The netbook is the newest gadget to have reached commodity status, and with its relatively cheap price tag, it’s not hard to see why. With upgrades and improvements looming before the most joyous of seasons arrives, we figured it’s an opportune time to help you make up your mind about choosing the netbook as your splurge of choice for Christmas.
We may convince you or we may not, but the thought of us being able to keep you awake at night is enough for us to consider ourselves victorious. Yes, we’re sadistic that way.
The jitters are over
It’s been 3 years since the first netbook, the ASUS EEE PC 701, became publicly available. Netbooks have come far since then. Today, manufacturers know better what consumers want out of netbooks specifically when it comes to battery life, power, and size.
Tablets are hopeless (for now)
HD is here to stay
There’s no stopping High Definition [HD] videos and programs – downloads especially – and we all want to watch them even while on the go. The trouble is, most netbooks today can’t read a full HD file without stuttering like Porky Pig.
And so are 64-bit programs
As mentioned, netbooks are going dual-core, and it’s all because of the Intel Atom N550 processor. The N550 is a 64-bit proc, which means it will be able to take on a new generation of 64-bit programs that can take advantage of its multicore goodness.
The cloud has matured
The fact that you chose a netbook over an ultraportable notebook means you’re saving on money. Which probably also means you don’t want to spring extra for other programs. Cloud-based applications such as Google Docs have become very useful and less buggy, making them solid alternatives to natively installed programs like MS Office. It shouldn’t be long now before things really get interesting “up there,” especially with Google Chrome OS scheduled to arrive soon.
Prices have settled down
The price of a regular netbook has found its place in the P20,000-P25,000 range (at least in tax-happy Philippines). At this price point, you have a plethora of choices, which more or less give you the best value for money. Sure, there are still higher-priced offerings like the Sony VAIO M and the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T, but neither of them are considered regular. The S10-3T transforms into a tablet while the VAIO M is… um… a VAIO? Oh well, at least it’s not as expensive as the P40,000 VAIO W.
Mobile broadband is cheaper than ever
The netbook is the epitome of a PC going mobile. And in this day and age, you cannot go mobile without being able to connect to the Web. Fortunately, prepaid unlimited broadband is here to the rescue!
It’s the start of something new
With dual-core slated to become the standard, becoming an early adopter now means you won’t need to upgrade your netbook at any time soon. Sure, it will no longer be as high-end in the future as it is today, but that’s something a simple RAM upgrade (or disk cleanup/reformat) won’t be able to fix. Temporarily.
Windows XP is dying
We love XP, don’t get us wrong, but it’s a decade-old OS and we’re surprised it even made it this far. With support slated to retire on August 4, 2014 (almost 2 years after the world ends), now is the perfect time to put your older netbooks to sleep. Unless you want to give it the burden of running Windows 7 Starter, which is completely inadvisable.