Despite eWeek and others touting the idea that the netbook is dead, I hold that netbooks will survive and thrive in 2011. The reasons are many:
- A physical keyboard can be better than a touch keyboard: tactile feedback matters. That’s why we still teach “touch” typing.
- You can add touch to a netbook.
- Tablets with slide-out keyboards are here. Are they netbooks version 2?
- A netbook with GNU/Linux + ARM beats that other OS any day.
- Prices of netbooks are still falling.
M$’s stated intention with releasing that other OS for netbooks was to kill them/up-sell them. That has worked to a major degree with several OEMs and retailers but with ARM now very competitivie against x86 in performance and power consumption, the netbook will survive as just another form of diversity in IT. With competition, every form of delivery of IT can survive. Whether the netbook thrives is another matter. I think it will but only time will tell.
People like me, with big hands, will always prefer a keyboard and may just as well plug in a real keyboard at my desk. Will I want a netbook or a tablet when I go mobile? Netbook for sure. How many folks are like me? Quite a few: tall old men and big guys of all ages will probably prefer a netbook. The trend is to allowing more diversity in IT, not less.