The MacBook Pro will always have a special place in my tech treasure chest. Strangely, it was the first Mac I purchased (in 2001 – back then we called ‘em PowerBooks.) And for a long time I thought that’s where my computing dollar would be spent: continuously upgrading from MacBook Pro to MacBook Pro. Perhaps I wouldn’t upgrade each year, but I’d certainly get in on major revisions and every other cycle. And strangely enough this would be the cycle that would make sense. (I bought my MacBook Pro in 2006. I’m loving it, but somehow it’s really starting to show it’s age. My backspace key is missing. It’s got a few scratches. And since it’s the primary machine that I use (right in front of my television) it would certainly make sense. But that was with a 2006 mindset. A lot has changed in the world.
I wrote about a year back about how excited I was that the industry was moving towards these small and inexpensive desktop experiences. The newly coined ‘netbooks’ are getting old in the tooth according to some. But I think they’re just about the most exciting thing in technology. Why? Well, for one, the conventional wisdom (if you spent time in a Best Buy or J&R Computer World here in Manhattan over the years) is that the smaller the laptop you seek, the more you’re going to pay. It used to make sense. (Smaller diodes, more careful manufacturing process, more expensive and hard-to-manufacture parts.) But something about that logic never completely made sense to me. So the netbook’s arrival as a major new tech category was a welcome trend.
The main reason why I’m so excited about the prospect of the netbook as a serious option is that it fits in with my life (and I would presume most consumer’s lives) perfectly. I always get frustrated when people ask my about buying a laptop vs. a desktop. People never consider the higher cost and lower performance that you’ll get in comparison to the actual amount of times that the machine will actually be moved. I’m the ‘computer fix-it guy’ for a lot of my friends and some acquaintances and I’ll tell you – they get strange looks from me when they approach me with a Dell Inspiron and complain that it’s ‘making a noise’. (Probably just the hard drive, but if it isn’t, they’re SOL for sure.) For the majority of folks that I consult, a netbook is a wonderfully elegant solution for so many reasons: