Netbook vs. Tablet – The difference


The battle rages-on between Netbooks, Laptops, and tablet-style computers. The latter—tablets—although, are more-or-less distinct from laptops/networks in that they are specifically marketed as “mainly for information consumption and entertainment”. Let’s take a minute to examine the critical differences in Netbooks and tablets for this piece.

Netbooks: good for mild content creation / Tablets: good for consumption of content

Netbooks are cheaper than tablets, but they’re typically less powerful. The ‘cheap’ factor is generally one of the main reasons people purchase Netbooks: well, that and the fact that they don’t need a fully-fledged, bells and whistles laptop. What’s more is that Netbooks are a lot more comparable to regular laptops than they are to tablet-style PC’s or MAC’s.

The iPad is a perfect example of a tablet computer. It’s geared towards about 80% information consumption, and only towards just around 20% content creation and productivity. In other words, the tablet computer is great for watching movies, reading and responding to emails, checking your Twitter, viewing videos/photo slideshows and so forth.

If you regularly create, edit, or modify information—more than a third of the time—then a laptop should be in your future. Furthermore, if you’re performing processor-intensive applications (e.g. video editing, World of Warcraft, etc.), a fully-fledged laptop is the only product that’ll suit your mobile needs. A Netbook will not cut it as far as multitasking or processor-intensive apps go.

Similarly, the tablet-style PC or MAC isn’t for playing heavy-duty games, editing videos or photos, or running several apps back-to-back. Rather, tablets like the iPad or Lenovo U1 are great for viewing photos and videos, receiving/sending emails, streaming music, and general web surfing. Additionally, the majority of tablet computer owners use it more around the home—like in bed, out back, while channel surfing—and are less likely to take it to a business meeting or to class.

In summary

What it boils down to is this—get a Netbook if you need to do a few “creative” things, such as emailing, putting together spreadsheets, and/or photo editing. Don’t go crazy, though, as Netbooks simply don’t offer the robustness and multitasking ability that their grown-up laptops do.

With iPad-style devices, you’ll more than likely use it in conjunction with a laptop or even Netbook. Why? Well, the tablet is for entertaining, informing, and just a tad of creating. Laptop/Netbooks fill the need for content creation and sharing. There are hybrids of Netbooks/tablets, but they’re really not even an emerging trend just yet—and may or may not even emerge on a large-scale.

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