite legible, even when held out at almost arms-length. It just takes a little tuning to get the font settings right (Kubuntu 8.10 w/KDE 4.2).

too small to view web pages,


Depends on the screen size/resolution. The 480-px height on the eeePC 701 is a bit too small. The 600-px height on the 9" models would be better. But running Firefox in full-screen mode hasn't been all that annoying, even on long sites like Slashdot and OSNews.

and too cheap to last.


What are you doing? Playing frisbee with yours? We've yet to replace any of the ones in use in our elementary schools, and we've been using eeePC 701 4Gs for over six months now.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by eksasol
by eksasol on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:29 UTC
eksasol
Member since:
2009-04-05

I think optical drives are getting old now as its easier and faster to install OS'es from flashdrives. That is the only thing a netbook don't have compared to a labtop, and the more expensive netbook are just as powerful and even more powerful than some labtops.

I feel that when netbook become more powerful in general it should just replace the labtop and be the standard, unless people still wanting to stick with labtop. But due to corporate and popular demands, I guess "dyed disc medium" will be around for awhile.

Edited 2009-04-24 04:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by eksasol
by Bobthearch on Fri 24th Apr 2009 04:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by eksasol"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I think optical drives are getting old now.


When the motion picture industry starts distributing films on USB drives... When the music industry starts selling pre-recorded USB flash drives... When software companies start distributing programs on flash drives...

When all of that happens, then we can do away with optical drives altogether.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by eksasol
by darknexus on Fri 24th Apr 2009 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by eksasol"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Doubt they'd ever distribute things on USB flash drives, but I could see them moving to write-protected SD cards in the future. SD even has a CSS-like DRM as part of its spec (which the entertainment industry would love) though as far as I'm aware no SD cards as of yet have ever made use of it. SD cards are small, they don't scratch as do optical discs, and they can hold up to 64 GB as of now. I'm surprised we haven't already seen this, they could have moved to SD cards instead of Blue Ray for instance. Oh well... those industries seem determined to be behind in any case when it comes to distribution of content.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by eksasol
by phoenix on Fri 24th Apr 2009 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by eksasol"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Doubt they'd ever distribute things on USB flash drives, but I could see them moving to write-protected SD cards in the future. SD even has a CSS-like DRM as part of its spec (which the entertainment industry would love) though as far as I'm aware no SD cards as of yet have ever made use of it. SD cards are small, they don't scratch as do optical discs, and they can hold up to 64 GB as of now. I'm surprised we haven't already seen this, they could have moved to SD cards instead of Blue Ray for instance. Oh well... those industries seem determined to be behind in any case when it comes to distribution of content.


Excellent in theory, but then they (MPAA et al) wouldn't be able to force you into buying all your movies over and over again as they change optical disc technologies (SD is just going to continue to grow in size). ;) And can you imagine the organisational nightmare for keeping track of all those little 1" disks? ;)

Wouldn't it be nice, though, if media companies actually cared about their customers, and they moved toward a sustainable disk format like SD? Need more space? Just add another (or a larger) flash chip inside. The physical form-factor never changes, nor does the reader hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by eksasol
by r_a_trip on Fri 24th Apr 2009 10:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by eksasol"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

When the motion picture industry starts distributing films on USB drives... When the music industry starts selling pre-recorded USB flash drives...

Won't happen, but there is nothing against these media on dedicated devices. When it comes to portable use, most people do convert them to hard disk.

When software companies start distributing programs on flash drives...

What? Still using install disks? Oh sorry, I just remebered that the proprietary industry never got round to distributing it via the Internet.

When all of that happens, then we can do away with optical drives altogether.

Maybe true, but an optivcal drive isn't as much a necessity anymore as it used to be for computing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by eksasol
by bnolsen on Fri 24th Apr 2009 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by eksasol"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Use your desktop PC to rip & encode to h264. Its really fast and works really well.
Optical drives are power pigs anyways.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by eksasol
by leos on Fri 24th Apr 2009 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by eksasol"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"I think optical drives are getting old now.


When the motion picture industry starts distributing films on USB drives... When the music industry starts selling pre-recorded USB flash drives... When software companies start distributing programs on flash drives...

