Netbook or Tablet Device: Place Your Bets

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    Posted: 16 March 2009 10:44 PM #16

    Don’t look now, but I hope there’s an update to the Apple TV on Tuesday. The competition is working on their own version. The WD TV is not as versatile as the Apple TV, but you can bet that someone is working on one that is competitive.

    WD TV
    HD Media Player

    High-definition multi-media adapter

    Turn your USB drive into an HD media player

    Store your HD content on a USB drive. Plug the drive in and play HD movies, digital music and family photos on your TV. It?s as easy as 1-2-3.

     

    The greatest flaw that I see is that it lacks Wi-Fi, and of course iTunes.


    :apple:

         
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    Posted: 16 March 2009 11:21 PM #17

    The WD-TV is $129.00. Plus you need to buy a hard drive. 
    It seems to do the job but lacks some of the features of the AppleTV.

    Now if the Apple TV could stream some of the free content from Hulu/TV.com/Veoh that could make a huge difference for those looking to buy.

    edit: the included Media Converter software is Windows-only.  rolleyes

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    Posted: 17 March 2009 01:23 PM #18

    I’ll join the chorus

    Tablet. Something like an iPod Touch on steroids.

    Unfortunatly, the term ‘Tablet Computer” was spoiled by all those overpriced and underpowered Windows laptops with the screen you could flip around and write on. Gateway and others made them and they didn’t sell. Apple’s tablet has to be called something else. Someone a while ago coined the name “iPAD” which I like.

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    Courage is not the absence of fear, that’s insanity.
    Courage is knowing the risks and dangers.
    And doing what needs to be done anyway.

         
  • Posted: 17 March 2009 02:36 PM #19

    Add me to the tablet total. I also agree Apple needs to devise a better nominclature for the thing. When I here the term tablet computer, I think of those goofy things our IT guys tried out for a couple of months. I don’t recall what they hated more, the Dell Tablets or my laughing at them. They never seemed to be able to hook up with their own WiFi and my trusty 12” PB I was using at the time always logged on 1st try! I will buy one when Apple makes one, just please, do not call it a tablet..

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  • Posted: 17 March 2009 05:00 PM #20

    What if there was a tablet with a keyboard on the back?  I imagine something about the size of a VHS tape.  You hold it with your palms, with your thumbs in front and other fingers in back to press the keys.  This would work if the querty layout was split and turned sideways, (so that your fingers would land on the usual keys.) Or they could do something new with fewer keys that could work on an iPhone sized device.

    But mostly I hope that they remember that the price is part of the netbook appeal.  An $899 netbook would disappoint.

         
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    Posted: 17 March 2009 05:18 PM #21

    algr - 17 March 2009 08:00 PM

    What if there was a tablet with a keyboard on the back?  I imagine something about the size of a VHS tape.  You hold it with your palms, with your thumbs in front and other fingers in back to press the keys.

    Only useful for a touch-typer. Personally I’d HATE that sort of device. I’ve written a heck of a lot over the years and I’ve watched my fingers the whole time. In school we had to take touch typing. The best I ever got on a typing test was 12 wpm with 15 errors.

    So I’d say no to a two sided iPAD.

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    Courage is not the absence of fear, that’s insanity.
    Courage is knowing the risks and dangers.
    And doing what needs to be done anyway.

         
  • Posted: 17 March 2009 05:21 PM #22

    Touchscreen keyboards suck.  The one on the iPhone is ok in comparison to a small physical crackberry keyboard, but an oversized equivalent will never hold snuff to a real keyboard.  Having a handheld tablet-style device with a detached bluetooth keyboard is also lunacy—awkward, cumbersome and inelegant.  But the netbook market would not exist without physical nearly-full-sized keyboards.  Prior the the Eee, there were many “Ultra Mobile PCs” which had touchscreen and/or thumb keyboards—none of these got any traction.  Netbooks, which feature a miniaturized version of the traditional laptop form factor and maintain the core functionality of bigger machines.  Similar products that were more revolutionary in this regard failed.  Apple might be able to buck that trend, but I doubt that the smart people at apple wouldn’t see it as a bigger risk.  Netbooks offer a tradeoff. they’re bigger and bulkier than advanced smartphones, and they appeal to people who need greater functionality and productivity than smartphones provide.  Much of that productivity and functionality hinges on the keyboard being large and useable. 

