Apple's iPad has left an indelible mark on the Tablet PC universe. It wasn't that long ago when just about everyone gave up on the tablet. Just about every notebook manufacturer in existence tried their hand at making a tablet at one point or another, and just about everyone hung it up by 2005. For whatever reasons, tablets never managed to catch on in the consumer industry, but now, things are different.
Consumers have shown a willingness to adapt somewhat and try new things. Some thought ultraportables would never catch on; their steep price tag and small screens didn't make sense to some, but road warriors have proven that these diminutive machines do actually have a place in society. Netbooks have a similar story. Many credit Asus' Eee PC line with really kickstarting the netbook craze, and even today, these tiny, inexpensive laptops are selling like hotcakes to individuals who just need a simple machine for web browsing and e-mail to take on the go. No bells and whistles leads to lower costs, and lower costs lead to increased attention and sales.
The iPad has arrived during an interesting time. It's a time in which many consumers are re-evaluating their computing needs, and they're striving to decide whether a full-sized notebook, a netbook, a tablet or something in between is best for them. The iPad has definitely driven more people than would traditionally consider a tablet, to investigate the iPad's usage model. That said, does it really make sense to buy this device over a netbook, or better still, a netbook / tablet hybrid? We covered the ins and outs of Apple's first tablet in our full review, but this article is intended to dig deeper and investigate whether an iPad or netbook / tablet hybrid is best suited for you. These two are the most similar of the machines currently available in terms of price, form factor and usability.
iPad versus Netbook-Tablet Hybrid Head to Head