Netbooks, iPads, and Long, Rambling Blogs about Both

The last few days have been incredibly busy, between writing papers, visiting my girlfriend in Tahoe, repairing a TV (of all things), and of course digesting every detail of the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0. If all that weren’t enough, yesterday I finally picked out and subsequently ordered my graduation gift: a shiny new netbook.

The Dell Mini 10: My Netbook of Choice

The honest answer is that I simply do not see any utility in owning a device like the iPad or HP Slate. My reason for getting a netbook in addition to the laptop I currently use comes down to one thing: portability. Although an iPad is certainly just as light as a netbook, the lack of a physical keyboard prevents it from really being a viable device for my purposes. This netbook is going to be my primary blogging device. I need something that will be comfortable to type on over extended periods of time, and I just can’t imagine doing that on the iPad’s digital keyboard. I know there’s the option of an external keyboard, but that solution seems a bit too cumbersome for my tastes.But with all the recent hoopla over the iPad though, I’ve had more than a few people ask why I was getting a vanilla netbook instead of Apple’s magical creation.

Which is not to say that the iPad isn’t an appealing device. For consuming content, I can imagine few better devices. Web browsing and video playback in particular look amazing on the device, and when you add the ability to watch Netflix and Hulu to the list of features, it becomes a bona fide TV replacement. Plants vs. Zombies HD only sweetens the deal.

However, as nice as it would be to feed my Netflix addiction on-the-go, my personal verdict remains the same: the iPad is a solution in search of a problem. If I want to watch a Netflix movie, I can easily do so on my computer or the Wii. If I want to play a game from the App Store, my iPod Touch can easy satisfy that itch. And if I want to do some blogging at one of my favorite coffee shops, well, the iPad won’t be very useful.

I look forward to the future of tablet devices like the iPad, and with a thriving developer community, we’re sure to see some amazing applications for the device. I’d also like to see how Microsoft’s Courier evolves into an actual product. But for the moment, this writer is chiefly concerned with the task of writing, and the physical keyboard of a netbook fits the bill.