Comparing Apples to Oranges…

…or other things?

Why buy a tablet? Well, I guess the question is “buy a tablet for what?”. I already have an Android smartphone, which means that I already have always-on internet.

Just to set the stage, I will compare the iPad to an ubuntu netbook. For both I will use the base models, with no frills, for simplicity.

  • Price: Netbook $385, iPad $499 — a win for the netbook, but fairly minor.
  • Weight: Netbook 2.0lb, iPad 1.5lb — a win for the netbook, but fairly minor.
  • Size: Netbook 10.5″x 7.3″, iPad 9.5″ x 7.4″ — a win for the iPad (I guess?), but fairly minor.
  • Interaction model: Netbook: kb+mouse,WIMP iPad touch — for me, at least, that’s a netbook win.
  • Battery life: Netbook: a few hours, iPad amazing — clear win for the iPad
  • Scriptable: Netbook yes, iPad no — clear win for the netbook, at least for me.

I am seriously contemplating getting the netbook. I’m trying hard to think of things (other than battery life) which are a clear win for the iPad (or any tablet, really)…

[Lest I forget: I’ve Mobile Hotspot on my Android, so whichever one I got, there is no need for it to be 3G.]

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8 Responses to Comparing Apples to Oranges…

  1. Scriptable is a can of worms/ rabbit hole. Root access without breaking some TOS? Aptitude? sudo make install? pip install twisted? python setup.py install txbeatlounge? … the list goes on … ssh?

    idk, I love my netbook 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reading ebooks is supposed to be more fun on an ipad, and playing games, as well as streaming netflix. Basically it seems like a casual device for when you are on a plane or some such, vs. a more practical one (netbook).

  3. Gwen Shapira says:

    For “reading websites in bed” use case, ipad seems more booklike and holdable, unless the netbook allows you to flip back the keyboard and get it out of the way.

  4. Evan says:

    Why does the netbook win for weight? Shouldn’t it be the iPad for 0.5 lb less?

  5. Ira says:

    Well, to complicate things, Tablets running Meego (an RPM-based distro building upon Maemo and Moblin) are about to hit the market. you can already get the Galaxy Tab which is about as open. the iPad is a nice piece of hardware running a closed garden, that’s the main reason it’s not for me…

  6. herenot says:

    ” I guess the question is “buy a tablet for what?””

  7. herenot says:

    don’t you alwready have a netbook + hello kitty?

  8. AJ says:

    The Toshiba netbooks have kick ass battery life. So only weight for the iPad, for your criteria.

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