'iPad as netbook-killer' concept ignites controversy

Many view Apple's new tablet as just an oversized iPod with too many limits to compete with netbooks and laptops

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"Personally I think it is going to be one of the biggest failures of the past 10 years. I just don't see any reason for people to want one. It seems like it's a giant smartphone. So what's the point? If you want to carry around a mini-computer/MP3 player/camera/phone, you'll carry your smartphone. Why would you want to pack the iBrick around with you also? " writes "thebiggere."

"The iPad may sell as a personal technology mobile device. But for business use, if I was going to spend money on anything bigger than a BlackBerry and smaller than a normal laptop, it would have to be a netbook running Windows. This is the only way to connect to the corporate network and run "remote desktop" either to a desktop PC or a terminal server in order to do real work," wrtes "davep."

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"Let's face it, this new device is a jumbo iPhone with a much better screen. It will still be crippled with an AT&T connection, still won't be able to run Windows apps (you know, the programs that we run to make a living?), and has very little storage space. A netbook that can run Windows programs, can connect to any carrier that is has a good signal in your area, and has 10 times as much storage can be had for less than $299, today. Now when such a device runs Windows programs and connects to Verizon, I'll take a closer look because the technology appears to be terrific," writes "Wired-Guy."

"The iPad got the concept right about the activities; however it failed the hardware needs to support these activities such as video, movies, music, apps, etc. You need a large hard drive space for such activities -- I can't save all this on a 64GB flash drive. Until the iPad increases it storage up to 100+GB and incorporates a USB port, there is no reason why I should switch from my iPod Touch. That is why netbook will still survive," writes "reveler525."

"The iPad won't replace the netbook -- me-too tablets will. [But] it will drive innovation based on other OSes, and the winner will be the one that integrates best with smartphone, PC, and lifestyle. Personally, I am looking forward to getting my hands on one of these -- and the attachable keyboard, of course," writes "Buckminster."

"For the $629 cost of a functional iPad, one can get a Lenovo S-12 netbook with a full size keyboard, builtin camera, 320GB drive, 3GB of RAM, a 1280x960 10-inch display, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, RJ-45, and eight hours of battery life. This will run all of my production applications, including Photoshop, SPSS Statistics, Office, etc. There is little that the iPad offers in comparison, except the 'wonderful' virtual keyboard and some Apple eye candy, which seems to so enthrall Macthusiasts. The iPad will likely sell until reality sets in to those who bought it that it doesn't fill any meaningful niche. Once the excitement of showing people your new iPad wears off, it will become a $600 color Kindle, if that," writes "Geekfail."

Arguments for the iPad (eventually) becoming a netbook replacement
"I also think that the netbook category is now dead -- sorry, Acer and Asus -- and low- to middle-end laptops as well. While the battery life was good on a netbook, the keyboard was always too small. As for Chrome OS, for me, it was a nonstarter since we're in the age of ID theft, and having all of my data in the cloud is a little too risky for me. (Though IT security risks are part of my job concerns, so I may be a bit more sensitive to it than most.) ... I think Apple did make a mistake in omitting four things: one or two USB 3.0 ports, space to insert one or two SD cards, true support for 780p [video output resolution], and support for Bluetooth headset permitting cellular calling. Having the wireless keyboard as an option was a good idea because it instantly turns the iPad into a 'notebook,'" e-mails David Allingham, in Gatineau, Quebec. "One last thing: The design. Didn't we see the iPad in a couple of 'Star Trek, The Next Generation' episodes?"

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