Once upon a time, I lived with a housemate who “NEEDED” a netbook. Said roommate already had a perfectly good laptop, but needed a netbook to start and complete their novel. I wasn’t sure how smaller buttons and the absense of Windows software (this was before netbooks came with Windows, but my housemate was competent in Linux), but I assure you these words were said.
For the price of a netbook, it seemed to me that one of the following was happening in the computer field:
1) Companies had developed very simple hardware that would be able to do a finite amount of tasks.
2) People just wanted to buy cheap portable versions of their laptops (if that makes sense) and use as a throwaway computer, or to say they had the newest development in technology.
Apparently I wasn’t very far off in my skepticism in the netbook’s future. According to this article in Slate, the netbook was a money loser that Apple choose to stay away from. Even with out Apple’s entry into this frontier, I still have my doubts as to how the netbook would have been a viable endeavor (long term anyways) for any company, as it always seemed to be more useful for military applications in my opinion.
By the way, not sure if they ever started their novel, but I’m sure that will need Apple’s next iPad in order to complete it.