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.
Thread beginning with comment 547110
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27



I need the size of the transformer and the functionality of a laptop.. oh wait.. it exists, it's called a netbook.


Yes, but my point is about the near future.

Take a netbook, make the screen a touchscreen (with no loss of functionality as a regular screen) and make the keyboard detachable (again, with no loss of functionality), what do you get? Now take a tablet, add a detachable keyboard and the ability to install and use any regular PC operating system, what do you get? Same device!

I'm not saying the netbook is gone forever. I'm saying that the distinction between tablets and netbooks might soon be erased.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

You're focusing on the hardware here. But there's a big difference in software: Tablets are generally locked and are using a "mobile" OS. Installation of other OSes is difficult at best, if not impossible.
Netbooks are open. Even if one came with Win7 preinstalled, you can remove that or in addition to it install your choice of Linux/*BSD/Haiku/other. And these are "full" OSes. I run on my netbook the exact same system as on my desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

But there's a big difference in software: Tablets are generally locked and are using a "mobile" OS. Installation of other OSes is difficult at best, if not impossible.


That's not by definition:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/zatab-zareasons-open-tablet



My point is that the touchscreen is here to stay, until someone invents something even cooler. There's no reason to go back to plain old screens. A computing device with a touchscreen can support a multitouch UI. By definition, this kind of device is a tablet. Again, the concept of "tablet" is only defined by hardware, not software. Otherwise it would make no sense to speak of open tablets where you are allowed to install whatever operating system you want. But those exist.

So, tablets will continue to dominate, with different operating systems, different degrees of openness and so on. Soon the open ones will have the computing power to run a regular PC operating system just like a netbook does. Then netbooks will become redundant.

In short, yes, netbooks may stay for some time, but in the long run (a couple of years) all netbook-sized computing devices will be tablets.

Reply Parent Score: 2