Netbooks Aren't Dead, They've Risen as Windows 8 Hybrids

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Some are heavy, the keyboards are cramped and the track pads can be horrendous (my thumb is actually red from using the track pad on this Acer). Others are slower and simply don't provide the power and smooth experience you'd expect for $600. (Laptop Magazine has a great piece quantifying the shortcomings.) When we were dealing with $299 computers maybe that was acceptable, but not when you are inching toward $1,000.

Unfortunately, it really is as Apple CEO Tim Cook put it: "The problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone," Cook said on an earnings call in April. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Just like the original netbooks, the new hybrids don't provide anywhere near the performance of a real laptop or ultrabook. And then there's the device that already has blood on its hands for killing the first generation of netbooks -- the iPad. As tablets, the new Windows 8 devices are just not as good as the iPad. At least not yet.

Bottom line: You're better off getting a thin and light laptop or an iPad or cheaper tablet. Once again, netbooks are stuck making serious compromises, and this time there isn't the cheap price tag to keep them alive.

But, of course, zombies can pretty much survive anything.

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