Monday, December 20, 2010

10-inch Tablet v. 10-inch Netbook: Word Processing

If you are planning to use a computer for creating spreadsheets or presentations, we recommend that you pick something with a larger screen than 10-inches. In continuing our comparison of 10-inch tablets and 10-inch netbooks, we are going to take a quick look of how they do as word processors. 

The netbook is really just a small low powered laptop, which was primarily designed as a portable device to use your office suite with. Before the days of WiFi and 3G, that was what you used a laptop for. Netbooks run on Windows, current versions run on Windows 7 Starter, which means you can install your favorite desktop word processor on it, whether it is the industry standard Microsoft Office or the popular free license application OpenOffice. The typical netbook screen being 1024 x 600, meaning only 600 pixels high restricts how much of the document you can see by 20% compared to the convention 1366 x 768 pixel resolution laptop. While there are a few netbooks with a 1366 x 768 screen, you will zoom in your view so that effectively it really wont show you more of the document than a 1024 x 600 screen.

The Toshiba NB305 still has the best keyboard you will find on a netbook 

The netbooks physical keyboard is the ideal way to type up documents, though the 10.5-inch or so width of a netbook limits the keyboard size. While they can place 100% sized keys on netbook, key spacing will be a bit less than ideal. The typical laptop keyboard would have to be at least 11 inches wide and this would still mean compressing the size of some keys like the arrow keys and the home/pg up/pg-dn/end keys. A netbook is about a bit short of this size (which is also a good reason why you should look at a netbook or laptop with at least an 11.6-inch screen). 

On a tablet, like the Apple iPad you can use the soft keypad. Used this way, the netbook is the better tool. Using a soft keypad which will eat up about half  of the 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 pixel resolution screen and force you to take a rather uncomfortable typing position with you peering down at your iPad.
Or you can add the Apple iPad Keyboard Dock, which will set you back another Php3,390. 

If you do this, you actually type documents with the long end of the iPad vertical, meaning which allows you so see more of the document. For typing documents, this makes the 9.7-inch laptop screen as effective as a 15-inch or so laptop.

With the Apple iPad Keyboard Dock, I actually prefer the iPad for word processing over the netbook. This does makes the iPad Php5K to Php8K more expensive than a netbook.  With the soft keyboard, the netbook is a better choice hands down. 

The problem is more software. Netbooks runs on laptop/desktop operating systems. iPads run on a operating system designed for a mobile phone. The frequently asked question is  "Does the iPad tablet have a word doc or a Microsoft Word app?" The says yes

While there is no Microsoft Word or OpenOffice writer for the iPad program, "their are several third party applications that are used for word processing that are equivalent if not better x x x So how do you compile and manage word documents with the Apple iPad, I have several alternatives to offer you. iWorks is the best solution for your question. It is an Apple Office Suite, much like Microsoft Office and open office" (Source: The If you are a Google Docs user, or use some other online word processor, than this really won't be a problem either. 

The only issue is whether you need some power feature found in MS Office or OpenOffice which is not available in Apple Office suite or Google Docs, as the case may be.

I have used two netbooks of the past two years primarily as portable word processors. It is something I am glad to have left behind in favor or a larger ultraportable. The iPad, even with the Apple iPad Keyboard Dock is not the ideal ultraportable word processing solution. I really do not want to have to carry both the iPad and the Keyboard Dock. A 11.6-inch or larger laptop would be a better choice than either of these for word processing. Still, having to choose which is better, having a physical keyboard at a lower price and able to run any word processor you want, I would give the netbook the edge over the tablet as a portable word processor.

Web browsing, Multimedia, Storage and Connectivity. 10-inch Tablet v. 10-inch Netbook: Web Browsing, Multimedia, Storage & Connectivity


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