I believe that a portable computer has utility as a portable only if one is inclined to carry it (and thereby use it), else it is an expensive desktop replacement.
A netbook is supposed to be an ultra low cost computer primarily for Internet activities and as such has minimal specs and is compact and lightweight.
I prefer an iPhone since it is there with me, even if I did not plan to carry a netbook, camera or maps. A netbook needs booting up, is not convenient and looks weird to use while walking, whereas I don’t hesitate to use the iPhone to lookup yellow pages, train timetables or walking/driving directions.
The features a gadget has are important only to a degree, beyond that it is the utility derived from it on an ongoing basis. That is where I find the iPhone to be the most valuable.
2 Replies to “Netbook vs Smartphone”
A netbook is not meant to replace your phone. They have different usage scenarios. Would you rely on your phone to take all your phone calls? That would look pretty strange, walking around with a netbook while talking into it.
Netbooks like phones are companion PCs. Different primary uses. Start looking at them through the relationship they have to your main pc, that’s where we’ll see some interesting conversation.
I compared scenarios of carrying a netbook versus a smartphone as an ultra portable computer, neither being one’s primary computer. I started out by defining the typical hardware and usage of a netbook. While it could run almost any operating system, it is still limited in screen, keyboard and possibly solid state disk size, thereby being comparable in hardware and capabilities to a smartphone and not a notebook computer.
I agree that a notebook computer would not be comparable to a smartphone as each one serves a very different purpose. If certain manufacturers have designed crossover netbooks that in effect are notebooks, I am not referring to those heavier, less portable computers, as I am comparing devices similar in portability and capability.
The greatest benefit of a smartphone I highlighted is that it is always with you and available even if one did not plan to carry a netbook. The reasons for one having to plan to carry a netbook and the decision not being automatic are dimensions, weight and need. A netbook does not fit in one’s pocket. Most people need to carry a phone and do not hesitate to for reasons of dimensions or weight. More often than not, having such a device is more important than its capabilities. Something is better than nothing. Smartphones are getting increasingly capable, and in my example the iPhone does better than a netbook for the limited purposes a netbook is designed for by definition and practicality.