10 things Netbooks can learn from the iPad

Don't rest on your laurels, Netbooks: the iPad has some tricks up its sleeve that you'd do well to study.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR | Gaming | Metaverse technologies | Wearable tech | Tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein

The iPad just might do to Netbooks what the iPhone did to smartphones. James Martin/CNET

After a weekend of immense enthusiasm and even wide-eyed utopian futurism regarding the debut of Apple's iPad, a bit of dust has settled. Perhaps Apple has hit the nail on the head of a new trend in future computing; perhaps this is just a bump on the road before the next leap.

Either way, from this point going forward, the iPad will be referenced when discussing portable computing, for good or for bad.

Back when the iPad was announced, our first instinct was to reflect on what the cheap, stalwart Netbook could provide that the sleek, homogeneous, iPhone-like iPad could not. A number of missing features came to mind, as well as limitations that the iPad's design presents that simply aren't issues on most Netbooks.

That doesn't mean that Netbooks are perfect devices. In fact, after using an iPad throughout the weekend, taking it with us wherever we would take a Netbook, we're ready to admit that the iPad does several things much better than any Netbook can. Netbook makers, of which there are many, take note: the iPad can indeed teach you a thing or two. And, of course, the iPad also has many limitations and frustrations--but we've already listed those.

Read our list below in the attached slideshow. Hopefully Netbook and tablet manufacturers will answer back to these soon, or risk losing hold of an industry they helped to define just a few short years ago.

10 things Netbooks can learn from the iPad (photos)

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