It’s very tempting to think that the tablet netbook segment is an affordable and more utilitarian alternative to Apple’s new baby, the iPad. However, the fact is that these are two different product categories and they have their own target audience. If the iPad is sexier (way much slicker) and lighter in weight and if it offers the eye-candy along with the multimedia experience, a netbook is more functional with its laptop-like features such as a webcam, connectivity options, keyboard and ergonomics. So let’s not compare the two for now. Netbooks didn’t previously offer the tablet form factor. But that has now changed.

Natively, netbooks started out as ultra-affordable holistic mini computers, and they are just that even today. This holds true even for this new segment, where the screen of the netbook is touch-capable and can be rotated and flipped to lie face up. That’s one thing that sets tablet netbooks apart. What’s even more exciting to see is the trend of superior hardware, such as the second-generation Intel Atom processors, more RAM and hard drives with larger capacities, being used in them. Now, better hardware directly translates into an increase in the price of any product, but to us, the main concern will be the touch screen. It’s understandable that a touchscreen costs more than a standard LCD display, which increases the cost of a netbook significantly, but should that deter netbook users who aspire to own a tablet? Well, that depends entirely on your requirements.

So let’s find out whether tablet netbooks are really worth your money. The two main differences you will notice between standard netbooks and tablet netbooks is that the latter feature touch screens, more hard drive space, and Windows 7. Some even feature Intel’s second-generation Atom processors. The comparison between these three machines was mainly based on their hardware, ergonomics and aesthetic appeal. Of course, even the build quality and price-features ratio was taken in to consideration.

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