Should I buy an iPad or a Netbook?

When Apple launched the iPad, they certainly made it clear they had intentions to wipe out the netbook, which Steve Jobs, who was the CEO at the dismissed it as a cheap alternative to a laptop and really poor fit in the vacuum between a Smartphone and a laptop. Apparently, there needed to be something else in the picture; something that could represent a bit of both gadgets and embody style and versatility. While it may be true that iPads are better and that they fill the need for speed and better quality displays, is it entirely wrong to suggest that netbooks are still better at some things?

For a user to switch completely to one of these two gadgets, one’s needs must be assessed, because in as much as both of them have a lot to offer, the services they render differ uniquely.

Before answering the question of whether netbooks are still better at some things, it is important to note that these two devices have very distinctive features and somehow serve different purposes. iPads are expensive entertainment devices, which are more powerful than netbooks and have larger screens, which display colors more deeply and this makes them ideal for video streaming and gaming. A netbook caters better to documents, as it has enough storage and a full keyboard for fast typing.

There are a number of tasks for which the iPad works better; for instance surfing the internet. It allows you to view pages in full landscape or portrait mode and navigation is easy with the MultiTouch screen. In the process, you could also synchronize all your bookmarks from your PC. It is also ideal when you want to check and send mail on the go and the mail application on this gadget is revolutionary.

For movie buffs, the iPad would be the best choice, especially if you are going to be travelling and need some entertainment. The 9.7-inch display shows detailed video and has up to ten hours of viewing time. You can convert your DVDs with the iPad converter suite and view some of your favorite movies when you need to unwind. A netbook could not possibly give you the same experience, considering its 720p video and tricky battery life.
Gamers are covered too; with all the free gaming applications and the number of free downloads you can go through, there is no way you could get bored. While on the topic of games, a number of them have been exclusively designed for the iPad and in most cases work a lot better than the ones, which are compatible with both the iPad and iPhone.

The iPad has some drawbacks though; for instance, the on-screen keyboard is not ideal for someone who is used to the typical keyboard. All the switching between character and number keyboards tends to get confusing. If you are going to be typing long documents, then this is not a practical option.

Connecting an external keyboard would probably help for a while, but then it would make the device deskbound. While we know that netbooks are better for typing long documents and have good storage, they do tend to be heavier than iPads, which weigh in at around 1.5 pounds and can be quite ugly at times. Battery life for netbooks is good when you are not watching films. Manufacturers promise up to 12 hours of use with WiFi on and full screen brightness on; but it is more like 9 hours and if you lower the screen brightness to medium, then you may be able to use it longer.

If you had to define the time you spend online without thinking too much about it, would you say you’re creating content or consuming content? People spend a lot of time reading and downloading new content and fewer people spend their time creating content online. If you’re on your iPad all day reading articles or downloading music and games, then you’d fall into the category of consumers; if however you are the one writing the content, then you’re in the other category. Obviously, there has to an element of both activities in any healthy surf time, with the idea being to put a balance between the two.

Looking at this concept and putting in mind the functionality of netbooks and iPads, there is going to be a possibility, depending on what category you fall in, that one of the gadgets will be better for you. While you try to find a balance between the two, keep in mind a 64GB iPad will go for around $500 and the price goes up as the features expand. The average price for a netbook has gone down recently and you can now get a decent one for around $430. The features for a netbook are rather modest, so the differences between set prices and models are not as vast as iPads.

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