One question industry insiders have asked is whether the iPad will upend the netbook market as we know it, or just be one more item on the shelves. Steve Jobs clearly has an opinion: he famously criticized
netbooks as being nothing more than “cheap laptops” which “aren’t better than anything.” But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he’s a bit biased.
Still, there are already reports that netbook sales have slowed in anticipation of the iPad’s release. As one analyst told BusinessWeek
, the novelty of the iPad is making netbooks seem old hat. So perhaps the bigger question is how the average consumer – who does not have hundreds of dollars to blow on new gadgets – will respond to the tide of new tablets entering the market. Will the tablet replace netbooks all together, or will it give consumers a greater appetite for laptop alternatives?
Similarly, will the tablet market live and die by the iPad, or will other tablets achieve the same level of importance in the field? As PC World
points out, if any of these devices are to have a chance at truly competing with the iPad, they will need to produce a product that capitalizes on features that the iPad is currently lacking, or could do better. Some of the items on this list are clearly trying to do just that.
Photo Credit: Zieak