With Ipad sales breaching 2,000,000 units already the question must be asked, “Will the tablet PC replace the netbook in the future of small, portable computers?”
One thing is certain, tablet PC’s and netbooks both have advantages and disadvantages over each other and do in-fact serve slightly different purposes. The tablet PC is built for content consumption and very light content creation. With it a consumer can read books, check and send e-mail, watch movies (even in HD), and play games. The netbook on the other hand is built for content creation as well as light content consumption. A standard windows operation system allows the netbook to create most content a standard laptop can create and edit.
Pricing is another factor worth considering. Netbooks can be purchased for $250 – $300 while Ipads are in the $500+ range. Those looking for a cheap mobile computer will have to spend about twice as much for the tablet PC unless prices come down.
In my opinion there will likely be a device in the future that is more content creation friendly than the Ipad but also has the content consumption features that make it appealing. I do not believe tablet PC’s will replace netbooks until a college student can realistically bring a tablet PC to school as an all-in-one solution for their computing needs.