Will the iPad Kill the Netbook?

by Todd

Now that the iPad is out, and manufacturers are planning on releasing new devices to compete with it, I can't help but think about whether or not the netbook category can survive?

As many people have discussed, including Steve Jobs when he first showed off the iPad, the netbook is the worst of all worlds. It doesn't do anything better than other devices it's meant to mimic. It's a compromise on all fronts. The iPad is a new category that maybe is a segment that the netbook was really meant to address?

Once the price of the Apple iPad or other competitor Table type devices comes down, will people really seek out netbook anymore? The only real advantage I can see is the keyboard on netbooks. Though I have to admit that I haven't had a chance to try out the iPad yet to see how typing is on it.

It really makes me wonder! Does anyone else feel the same way? Or do people see these as two different categories altogether? Either way, it's great to see innovation like this!

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Oct 24, 2017
Wrong! NEW
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

So we now know the outcome; netbooks are not dead! The present-day netbook is simply now known as Chromebooks. It is also extremely commonplace for Tablet computers to have cases with built-in Bluetooth keyboards to facilitate data entry.

Ultrabooks definitely out-performed the netbooks of late, which had full Windows operating systems. The only real difference is that the footprint is larger and more usable than early netbooks. This was feasible given that they were able to make them so thin and light, and didn't need to crunch the entire device into a small footprint any longer.

The reality is that the terms "netbook" is surely dead, replaced by "ultrabooks" and "Chromebooks". If you break it down into the spirit of the device, however, they never did die.

The conversation has ultimately shifted to whether the classic laptop (and desktop computer) are dead. I don't believe so, and have discussed this in another thread.

May 01, 2013
Yes - Netbooks ARE Dead! NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree. In fact, we can now clearly say that netbooks are officially dead. I think the reality is that they morphed into ultrabooks, which are super slim, but highly capable and powerful laptops. With ultrabooks offering performance and portability, and tablets offering the dumbed down capability of netbooks in a much better form factor, there's really no place for netbooks. At this point in time, they're practically non-existent. Aren't you glad you didn't build a website around netbooks?!

Jul 12, 2012
Netbooks Are Dead
by: James

Well now that two years have passed since this discussion, I think we can fairly conclude that netbooks are nowhere to be found. Well, sure, I've seen them around, but where you used to see them a lot in stores, that space has been replaced with tablet computers.

The price of full featured laptops has dropped so low that the price of a netbook seems so high for the specs you get. Some people may want something that's smaller and lighter, but paying a similar price for a full featured (though larger and lower end) laptop is emotionally hard to do.

I think tablets are in a better position to take on that role. I'm not sure that the iPad really killed the netbook, because I don't know that the netbook ever really existed.

So, all in all, I think it's more about tablets these days and not netbooks. Maybe the MacBook Air type of form factor will start becoming more popular if prices can come down for those wanting something super portable.

Jul 01, 2010
netbooks are still cheaper
by: GaryBader

While netbooks are still half the price most ipads, I think they will command a large part of a low end market segment. People in my family have already bought 2 netbooks for traveling - something small and cheap so that it doesn't matter if it gets stolen, but you can still upload photos and do web and email.

Apr 20, 2010
Tablets vs. Netbooks
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Good thought! I could probably write a whole new section specifically on comparing the pros and cons of Tablet devices versus Netbooks. But just as a quick though here, I do share your observation. I can envision netbooks co-existing for quite some time, however, I do foresee that the volume of netbooks sales will significantly decrease from what people/analysts were forecasting a year ago before the Apple iPad came to fruition as a real device.

I think Netbooks have their place as a "real" computing device, however, as the price of Tablet computers and Netbooks converge, many people who liked the portability of Netbooks will come to realize that Apple iPad-like devices better meet their needs.

It will definitely be interesting to see how things evolve. The poor Netbook! It took years to come to fruition as a real marketable device, and before it got a chance to become engrained in the mainstream, along comes a new category!

Ultimately we consumers win b/c it means greater innovation and options. That said, it certainly does make the purchase decision that much more complex.

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