Why I chose a netbook, not a tablet

My netbook died, so I figured I’d give tablets a try. And I figured I’d try a new netbook at the same time. I researched a bit about a bunch of them and ended up picking up a Nexus 7 and a cheap Acer Netbook, something called an Aspire One, I think.

Here’s what I’ve realized after playing with both of them for a couple days.

  • The tablet weighs less. I love this and can imagine my back would too, carrying it around in my backpack while traveling.
  • I like that I can be more precise on the netbook. The screen on the tablet is too small and my fingers are too big to really push the exact spots I want to push. It’s better than a phone but doesn’t really compare to even using a touch pad and cursor on a laptop.
  • The tablet feels more solid, like it’s not going to get messed up, get dirt in it or anything like that. Since it’s a device I’ll move fairly frequently, it’s important it stays together.
  • The netbook has better connections: HDMI, USB, SD card. The only thing it doesn’t have is bluetooth capabilities, which the tablet does have.
  • The tablet turns on quicker. I actually do appreciate this. It means I can use it in situations when a netbook wouldn’t really be practical. I’ve also been known to have a problem with leaving my netbook on too long. The tablet lets me turn it off and return to all the same browser tabs later in the day.
  • The netbook has more storage space. I have most of my files online. It’s nice to have the option to keep stuff on my hard drive, though, especially photos or maybe the occasional video someone gives me.
  • I like reading on the tablet better. I like holding it in my hand, shifting it when I shift in my seat.
  • I can type on the netbook. Writing really doesn’t happen on the tablet without a separate keyboard. That’s what I’d originally planned to do if I kept the tablet: pick up a separate keyboard to work with. The problem is that tablets still haven’t been around long enough to really work well with keyboards. The keyboards available now still aren’t great, there aren’t many options for which ones to buy yet (even for iPads), and they’re overpriced.

That last point probably created the real tipping point for me. I wanted to make the tablet work. It feels cooler to walk around with a tablet than a netbook. In the end, though, for me, the netbook still wins. For now.