Linked by the_randymon on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:01 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Asus is the company that shook up the laptop market a couple of years ago with their introduction of the EeePC netbook. And with their announcement that they will no longer be producing netbooks in 2013, Charles Arthur over at the Guardian UK has declared that the netbook era has now come to an end. Sad news for those of us who still love our netbooks! Harry McCracken over at Time Mag thinks they'll be back. Anybody who spends time wiping the smears off their tablet's touchscreen might agree.
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Tablets + Detachable Keyboard maybe?
by moondevil on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:28 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

I am typing this from a trusty EeePC that Asus was selling back in January-February with Linux in Germany.

I already written a few times that I don't see an usage for a tablet vs a laptop in the context of content creation.

But with the increase of tablets with keyboards, I am starting to think that might be a actually possible.

However most tablet OS are not a proper replacement for current desktop OS. At least for the type of work I do personally (software development on the go).

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

For that I recently ordered a ARM-based Chromebook, it will be running Ubuntu for a while until I have time to play with installing a Debian.

It looks to me kind of like a cheap ARM-based plastic Macbook Air.

The ARM-chip is the same as the highend mobile phones will have in 2013.

It has a GPU by ARM too, the Mali, for which there already was an open source driver being developed. They've gotten pretty far with it in the year they've been working on it now.

Anyway, the binaries for the closed source driver are userspace and not tied to the kernel version so it should be fairly easy to work with.

So I hope this device will be fully open in a year.

There is a non-GPU accelerated version of Ubuntu which can be easily installed already called ChrUbuntu.

And there is an Ubuntu/Debian developer working on getting Ubuntu 13.04 running on it with the closed source binaries to have accelated GPU.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You can try a Surface Pro at the end of this month. Its a hair thicker and a little heavier than a Surface RT.

It runs full Windows 8 and has a Core i7 processor so it should run whatever you throw at it.

Battery life sucks since its a high grade processor, but I think its something like 4hrs. (Compared to 8hrs for the Surface RT, though I get closer to 10 on mine).

Either that, or the Acer W501 is good. It runs Windows 8, uses Clovertrail and has an 8hr battery life. Comes with Windows 8 and a keyboard dock at no extra charge (vs $100 more for Surface Keyboard)

Reply Parent Score: 2

joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

The netbook market never died, it just matured at 11.6" with a 1366x768 resolution.

I can get an Elitebook, MacBook, or Thinkpad at this size. Yes, the price range is $500 - $1200 new, but portability is king these days, and the build quality is awesome compared to any $250 notebook.

Reply Parent Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

What makes it sad to me is for a little while there you were getting frankly pretty powerful units at affordable prices, I paid $350 USD for my EEE PC, its got an AMD E350 dual core and does 1080P over HDMI and after 3 years still runs like a champ, even has full VM support so if I need to go to some website to download drivers for a customer I can just fire up a Puppy Linux VM and away I go.

That said its obvious who killed the netbook...Steve Ballmer. He raised the price of Windows from the $15-$25 they were paying for XP to nearly $40 just for basic and by doing so simply made netbooks a money losing proposition. Considering this is the same man that is about to hand ALL of the Windows OEMs over to Google on a silver platter by getting Microsoft in the X86 hardware business? We really shouldn't be surprised.

Its a shame that ChromeOS didn't come out with a true offline mode as maybe they would have saved the netbook, but I know there are a LOT of us that will be hanging onto our netbooks for dear life. After all where else am I gonna get a system that weighed less than 3 pounds, gets 4 hours even after 3 years of use on the battery, and even plays L4D and the Portal games for less than $400 with 8GB of RAM and a carrying case?

Reply Parent Score: 4

the_randymon Member since:
2005-07-06

That said its obvious who killed the netbook...Steve Ballmer. He raised the price of Windows from the $15-$25 they were paying for XP to nearly $40 just for basic and by doing so simply made netbooks a money losing proposition.


I think the consumer gets to take some of the blame too, although I agree Ballmer made a big effort to stick a fork in netbooks. But the consumer saw the first EEEPCs and said "I love it, but wish it ran Windows instead of this weird Linux thing made by Xandros." Then when it got Windows consumers wished it had more capacity, so they went with hard drives instead of SSDs. Then they wanted a slightly bigger keyboard. And boom, they were back to having a Windows laptop.

Then the ipad came along, which looked and acted sufficiently different consumers realized they couldn't just wish it were more like the Windows laptops they were accustomed to, and buckled down to figure out the new interface. (Having tons of cool apps didn't hurt).

My point is, I feel like the market bent to consumer will (and Ballmer's shotgun) and netbooks got warped back into the 'familiar format' everyone knows and actually kind of hates. And when they finally got what they wanted they realized they actually don't like it.

Ipads also turned heads because they were 'new' and it was a nice change from XP/Vista.

Reply Parent Score: 5