Netbook Realities

It’s interesting to me to see vendors and pundits position the evolution of netbooks as "appropriate as a second portable or second computer." In my view they are ignoring history. Netbooks are not just "netbooks," they are the what I believe is a third phase of the decades-long evolution of portable computing.

Years ago, in front of an audience of hundreds, I asked a simple question: How many people like carrying around 5-7 pounds of notebook computer and power adapters? Needless to say, there were very few hands up in the audience. In my view, today’s netbook is the beginning of the evolution path of what a portable/notebook/laptop should be, after 27 years of evolution. Insert the usual caveat here: If you are a power user, or graphic designer, or love the exercise that lugging a 17" laptop around, ignore my comments, but for the rest of us, I think times are changing.

I’ve often said that portable computers as we know them today are nothing but a life support system for a power hungry display and an inefficient microprocessor. This has been a 27-year process, dating from the Osborne 1 of the early 1980s, a 20-pound luggable with a 5” monochrome CRT, through today. In my intro to the working world, I actually worked for a company whose primary product was an adapter that enabled the Osborne 1 hook up to a 12” amber- or green-screen monochrome monitor! We’ve come a long way, a way that can be roughly (for 1,000 word articles!) broken up into three phases.

Page 2: Ph-Ph-Ph-Phases!

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IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 4:09:56 PM
re: Netbook Realities Looking forward to Phase III.

IGÇÖm just writing a review of a Dell Mini with integrated 3G/HSPA on Vodafone.

I took it Mobile World Congress and dumped the laptop. Very nice.
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