A new study by Retrevo claims that Apple’s wildly popular iPad is hurting netbook sales. The study polled over 1,000 consumers and found that the majority chose an iPad over a netbook or cheap laptop, with 78% on the side of the iPad. That said, the iPad is really not a laptop replacement. Its lack of a keyboard makes word processing and working with spreadsheets difficult and the lack of flash support and multi-tasking makes it useless for many power users. Yes, there is a dock available with a physical keyboard but that makes the tablet less portable and convenient. Avid readers have discovered that it fails as an e-reader due to both the glossy screen, which makes it impossible to use in sunlight, and the weight of the device. The steep price makes it hard to justify for many as well. As an entertainment device it’s fantastic. As a business device, maybe not so much.
Back in March I had the choice between an iPad and a netbook and after much research and thought got a Toshiba 11’ ultraportable. As much as I personally like the iPad (I adore my iPod Touch!) it simply doesn’t do all I need a portable device to do. I needed to be able to use Firefox and Google Toolbar, and as a freelance writer and blogger, I need real keyboard. The on screen kind just doesn’t cut it for long writing sessions. I also needed multi-tasking as I frequently have my browser, email and MS Word going all at the same time. I love the Toshiba, it fits the bill perdectly.
Tell us how you feel! Netbook or iPad, and why?