Monday, December 20, 2010

10-inch Tablet v. 10-inch Netbook: Portability

Using the entry level iPad as a base, we are posting a little comparison on the portability of a tablet versus a netbook.

The dimensions of the Apple iPad is 9.56 x 7.47 x 0.5 inches. The biggest figure there is the 0.5 inches. The advantage of not having a hardware keyboard is how slim the iPad is. The absence of the hardware keyboard also has a big impact on weight. The base model weighs in at 1.5 pounds, while higher end models with 3G weigh in at 1.6 pounds.

Comparing this to the thinnest of netbooks, the dual core Atom Acer Aspire One AOD255, the iPad is substantially tinner and lighter. The Acer measures in at 10.17 x 7.28 x 0.95 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds, the Acer Aspire One AOD255 (also available with a single core Atom).

But this comparison is a bit illusory. A netbook has a lid to protect the screen. The iPad does not. If you slide both into a simple sleeve this comparison is accurate. If one the other hand you buy the official Apple iPad case, the comparison will vary a bit. 

The official Apple iPad case will set you back another Php2,090, and adds to the price gap between the netbook and the iPad. Most netbooks will come with a free sleeve.

Unfortunately, we do not know how much in size in weight the official Apple iPad Case adds to the iPad. With another Apple iPad case made by Incase, the iPads dimensions are 9.8 x 7.9 x 1 inch and the weight goes up to 2.3-2.4 pounds. This pretty much makes it as large and as heavy as a thinest netbooks. While we do not have the official specifications, we are reasonable well informed that  Apple iPad Case is lighter than the Incase model and adds less to its thickness. With the official Apple iPad Case we expect the weight to be 1.9-2.0 pounds.

You can also add a keyboard to the iPad. The Apple Keyboard Dock costs Php3,990. With the keyboard and the case, the iPad now costs Php8K to 12K more than a netbook and definitely less portable if you use the keyboard a lot. On the other hand, it does give you the option of using a hardware keyboard which you can leave behind when you do not need it.

There are also cases with built in keyboards. But that really seems to defeat the purpose of the tablet all together. We would like to be able to detach the keyboard, without having to remove it from the case.

Despite this, from a portability aspect, we think the Apple iPad is a more portable device than the even the thinnest and lightest netbooks. This in part depends of how you plan to use it, but it does give you more carry options.

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