Big Deal - Netbooks beat Slates
Despite all the wild hype around slates these days, it seems I'm not entirely alone when it comes to my preference for netbooks versus the overpriced luxury toys. Softpedia reports that research firm ABI shows consumers still prefer netbooks over slates. Read on to get the link to their article, along with my take on these findings.
According to ABI's research, 1000 consumers were surveyed, of which almost 50% had no interest in purchasing a slate. That's a pretty substantial number given the mass media marketing slates are enjoying today from the likes of HP, RIM and Samsung. Of those people not interested, 60% claimed that they had "no need" for a slate device.
That actually mirrors my own experience with netbooks and slates, as netbooks provide overwhelmingly better functionality and features, making slates appear limited and lacking. In layman's terms, netbooks already do what slates claim to do, and beat them at everything they can't. It's understandable that many people won't be attracted to a device that costs more and does less.
"This change is consistent with potential buyers realigning expectations to match modern netbook capabilities"
Again, this mirrors my experience with netbooks such as the HP 210 Mini and dm1z. We are no longer talking about netbooks with tiny screens, mediocre processors, poor performance and Fisher-Price build quality. Netbooks have evolved considerably since their introduction, while slates are still first-generation devices. You only need to look back to the original 7" Asus Eee PC to see how far netbooks have come along.
As I wrote in my review of the HP TouchPad, the ugly truth is you pay a heavy price premium today for gaining just a fancy touch UI, while sacrificing common functionality and features. Consumers will be turned off by lukewarm responses to an unimpressive device. And you cannot expect very many buyers to shell out hard-earned cash on a half-baked device that has yet to prove itself.
Let me reiterate - I will always reserve my opinion until I've looked at a particular product/service. To me, credibility is something that still is of value. But it is highly gratifying when news surfaces that backs up my own hands-on experience. If anything, I would like to commend ABI for hammering home the point I've been trying to get across for the last 14 months.
What does disappoint me is that many experts trusted to inform consumers place no value on credibility, repeatedly confuse opinion as fact, and inject bias/speculation into their writing. As an enthusiast, I have serious issues with paid writers who generate flame bait - that is not how to get attention, except underline your sorry self. How can consumers be expected to get no-nonsense information when their source is drinking the corporate Kool-Aid? You can listen to the hype, or get the real story from a critical, hands-on, unbiased source with the knowledge and experience to make an accurate recommendation. I'm happy to let my readers decide!