The NetBook Generation Gap. If it’s Too Loud You’re Too Old.

Netbooks vs. Smart Phones – Apples to Oranges

Being a self proclaimed computer geek let me say something first and foremost, like many of you “I love gadgets”. I think it is safe to say that we understand technology makes our lives more convenient.

Enter NetBooks, the small form factor notebooks that are quickly becoming a must have for many IT specialists and geeks alike. Those who have their fingers on the pulse of technology seem to understand all the great features these miniature laptops have to offer.

Ever since I first saw the Toshiba Libretto a decade ago I have always loved the idea of a small form factor notebook that could fit in my cargo pocket. With the introduction of Netbooks we have a technology that far exceeds its distant relatives at a sliver of the cost.

The first misconception I hear from many people is that a Netbook is a glorified cell phone that is incapable of running worthwhile applications.

I personally use my netbook for numerous applications ranging from Photoshop and Remote Administration to Portable Multimedia and 3D Gaming. Sure it’s not as big and powerful as my 3.15ghz desktop computer, but the last time I tried to take that PC on a plane let’s just say it was frowned upon.

The Netbook online experience is also completely different from smart phones including the iPhone and Blackberry.

Want to enjoy a great website on your phone? Doh! You can’t because it needs to install a plugin that is not compatible with your phone. Or a certain video won’t play because your phone doesn’t support it? If only you could install standard executables and codecs. I’m still waiting for Google Docs support for my iPhone. How handy would that be?

Another great aspect of Netbooks is not being required to sign service contracts or pay monthly fees.

I’ll be honest and admit I bought my iPhone one week after release. I paid roughly $600 for my phone in addition to the $70 a month I pay for my voice and data plan. On the other hand I paid $300 dollars for my netbook and have not spent a penny more in the past 6 months I have owned it.

When you consider how that price tag includes Windows XP, we are talking about a $200 dollar 1.6ghz notebook with 1gb of memory and 160gb of storage. That’s a pretty incredible value.

Say I want to buy one for a kid who is going off to school. I don’t just mean college, high school even. The price of a Netbook is actually less than what many parents pay when they buy a cell phone for their child. And that doesn’t even take into account the monthly service fee that’s tacked onto a phone.

The bottom line is people need to stop complaining for the sake of complaining. If you feel that a Netbook isn’t for you, I can respect that.

But to the people who are critiquing Netbooks without ever having used them, I think you owe it to yourself test drive one before you outline all the things you think they can’t do. You might just be surprised to find out all the amazing things they CAN do.

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