Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Apr 2009 15:07 UTC
Editorial Last week, Apple again repeated its claim that the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche. They also claimed that netbooks can barely be called personal computers. Both of these statements are complete and utter nonsense, but instead of writing down some high-level definition of what a netbook is, I decided to simply write down all the things I do with my netbook that the iPhone/iPod Touch cannot do to make the difference between the two that much more tangible.
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RE: Term Confusion
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:31 UTC in reply to "Term Confusion"
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

I think people are confused as to the actual meaning of the term "netbook". There is certainly no universal agreement on what a netbook is.

Some folks are arguing it is a small, inexpensive laptop. And like any laptop, you can install different OS's, upgrade the hardware, and run a variety of off-the-shelf conventional software (whether it be Windows based or *nix).


Hrm, like a "palmtop" computer? All the capabilities of a normal "laptop", but scaled down to easily rest on the palm of your hand? ;)

Other folks see the netbook as a new category defined by it's functionality. In this case, a netbook is a small and convenient companion device used to do some surfing, e-mail, and other basic functions. It is generally necessary for these devices to be always or very frequently connected to the Internet.


Hrm, still sounds like a palmtop computer to me. ;)

I tend to fall into the second category, because we do not need a new, special word for a small and inexpensive laptop. It is what it is.


But it's not really a "lap"top computer, as you would not use it (at least for more than a minute or two) resting on your lap. But it's more than useful when resting on the palm of one hand, leaving the other hand available for navigation/typing. Hence, "palmtop". ;)

However, the type of device exemplified by the iPhone and iPod Touch is different and deserves a new term. I personally don't care if that term is "netbook" or "pda" or "XYZ", but I see that this is a new niche for products to develop.


"PCD" would probably fit better. Personal Computing Device. Or maybe "MID" for Mobile Internet Device (isn't Intel pushing that term for things about the size of an iPhone/iPod Touch, with similar capabilities?). Or "UMD" for Ultra Mobile Device. ;)

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