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Video chat

Run Flash


Upload photos or video from a camera

Store more than 64GB of data

Play Facebook games

Swap batteries

Install CD media (or any media other than from an App Store)

Type on your lap


Most Netbooks, even low-end ones, now have webcams enabling basic video chat over Skype or any other program. The iPad, however, does not. We wish the iPad had a camera and iChat, especially since it would make the tablet a unique communications device to rival the iPhone. Perhaps cost was a factor, even though most Netbooks manage the feat in a package under $500.
Caption by / Photo by Skype
While Steve Jobs called the iPad "the best web experience you've ever had," there is a big missing piece right now, and that's the whole web. Browser-based apps and Flash-driven content are a huge element of cloud computing and of many websites. While HTML5 is rapidly gaining ground to offer alternative streaming video solutions for the iPad, and sites like Netflix and CBS are crossing over to provide iPad video solutions, the selection of content right now doesn't come close to matching what's available via Flash. While Atom Netbooks can be slow and stuttery when playing web video, at least they can.
Caption by / Photo by Scott Stein/CNET
Most people aren't programmers, or anything close to it, but most Netbooks do run on a full Windows 7 OS that can be used for programming or modification. Linux-based Netbooks are even more hack-friendly. You can even install Mac OS on a Netbook, should so you so wish. For the friendly hackers out there, that's a dealbreaker on the iPad.
Caption by / Photo by Slashgear
No USB ports on the iPad mean no connecting cameras or other peripherals without a $29 camera attachment dongle, and even then, you can't simply drag files to the desktop like you can on a Netbook. It could be a drag if the iPad is meant as a portable computing replacement for bloggers. Netbooks have at least 2 USB ports standard.
Caption by / Photo by Cisco
We expected a little more memory on the iPad. Even the most basic Netbook has a 160GB hard drive. Cloud storage can assist with data, but it's still no replacement for onboard capacity.
Caption by / Photo by Seagate
Without the aforementioned Flash, browser games aren't really possible on the iPad. Those looking to play Farmville will have to wait for the App or just flock to a Netbook.
Caption by / Photo by Zynga
Sure, the iPad is slim, attractive and very showy, and boasts a significant battery life. But its battery is fixed, while a Netbook can not only swap its battery, but upgrade from a three to a six-cell or more.
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With the addition of a simple USB DVD/CD-ROM drive, disc-based software can be installed on a Netbook even without an optical drive built in. Netbooks can also install files off USB drives, or via any other input method. The iPad wasn't designed with this flexibility in mind, but it's still nice to be able to do.
Caption by / Photo by Logitech
Yes, the iPad has a virtual keyboard, and even a cool keyboard dock that turns the tablet into a quasi-desktop device. But the dock can't be used for lap typing, and the iPad lays awkwardly flat on a table unless you're using an elevated case. For long-term writing on the go, a physical Netbook keyboard with an attached angled screen still wins.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Netbooks can upgrade their RAM--albeit slightly--and with a little effort that hard drive can be swapped too. The iPad is a fixed entity, so there's no going back once you've picked 16, 32 or 64GB.
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