'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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"I agree that this type of device could easily replace netbooks. However, as for this specific one, I think there are two major drawbacks that will hurt widespread adoption: I don't think people will flock to a device where every application and most content needs to come from one provider, even if they're comfortable with Apple in general. (Personally, I think any attempt to block out Amazon is risky at best). And I think the lack of multitasking hurts it -- I want to listen to music while I browse or work on a document, and I want Outlook open in the background for e-mail. Either one of these objections is enough for me to wait for a different slate-format device, or just stick with my laptop," writes "DaveN."

"The one thing it's missing that would make me tether the MacBook is running Keynote presentations through a video projector. Other than that, it's got a lot of stuff that I can use during the work day. It's got more stuff than the iPhone, but it's not as bulky as the MacBook. I think I can find a place for it to make me more productive, without it having to do everything," writes "nwjh." (Editor's note: Apple will sell a cable that allows use of the iPad with a video projector.)

"The significance of the iPad is as a lifestyle device. It packages Web surfing, e-mail, calendaring and contacts, light work (iWork apps), movies, 'TV' shows, music, books, magazines, news 'papers,' and the like into the form of a Kindle. That is precisely why it will be a hit in business. Younger workers will flock to it in droves, because of the convenience and the non-geeky, non-Micro$lop interface. It will be a huge hit with sales people, instructors, trainers, and presenters. ... I've used a couple of netbooks, an Acer and a Dell. They were cheesy, cheap, slow, and flimsy. ... If you're an IT manager in a large company, you had better start planning your response to this device now, and it should be a receptive one. The CEO and the sales team will probably insist you get them on the network ASAP," writes "BurkPhoto."

Arguments that the two devices are likely to coexist
"While the iPad is an elegant tablet device, it lacks a great deal of functionality compared to an XP-based netbook like my Dell Mini 10. I see the two co-existing, because it truly is an Apple-vs.-oranges comparison," writes "idgregg."

"I have a netbook. I have a laptop. My netbook's most important features are its extreme light weight (therefore easy portability), its battery life, and that I can rather literally afford to accidentally break it and buy a new one for cheap (certainly less than the iPad). Neither a netbook nor iPad/tablet will suffice for my job given a constant need for PowerPoint work as these screens are too small. But I can see how the iPad and netbook each can serve different purposes and for some business people could well be useful -- especially the iPad/tablet format," writes "zornwil."

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This article, "'iPad as netbook-killer' concept ignites controversy," was orginally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments on mobile computing and the iPad at InfoWorld.com.

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