The Web Browser is the New Laptop

Is it true?

I’m sorry, it’s late and I mistyped. I meant to say crapware included with Windows. As far as I know they don’t do this with Linux.

I think Apple is preparing to release a netbook. Snow Leopard is the preparation.

And they get even smaller:

I have an Asus Eee PC running Linux, and it’s great for what it does, but when my work relies on using software like Final Cut or Logic, or even Photoshop, I need a Mac. I’m starting to think so many people got Macs because it was the cool or popular thing to do, but they honestly don’t need a Mac…

With considerable tweaking, people managed to a href= an Asus EEE in 5 seconds/a. That’s less than my desktop PC needs to get through the BIOS and start Grub.

I don’t think web browsers are quite that dominant. They MAY be the most used app, but word processors and games have to give them a run for their money at least. The Wakoopa stats obviously can’t be taken seriously, since you have to use a web browser to go there and download and install the software, and they have Firefox listed higher than IE.

That being said, I’ll probably be buying one of those netbooks soon myself, so I can use it in bed too, especially in the morning when I really want to check my email but I don’t really want to get out of bed yet.

Of course microsoft has figured out linux could one-up them in the just need a browser market segment. Hence they came up with silverlight. (they don’t have to make win xp cheaper, if you can’t visit half the web with linux)

My ideal would be my choice of free browsers (Chrome someday, Firefox, Opera, etc.), some sort of file system (flash cards would be plenty) and enough screen to use it as an e-book reader as well as a browser. Word processor? I’m fine with Google Docs, but would want something that would work if I’m offline (I wouldn’t want it to become a brick if I’m in a black hole). Sounds like it wouldn’t cost more than a Kindle and would be more useful…I’d spring for that!

I’m typing this on one of the early EeePCs (the 701). Since I purchased this computer, netbooks have blossomed into a whole category and the hardware has only gotten better.

The processor is slow and I only have 4G of internal storage, but that’s just fine with me. If I could improve anything it would be (in this order):

  1. Better battery life (this thing is a plug-in computer)
  2. Higher resolution (I only have 800 pixels across)
  3. Slightly larger screen (not at the expense of battery though)

Linux is half the fun for me, though. I really hope that the manufacturers continue to focus on Linux.

I think the ultimate upgrade will be built-in EVDO or WIMAX, so you can just fire it up wherever you are and be connected instantly. You can sort of do it with addon cards, but it’s janky to have a dongle hanging off the back.

How is this appreciably different in concept from WebTV? Lots of grandmas used that and all the hard core PC people laughed at them.

The web browser has been my OS since 2001 since I started College. I lived at the dorms, the campus, other people dorms, my parents house,etc. I was a nomad and I was poor.

I couldn’t afford a laptop and I already had a desktop. So I bought a jump drive and used it to store files and then just used any computer near me to check email or write up papers since most people had MS Word. And all the computers on campus had development tools so I just used them for programming assignments.

Even now that I have a good job and I can afford a laptop, I still don’t buy one. Because the web offers even more opportunity to use it for productivity. I have a IPod touch that I use about half the time for checking email, news, blogs and even facebook.

Like anything, netbooks are good for the time they’re good, and bad for the times they’re not. Wow, how profound is that?

I’ve had a 4g EeePC 701 surf since February, and I was a huge fan of it. I bring it to meetings and update my to-dos as work is assigned to me. I can bring it to bed and read from my O’Reilly Safari account. And, it’s opened up space in my laptop bag so I can carry a digital camera with me everywhere.

But, this week I found myself away from my desk, trying to code for five hours on the tiny keyboard and tiny screen. I walked away with a hand cramp that didn’t go away completely until the next day. I attended a conference this weekend, and I was so glad I grabbed my old Dell 15 laptop to take notes for two days’ worth of sessions.

The EeePC isn’t made for hours of intense typing. It’s for casual use, maybe an hour or two at a time, max. I’ve got my eyes on a 13 MacBook right now, as a compromise between size comfort.

@David Stein:

The appreciable difference between this and WebTV is thirteen years. So much more can be done from a web browser today. Yesterday, I did all of the following from Firefox:

  • Email (GMail)
  • Blog
  • IM (Meebo, although I should have just used Google Talk in GMail)
  • Take notes (Google Docs)
  • Chat (web-based IRC client)
  • Manage my to-do list (Sandy)

My wife I recently ditched DirecTV because we can watch all our favorite shows online at Hulu or through less legitimate streaming sources, in a web browser on our HTPC.

Many people have already installed OS X on their netbooks and it is, apparently, well-suited to that form factor.

You can be certain that Apple are already quite far in the development of the Macbook Nano. The production technology they’ve just introduced, carving lighter, stronger and sleeker cases from blocks of aluminum is particularly relevant to the netbook space. It will not be cheap but it probably will be the nicest and will solidly establish the netbook concept in the mainstream.

I believe that, during a recession, people still have a psychological need for what they perceive as luxury and, if you can’t get a loan to buy a new car, you might well decide to treat yourself with a lower-price item, such as a nice laptop i.e. a luxury premium of a couple of hundreds bucks rather than a few thousand on a car. Apple could do very well with a light, 10 netbook that is easy to use, optionally runs Windows, looks great/covetable and fits easily in a hand-bag. You’re going to be seeing a lot of these things in Starbucks next year.

Yep I really liked the 1000h Asus as well. The design is sleek and the whole thing weighs next to nothing.

As you say the operating system really doesn’t matter. In fact the first thing I did is put a copy of eeeUbuntu on it (the customised install of Ubuntu specifically for the Asus eee range).

You can also launch it on a flash pen to check it out before wiping the whole system but it’s a serious step up on the mini-Linux system Asus use and IMHO preferable to XP.

Like you, I can see these notebooks being a big opening for Linux, especially if the community releases special *nix versions which work smoothly.

I still have a three year old Dell 700m that I’m using for this. But once that dies, I’m on to one of these small beauties.

I do watch a lot of videos on the thing, though, so I’m hoping they can handle video files.

Toni Schneider said it back in 2007:

I want a Firefox computer. A nice, sleek, solid state notebook with a big screen that you open up and it just runs Firefox. I bet this could be had for a reasonable price, it could have a nice long battery life and start up almost instantly. I’d still have a PC or Mac at home to store my photos and music, but for my everyday work life the Firefox computer is all I need.

I should think more about your titles, reading this one I could almost smell a flame war on the air. Disappointing Jeff…

Anyway my laptop (which I bought on january) has almost the same especifications but a 1280x800 15.1’’ screen, 80GB Hard drive and a non-integrated video card. That is not pre-historic in any way, you are just spoiled brat. I’m a Computer Science student and it runs anything that I need (including VMs) and, it runs WoW too. Yours netbook should run WoW too altough it have a integrated VGA, but the screen resolution is lower so you don’t need much more performance in the VGA departament.

Anyway, eletronics here are just so much more expensive than in North America, I paid almost 3 times (after exchange conversion) in my laptop than you did on yours netbook. Yeah, around here we don’t all have 3 monitors and a pong clock.

I just got my life partner (she is a female living mate, but not my wife :p) a dell inspiron mini 9, and I get yelled at constantly or trying to play on it. And it is perfect for her online rag mags.