    This device will be running the full Mac OS.  For starters, if the device keeps with mobile safari it is not a great substitute for a full laptop because of the lack of java and flash. even if they add those, the iPhone OS lacks key laptop functionality; you cannot directly download anything because there is no accessible file structure, and the list goes on.  Furthermore current iPhone apps would lack sane functionality since they’re designed for such a small screen.  In every case a new app would have to be developed to replace the iPhone version and the desktop version.  That hideous inefficiency would cripple developer support for such a device.  Additionally, some of the tradeoffs/ paradigm shifts for the iPhone OS make less and less sense as the device becomes more of a computer.  Each application is an island unto itself, unable to even share files with other apps.  Apps cannot be run in the background, let alone side-by-side, and doomsday timers are OK for games utilities, but users would want and need better control when they’re doing more relevant tasks. 

    A keyboardless oversized iphone is stupid and foolish.  Apple will not make it.  Apple got the full OS onto the air, they can get a good enough processor into a 10 inch whatever to run the full OS.  It is my belief that all of apple’s computers will support multi-touch in the near future.  there’s no reason that a keyboard and multitouch cannot cohabitate, and there’s every reason for and apple netbook-like-device to have a real keyboard.

         
  • Posted: 17 March 2009 06:26 PM #23

    RE: Two sided iPAD:  If you don’t like the keyboard on the back, you can call up the touchscreen one.  Also, it is different from touch typing because their are fewer keys - only two per finger in the version I picture.

    I agree that a simple oversized iPhone is foolish - Although allowing background apps and other issues shouldn’t be a problem when you have a much larger battery then the iPhone.  What if the screen let you have 3-4 iPhone Apps running side by side?

    Another alternate keyboard - what if you had soft transparent clickable keys directly on the screen?  These would be along the bottom of a 4:3, 10” screen, leaving a 16:9 area above clear.  Then the display could put different letters or icons under the keys depending on what app was open.  The result would be keys about then size of netbook keys, and touch typing would still work.

         
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    Posted: 17 March 2009 07:49 PM #24

    geoduck - 17 March 2009 04:23 PM

    Someone a while ago coined the name “iPAD” which I like.

    Since I believe that this device, if it ever exists, will likely keep either the iPod Touch or MacBook moniker.

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    “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”  ?Norman Vincent Peale

         
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    Posted: 17 March 2009 09:13 PM #25

    algr - 17 March 2009 09:26 PM

    Another alternate keyboard - what if you had soft transparent clickable keys directly on the screen?  These would be along the bottom of a 4:3, 10” screen, leaving a 16:9 area above clear.  Then the display could put different letters or icons under the keys depending on what app was open.  The result would be keys about then size of netbook keys, and touch typing would still work.

    There is the Nintendo DS version that several people have mentioned. A clamshell with a touch screen on the top and the bottom would be another touch screen that would have keys, or game controls, or whatever mapped to the screen. Maybe with the soft transparent keys over where the buttons would map as you suggest.

    Two keys per finger misses the point. Some of us can’t find the bloody keyboard without looking.  :-D

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    Courage is not the absence of fear, that’s insanity.
    Courage is knowing the risks and dangers.
    And doing what needs to be done anyway.

         
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    Posted: 17 March 2009 09:38 PM #26

    I guess I’m the odd man out. I still believe in a notebook, “split screen” form factor that operates similar to a Nintendo DS. Top half is your monitor, bottom half is your touch input screen, that changes according to function… ex. on-screen keyboard, or full-sized track pad, etc.

    Not a netbook, not a tablet (which is a completely awkward device, for a “portable” anyway), but somewhere in between. Which Apple will correspondingly sell for a fat wad of dough.  rolleyes

         
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    Posted: 17 March 2009 09:40 PM #27

    geoduck - 18 March 2009 12:13 AM

    There is the Nintendo DS version that several people have mentioned.

    Whoops… beat me to it, Geoduck.  LOL

         
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    Posted: 28 May 2009 07:23 PM #28

    Reposted from Hidden Dimensions.

    There is a -ahem- friend of mine who saw the rumor from earlier this week, saying Apple?s netbook/iTablet was now projected for 2010. He?d been looking at a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu before that, with a delivery date of 6/4. After the rumor hit, he ordered the Mini 9, only to find the revised delivery date was now 6/16.  Going from one week availability to three week availability for Dell seems like a huge backlog was created overnight. Apparently, the rumor was the trigger for those planning to Hackintosh the Mini 9, and a whole lot of them jumped ship to Dell (or Dell did something on their end). If this is the case, Apple has missed this batch, but I expect when/if an Apple netbook hits the street there will be a corresponding flood of Dell Mini 9’s on eBay. smile

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  • Posted: 28 May 2009 08:07 PM #29

    Why not (almost) both?
    Some will never give up their real keyboard.
    Some will adopt newness with zeal.
    The MacBook Air could be a great netbook.
    Juice it up, make it cheaper (I should live long enough) .
    If it’s the aspirational product it could be it wouldn’t need to be $599.