Acer backpedals from 'phasing out netbooks' claim
Staffer talking out of turn
Acer won't be phasing out netbooks after all, the company said today, despite claims from one its staff that its upcoming tablets will put the squeeze on mini laptops.
The computer giant said it "finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer" and that it "recognises that the computer market is changing". The range of devices available to users is getting wider, it said, but tablets are just one gadget among many that people will use for media consumption.
Tablets, it said, "will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks, without taking over".
That's not what Acer Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-Hsian is reported to have said this week. Talking about the company's incoming 7in and 10in tablets, Lu said: "They are aimed at phasing out netbooks. That’s the direction of the market."
Acer did not say Lu had been misquoted. He was talking out of turn, it seems.
Acer also stated that "for the moment devices based on 'Sandy Bridge' are not foreseen yet", despite Lu's claim that tablets based on Intel's second-generation Core i chips are ineed inbound. ®
Netbooks are better
I still prefer netbooks:
* I get a physical keyboard.
* I can run a real OS (Windows 7 or Linux) not one designed for phones.
* It has a much better design - I can let it sit on a table or my lap, without holding it, and the screen is angled perfectly. Unlike a tablet that you have to awkwardly hold with both hands, or strain your neck looking down on it.
* Compatibility with x86 is also handy.
* It's cheaper.
I'm not bothered about a touchscreen when you have a keyboard and multitouchpad - but there are touchscreen netbooks out there, and these may become more common in future anyway.
A tablet is better if you need a computer whilst you're walking around. But most of us don't, and a phone is much more portable for that task. I suspect that tablets will become more popular only when they become cheap enough that having one as well as a phone and netbook becomes affordable for most people. Alternatively, I suspect that what will actually be more useful is colour e-readers, especially with the development of "electronic paper" that's thin and rolls up like paper.
Having said that, I fear the manufacturers pushing tablets more, or the media hyping them more, leading to less support for netbooks. I hate how it's so hard to find a phone with a keyboard these days.
It's also worth noting how netbooks are held to a different standard - they're deemed as being "slow", because Atom is poor compared to desktop CPUs, yet it's not clear that tablets do any better; they're considered rubbish for gaming, because they can't run the latest PC games, yet a tablet is considered amazing if someone ports a ten year old game like Quake 3 to it. Microsoft were ridiculed when they considered a limit of 3 applications, yet Apple are praised when they make a tablet that can't even multitask at all...
I don't see why tablets and netbooks are counted separately - we don't divide phones by whether they have a keyboard or not. Alternatively, why shouldn't touchscreen phones not be counted as tablets - I would argue that in that sense, tablets are already mainstream, sell more than netbooks, and the market leader is Nokia. It's only the overgrown-sized Ipad that isn't as popular.
Sitting in a starbucks today I saw 4 ipads a few powerbooks and a couple of XP Laptops (looking rather tired), plus me on a PackardBell (made by Acer) netbook running linux mint.
I can in fact imagine tabs taking over, but not at the 500ish quid they are asking!
My 10" netbook was less than half of that! and it even does flash!
Now if we ever see such things for less than 300 i can just about imagine having one.
Why not an honest statement admitting foot in mouth instead of using the old excuses 'misquoted' (on a recorder?), 'taken out of context'. or a 'language problem'?
At least 'talking out of turn' is new!
Tablets are primarily for information consumers.
A physical keyboard is really required for those that create the information or type a lot, you can only do so much using a virtual keyboard