This morning Luke Westaway has an article on CNET that is basically a companion piece for his latest Adventures in Tech video. He tries to analyze the failure of netbooks to make it as a marketable item, ultimately "squashed by the iPad, and the dawn of tablets." He sees this displacement as a consequent of the antecedent proposition that netbooks "were never much fun to use."
I have known for some time that I am far from what marketers seek out as a representative sample. With that disclaimer, however, I have to make it clear that, when I bought my own netbook, it was not for "fun." At the time I had only one computer, and I was reluctant to take it on a trip I was planning. However, I am a writer; so I wanted to have something that would allow me to continue my writing practices while on the road. Thus, while I agree with Westaway that the netbook keyboard left much to be desired, at least it was a keyboard that was at least moderately conducive to my typing habits, which is more than I can say about the emergence of a tablet technology that continues to strike me as little more than a fancy toy. I also agree with Westaway that I could not argue about the price of a netbook. Ultimately, it served me better than I expected. I even got to view a YouTube video of ballets about which I wanted to write.
These days I travel as little as possible. I now have a MacBook Pro, which is an excellent traveling companion. A set of headphones to plug into my iTunes library usually escalates an airplane flight to the lower level of tolerable. Indeed, on one occasion when United bought the farm so badly that we had to change our plans to a train from Newark to Pittsburgh, the increased legroom over a longer period of time served me well while I was getting to know the keyboard music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. I suspect that, as long as the toymakers see no need to provide me with the sort of keyboard necessary for the writing I do, I shall continue to live in the world of laptops in the hope that the product line is never abandoned.