Thursday, 18 December 2014

Are Netbooks still a thing ?

A couple of days ago, I went over the road to a coffee shop for an offline discussion with a colleague. We were in search of some space where we could hide in plain sight to discuss some issues relating to a new project.

We chose the coffee shop next to Arts faculty, where you are as likely to find people discussing Aristophanes as their blocked sinks.

The atmosphere is reasonably hardcore and quite a few people had computing devices on the table. The students have long since departed for the summer taking their shiny iPads and Macbooks with them, so we can say that the devices on desks represented devices used by working academics and researchers.

As is my wont, I had a look around me while waiting to order to see what people were using.

There was, of course, the usual sprinkling of iPads and high end Android tablets, but strangely not that many MacBooks, with the MacBooks being outnumbered by Windows notebooks, of which none looked to be SSD based ultrabooks.

What there was though, was three people sat at separate tables using netbooks. Unfortunately I couldn’t sensibly (or politely) rubber neck to see what operating system was in use so I’ll assume windows.

Using a netbook makes some sense for someone that deals with words - the keyboards on a lot of netbooks were quite nice to type on, and if you have a windows desktop in your study, you can of course write your notes straght to dropbox, and then work on them later on your full size machine, yet have something reasonably lightweight with reasonable battery life to take to the library - as well as being next to the Arts building, the coffee shop is also opposite the Asian studies library - and being early summer people are probably trying to get on with their research.

Still it remains interesting that three or four years after netbooks dropped off the market they’re still in serious use …

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