When all of that happens, then we can do away with optical drives altogether.
"

All of that is very close to happening. In my area, DVDs rentals are quickly being replaced by HD movies on demand from cable providers, music CDS are being replaced by iTunes, movies and music CDs/DVDs are also taking a big hit from piracy. And when was the last time you actually isntalled software from a CD? All my games come from Steam and are downloaded, and 90% of my software comes over the internet as well.

It's very rare that I still need my optical drive (mostly to burn the occasional disc). I don't miss the drive at all on my netbook.

Reply Score: 2

Why Apple is Afraid
by Theophilos on Fri 24th Apr 2009 07:04 UTC
Theophilos
Member since:
2006-01-20

Here come netbook manufacturers. Here are the pros:
* They are "cute"
* The 10" resolutions are decent
* The newest models have nearly full-sized keyboards
* Insanely long battery lives
* Sub-$400 (I picked up a 1000HE for $320).
* Great for web, music, and movies

Here are the cons:
* No optical
* Small screen

Let's ignore the first one, because who cares? Web and flash drives will handle most situations for most people. USB drives will suffice for everyone else. It's not a big deal.

The second one only matters to old people. Young people don't mind small screens. We're used to it. We grew up on cellphones. (By the way, that's also why we've stopped wearing wrist watches. Simple test: if you have a watch, you're probably old)

So all this adds up to a simple conclusion: Nebooks are the perfect computer ... for the young hipster.

See, the real reason for all the nay-saying is that Apple is afraid that netbooks are going to eat their lunch. They appeal to one of Apple's core market (media professionals are the other, but I'm not sure which is bigger).

Now, Apple, I'm sure, could make a computer sexier than all the other netbooks put together. For the same hardware, they could even make it cheaper, since they wouldn't have to pay the MS tax for the OS. However, what would they get out of it? The only way to make it worth their time is to add their own Apple tax, but then the thing moves up to the price of a normal notebook. They would also severely undercut their other notebook models.

But if Apple does nothing, then more and more of that core market is going to migrate over to netbooks. These machines are getting more advanced with every iteration. If Apple doesn't come up with a good plan by Christmas this year, they're screwed. They'll just have to rename their company to iPod, because that's all they'll sell.

Ultimately, this is all an unintended consequence of Moore's Law. There was much discussion on this on Slashdot recently. Except for video games, there hasn't been a compelling reason to seek out greater processing power for about 5 years. Dual core is kinda helpful, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what to do with 4 or 8 cores. All the benchmarks are always people encoding video and compressing zip files. What the hell is the point of that? Now it looks like manufacturers realize that the immediate future lies in making things smaller instead of faster.

I've already retired my loud 500w desktop with the 8800gt for this 1000he. It powers my 28" LCD at 1920x1200 just fine. I miss some of my 3D games, but I'm just waiting for the Nvidia Ion-based netbooks to come out and I think I'll be happy with that for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I think every notebook company will be shaking in their boots.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Why Apple is Afraid
by darknexus on Fri 24th Apr 2009 08:17 UTC in reply to "Why Apple is Afraid"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Hey, thanks for your generalizations ;) . I wear a watch, and I'm 23... you'd call me old, then? I wear one because it's more convenient than pulling my cel phone out of my pocket or bag, seeing as how I don't go around with it glued to my hand the way some seem to do. So... am I old? Or are you, possibly, older than me? ;)
As for screen size... well, it doesn't personally affect me one little bit since I can't see it, but there are a lot of young people that have some form of vision impairment that requires a correction. It hits the young, and the old, and then a small screen might become a problem. Personally, I bought a 10 inch netbook because of the keyboard size, those 8.9 inch and 7 inch keyboards are just too darned cramped for me.
Careful when generalizing. ;) It may come back to byte you, cheesy pun fully intended.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why Apple is Afraid
by phoenix on Fri 24th Apr 2009 17:28 UTC in reply to "Why Apple is Afraid"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The second one only matters to old people. Young people don't mind small screens. We're used to it. We grew up on cellphones. (By the way, that's also why we've stopped wearing wrist watches. Simple test: if you have a watch, you're probably old)


At what age do you become "old"? ;) I have a watch, and I'm only 31. I prefer the watch as it's a lot easier to just turn my wrist and look, then to pull out my cell phone, click a button or open it, and then find the little clock area.

Same with the wife. She spends many, many hours on the cell texting, yet still has a watch as it's easier to use a watch than a cell clock.

See, the real reason for all the nay-saying is that Apple is afraid that netbooks are going to eat their lunch. They appeal to one of Apple's core market (media professionals are the other, but I'm not sure which is bigger).


We'll have to wait to see how the Sony palmtop (I really dislike the term netbook) sells. If it sells well, then Apple may take notice that there's a market for more expensive, more featureful palmtops. If that happens, then I can see them bringing out a similar palmtop (widescreen, better resolution, multitouch trackpad, signature white case, hardwired battery, etc). But, it won't have a headphone jack, as that would canibalise their iPod Touch market. ;)

I've already retired my loud 500w desktop with the 8800gt for this 1000he. It powers my 28" LCD at 1920x1200 just fine. I miss some of my 3D games, but I'm just waiting for the Nvidia Ion-based netbooks to come out and I think I'll be happy with that for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I think every notebook company will be shaking in their boots.


That's probably what Apple is waiting for. The current generation of Intel palmtop/MID graphics chips don't really have enough juice for all the gooey-goodness of a real MacOS X desktop. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple came out with a palmtop using dual-core Atom CPUs and nVidia ION chipsets.

IMO, that would complete their spectrum:
iPod Touch -> iwhatever palmtop -> iBook -> iMac

From music player/game thingy to ultra-portable computer and media player to laptop to desktop.

Right now, they're missing "something" between an iPod Touch and the iBook. (Actually, if they branded their palmtop the iBook, then they could probably spin it as an ultra-portable laptop and still claim that "netbooks" are a fad.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why Apple is Afraid
by tonywob on Sun 26th Apr 2009 09:48 UTC in reply to "Why Apple is Afraid"
tonywob Member since:
2005-07-06

I couldn't agree more, my netbook is cheap, quiet and does everything I need it to do. My Macbook Pro gets too hot, is too heavy, and is overkill for what I spend most of my time on a home computer doing. Although, I won't dispute that I do need my Macbook for work, especially for compiling software.

I find it funny and annoying at the same time when people buy large, expensive, power-hungry computers just for surfing the Internet and reading emails. It's analogous to a 70 year old man, driving at 25mph on a Sunday morning in a fast, petrol-hungry Mercedes convertible. Most non-techie people that I know, only use a computer for the Internet.

Reply Score: 1

skingers6894
Member since:
2005-08-10

Apple couldn't give a flying f*ck about what we commenters at OS News think.

Apparently they have all these "revenues" and "profits" to reinforce their nonsensical ideas.

I'm appalled.

Now i'm off to play sim city on my iP...... I mean netbook, yeah that's it.

Bastards.

Reply Score: 0

Apple Don't Want to Sell Cheap Devices
by segedunum on Fri 24th Apr 2009 12:21 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

That's it in a nutshell. If they were to accept cheaper systems like Netbooks then their premiums would disappear overnight. Apple just aren't a volume company.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They could always sell an expensive netwbook. Obviously people are happy buying their expensive desktops and laptops so why not also expensive netbooks?

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Because it's a circa $200 market and it will only get lower. There's nowhere you can go with that because the more expensive netbooks will look a great deal more expensive than a cheap netbook than compared with a cheap and an expensive laptop. It's not a 'lifestyle' brand like the iPod or iPhone. They're volume selling mass market items with small margins.

Hell, even Microsoft is having to come up with elaborate ring-fencing of how Windows can be run on a netbook (hardware restrictions, three applications at a time etc.) in order to protect their OEM returns from Windows in other markets.

Reply Score: 2

Good but not enough
by jmcarvalho on Fri 24th Apr 2009 12:39 UTC
jmcarvalho
Member since:
2008-12-17

My experience tells me netbooks are good devices but just that they are good on internet and word processing. Other tasks can be done but not in a very confortable way, even with the Asus 1000H I had for four months. I can also talk about two other experiences some people had with netbooks. They eventually gave up on netbooks and moved to more "normal" laptops, one had an Asus 700 (I tried it and it's really hard to use) and the other one with an Acer. So, first they are cheap, attractive, small, but soon many users realize that they need more. I think they can be a nice second or even third computer, but not the main one.

Reply Score: 1

Netbooks are a fad
by CaptainN- on Fri 24th Apr 2009 14:53 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

I think we'll see something more kindle like that comes along and replaces the netbook as we know them today. The technology is on the horizon (fast refreshing reflective/backlit full color flexible displays). It's just a matter of time.

Reply Score: 1