Why does everyone love netbooks?
I am once again at odds with popular culture. I just don't "get" netbooks. Seriously.
I just can't seem to understand the appeal. You get a small, cramped keyboard for not much less than a regular laptop. It doesn't even attempt to compare itself to laptops' functionality, either. So why get one?
According to an appealing slideshow on Best Buy's website, it's all about mobility. Take your Internet with you everywhere. Access your social media, email, etc on the go!
Um... Isn't that the appeal of smart phones? Pay hundreds of dollars (plus the privilege of steep monthly plans) so that you can use social media while shopping? Check email while out to lunch? Access work documents while you're out of the office?
So if you have your Blackberry or iPhone, your internet is already portable. And about half as expensive. Unless you want to hop from free wifi to free wifi, you'll need to buy internet access. Probably from a company like AT&T, which charges $60 a month. Its cell phone data plan is $30.
Of course, the screen size is significantly better on a netbook. Smart phones have about a 3" screen. Netbooks are about 10" and have a separate keyboard. Then again, if you're worried about screen and keyboard size, why not just pay a couple hundred more for a full-size laptop? You'll get around 5" more in screen size, and your hands won't cramp up trying to squeeze onto the just-barely-too-small keys.
Oh, but portability! That's the real advantage over laptops.
They're about half the weight of a laptop. (Are there people out there actually struggling to carry around a laptop? They weigh about 6-8 lbs. Start using free weights stat!)
They fit in women's purses. (How many purses do you have that would allow you to easily slip in a 10-inch-long netbook, however thin? And even if it does fit in the empty purse, will it still fit when your other stuff is in there? Remember you'll have wallet, keys, your cell phone, and probably some makeup or other personal items.)
Okay, they fit into women's larger purses. (Oh, good. Just what I want: A $200-400 piece of technology banging around in my purse that I often sling onto the floor, drop or otherwise abuse. Surely nothing could go wrong there!)
And, by the way, why don't you ever see how men are supposed to carry them? I've seen that women can carry them tucked under the arm. Can men do this? Or does it look weird and prissy? If men just carry it in their hand, doesn't that mean a higher likelihood that it will slip out? Under arm or in hand, I don't see how it's more convenient than having a slightly heavier laptop, safely tucked away in a case.
But say you do like tucking a netbook under arm and jetting around. It seems awkward. One arm swinging, the other clenching the netbook? How is that better than carrying a case in one hand? Or a backpack to free up your arms?
As you probably know, the skin by your armpits is thinner than most areas. That means it's more sensitive. Do these netbooks heat up like laptops? Wouldn't that mean it's likely to burn that tender skin?
Heck, what if you are a normal person and sweat? Or not a normal person and sweat abundantly? Is the moisture going to hurt the machine? Will the heat of the machine (and clenching it under your arm) cause you to overheat more quickly and thereby sweat more?
And what about good, old-fashioned clumsiness? I am not a graceful gal. And I'm not even all that much klutzier than most people I know. I shudder just thinking about the myriad ways I'd be dropping something like that. Or hitting it on objects I'm walking by. Or some other, stupid move that I couldn't do if I tried but will easily achieve through negligence.
I will agree that you probably don't need the full capability of a laptop if you're just out and about. How often do you really use a CD on your laptop at all? Let alone at a cybercafe. But are these netbooks only supposed to appeal to the laptop-less citizens? Because it seems like it's trying to find a niche that appeals to all consumers.
And why, exactly, if you have either a smart phone or a laptop (and, let's face it, there's a good chance you have both) would you need this third item? Bigger -- but not big enough -- screen and keyboard; data plans just as expensive as those for laptops and twice the cost of cell phones' internet access; less capability than a laptop and not much more than a smart phone, without much of a differentiation in price.
Gosh, I can't understand why I haven't already gotten one!