When it was first produced, the Netbook heralded the advent of a smaller, less expensive and more portable laptop. With lower prices than a conventional laptop they were thought to be the future of technology on the move. However, then came the tablet format in the form of the iPad. Suddenly, the netbook had a serious challenger!
So, when I am going on a trip or holiday, I always wonder what I should pack — A netbook or an iPad?
On the move
Both the iPad and the netbook claim to be highly portable. The ease with which I can get online and search the web offers great convenience. The netbook, although lighter than a traditional laptop, is still relatively weighty and unfortunately it struggles to compete with the iPad on the clarity of its screen display.
Viewing angles can also be a challenge, with the display becoming difficult to see unless I am viewing it head on. The iPad is lighter and smaller than a netbook; it has a fantastic display system that offers brilliant clarity no matter what angle I am looking at it from. With a longer life battery, the iPad can potentially give hours of viewing whilst out and about.
Browsing the web
As searching the web is one of the main functions I need, whichever device I choose must be efficient at browsing online and make it an easy and simple experience. A netbook has the advantage of ultimately being a scaled-down PC so I have the option to opt for any web browser and it fully supports Adobe Flash player. The downside is that screen quality again, which when combined with the size of the screen – usually around 10″ in size – can make reading and viewing more difficult.
With the iPad clearly winning on these fronts, I start ask myself whether could it be time to sell my netbook and just stick to the superior screen abilities of the iPad.
With the tablet device,the fabulous screen display makes viewing anything a pleasure and I can easily flip between pages online. The only problems lie with the fact that, as it’s an Apple product, the only browser that I can use is Apple Safari, whilst Adobe Flash – which is used by so many websites – is not supported at all.
Video and audio capabilities
My primary reason for buying one of these devices is for watching films, catching up with TV and listening to music. Although the screen quality is not comparable between the two, the netbook does allow me store a significant number of downloads. However, it struggles to display HD and the screen size doesn’t always make for easy viewing. The iPad was created for this type of use; the Retina Display in the latest version gives brilliant screen quality and iTunes provides fast and easy access to a huge library.
So which will I pack?
The netbook might be a good option if I need a little more capability on the move and is ideal for short breaks. For longer trips, I tend to take a more traditional laptop. For overnight or weekend breaks, when I am planning to browse the web and watch TV or films or listen to music, the iPad would be my preferred choice. It slips perfectly into an overnight bag.