Originally Posted by Newtron
Check out the Dell mini 10. All day battery, hot-shit processor, wireless n. You can even get a TV tuner built in, and a huge hard drive for watching movies on the go. It plays Flash and every other streaming video format without any problems.
It has much expanded capabilities over any iPad, and it starts at half the price (without the TV tuner).
Would that be the awesome Dell Mini 10 (nice hardware config btw) running Windows 7 Starter? Which does not include:
>Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the “Windows Basic” or other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
>Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
>The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
>Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
>Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
>Domain support for business customers.
>XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.
>or touch interface.
Since all a netbook is, is a small form factor notebook/lappy (which physical format I personally find annoying - but that's just my personal preference) - how is this actually better or a direct competitor to the iPad. See this is where things get difficult. Most consumers recognize this simple fact - that a netbook is just another form of laptop/notebook computer. The iPad is in fact a different form factor that people seem to resonate better with - at least judging from consumer purchase results being reported. So there is more happening here than simply cost-savings and feature sets. But most geeks can't get past the cheaper/more features paradigm that we/they cling to. It apparently doesn't matter to the average consumer if it is cheaper or has more features. If the interface is still kludgey and cramped and annoying, they don't want it. A smooth, direct touch interface has been demonstrated as being preferable to the old interface, based on these reports. Right wrong or indifferent, Apple has forced a paradigm shift in consumer expectation around what the interface should look like and how it should behave. First with the iPhone/iPod Touch and then with the iPad.
The discussion moves from how it is built features-wise, to how it ACTS. So the whole power/features categories lose some relevancy in the face of the actual behaviors of the interface and convenience of the device.
Let's take this back to the Dell mini 10 for example. Arguable a nice little netbook/notebook, which is set-up to run out of the box with a low-profile version of Windows 7. So right out of the box, the average user, used to the feature set of Windows 7 is faced with a reduced and constricted version that doesn't act like it's full version counterparts - not a happy place for the average consumer. If it is Windows 7 then it should act and behave like Windows 7, period. We geeks know better, but when it comes to purchasing power - there's a lot more average consumers than there is of us - so you HAVE to speak to these expectations if you want marketshare.
Then let's look at the physical package - like every other netbook/notebook/lappy, it folds - you have to open it to use it and wait while it boots up or recovers from sleep mode. It boots slow according to reviews, so that's not a happy place with consumers either. It's a (relatively) hefty 3 lbs (heavier than the Toshiba competition in this class), nearly 1.5 inches thick, they switched out the touch pad driver to the Synaptics driver that doesn't support a multitouch interface, and if you push the (fairly nice - the Intel Atom PineTrail N450) it gets pretty hot - measured up to an uncomfortable 120 degrees F.
Compare to the "instant-on" iPad, with a simple app interface that let's the average person just "touch-and-go" with their installed apps. It's a slim 1.6 lbs and just .5 inches thick with a screen roughly the same size as the mini but slightly higher resolution, and it runs cooler even when pushing the processor. These are all big pluses in the average consumer mindset.
We as geeks just don't seem to get that the average consumer has tolerated a lot, and will tolerate a lot, unless they are shown something they see as better. Then they will set that as their standard and the rest had better speak to it. They don't have the technical resources we have - and DON'T want THEM. Make the machine work the way they want it to work - not make them work the way the machine wants them to work. It's simple and profound - and we tend to not get it.