Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dell Duo vs. IPad vs. Netbook

In case you haven't heard the buzz, the stylish Dell Duo is about to launch. Ah, the NEW, new thing. Sort of new, sort of repackaged netbook. Been considering it still, due to cool factor, but you see, I already have an iPad and just bought an Asus Eee PC 1005PE for $219. It has a 250GB drive, Atom N450 processor at 1.66 GHz, 1GB RAM, 10″ screen, 11 hrs battery life, weighs in at 2.8 lbs. Now, you gotta admit, that's a deal. The 64GB 3G iPad cost close to $800. Big premium paid for slick interface and App Store, and 3G service. Oops, and don't I pay a hefty monthly ATT bill for the 3G? $25. IPad = ouch. Eee = deal. But what am I writing this on, slouching in bed in the dark? Guess. IPad.  

I also have an HP TX 2500 tablet PC 13″ screen (supports pen AND touch input, has a terrific keyboard, DVD writer, fingerprint reader). The HP totally rocks due to touch and stylus (handwriting recognition, drawing, One Note, etc), but runs too hot and the fan is too loud. The Asus Eee PC, on the other hand, is quiet, light, quick enough, and does full speech recognition with Win 7 Speech Recognition software built into Windows 7. The Eee boots to web access, chat, or games in 5 seconds, without even running Windows. 

By contrast, the iPad is the best multi-touch interface currently available, hands down. It is smooth, intuitive, does what you expect it to do, and doesn't exhibit unexpected pauses or erratic behavior. I can whip through emails, search for emails and find them easily, delete undesired emails in a batch quite quickly, save photos sent in emails, forward web address to people via email, and so much more easily than I can in Windows using even a powerful program like Outlook.

I would love all these technologies in one device, but at this point there is no perfect solution. My current travel solution is to take iPad and the Eee, and my small folding bluetooth keyboard (made by Think Outside) for use with the iPad. With this combo, I have: Windows, Office, the App Store, WiFi, 3G access, iTunes music and movies, Flash, iBook store, Netflix instant movies, Kindle reader, Dragon dictation on iPad, and full speech recognition on the Eee netbook. Total weight <7 lbs. The iPad runs ~15 hrs on a battery charge and the Eee runs ~9-11 hrs. 

Too bad the new Dell Duo multi-touch-screen convertible netbook-ish Win 7 PC has a weak, unreplaceable battery. It could almost be an iPad killer. As it is, Apple has even me, a 20-year Windows veteran and author of over 20 Windows books, over a barrel and becoming a quintessential "switcher." it's getting to the point where I think using a mouse is soooo 2009.  

I suspect the new crop of Android-based tablets are going to give the iPad a run for its money. They are way cheaper (albeit smaller) and the Android app store is becoming respectable in size and variety of offerings. If you like portability and touch and good battery life, another place to look is towards the touch-screen netbooks such as the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3T or the ASUS 

10.1" Eee PC T101MT Touchscreen Netbook


1 comment:

  1. I'm a long time pc girl. Not sure what 2011 will bring, but will look to you for some guidance here. The times they are a changin'!
    Thanks, Bob.
    Have a healthy, happy, fulfilling New Year!
    Love to you,


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