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Why Losing The Trackpad is Bad for BlackBerry

Goodbye Trackpad

BlackBerry 10 devices are on the horizon and while we look forward to shiny new phones with new features, many are disappointed with the removal of the optical trackpad. The main pointing device on BlackBerry has gone through many key changes. From the scroll wheel, to the trackball, and now the trackpad, RIM has decided to ditch them in favor of full touchscreen navigation. This transition seems inevitable but is it really progress? Lets break down this decision and answer this question ourselves.

 

Why Remove It?

The trackpad has been the standard pointing device from the 8500 series to the current 99XX. Since then, weve seen our BlackBerry phones transition from non-touchscreen to full on touch. Maybe RIM feels that full touch inputs can replace the usefulness of having an optical trackpad. Another reason RIM might have to ditch the trackpad is freeing up space. The trackpad, along with the call, menu, back, and end buttons take up real estate and removing them frees up space for a larger screen. Many people associate the trackpad with BlackBerry as all current models have them. Perhaps people see this as old and inferior hardware and RIM may be looking to break that image. In this case, I am reminded of the old phrase, if it aint broke, dont fix it.

 

If It Aint Broke

Alcatel Venture
When I think of a Berry without a trackpad, I think of the Alcatel Venture aka the Virgin Mobile Venture.

Removing the trackpad from a tradition(Bold, Curve) BlackBerry is like using your desktop with a keyboard and without a mouse. A mouse/trackpad makes it easy to perform simple tasks. Tasks like copy and paste or clicking on a link can be done without the clumsiness or frustration of a touch screen. Dont believe me? Try it. Sure you may occasionally click on the right link but you will run into misclicks the more often you try. In order to reduce errors, a pinch+zoom technique is required. Another thing people dont often consider useful about the trackpad is the ability to highlight before making a selection. Think about how a full-touch UI handles this issue. Button and lists are enlarged to reduce misdials. While it is possible to highlight selections with a full touch device, its easier with a trackpad. Having the call, menu, back and end buttons omitted is another issue. I can understand that they want to eliminate buttons altogether but these buttons are often used. BB10 better have a smart and fast way to handle or replace these core buttons or else they will lose many faithfuls.

 

Novelty

The trackpad has a special novelty to it that I will personally miss. I love how it lights up revealing its borders as I am using it in the dark. I also love that its the last light to go out as the rest of the screen and keyboards backlight dims before it. I know its quirky and strange to say but the trackpad gives my BlackBerry Bold character. Thats something I would argue is missing from the sea of slate iPhones and Droids that all look the same.

Grackpad Glow

What Do We Gain?

Beside a half an inch of extra screen real-estate, I really dont see a benefit in removing the trackpad. Not only does it give users an accurate pointing device, but it also doubles as a tactile selection button. Hovering over a link and clicking the trackpad assures me that Ive performed that operation with success. Ive used full touchscreen devices where not only do I mistap, but Ive also accidentally double tap because the phone would temporarily freeze up and I think the tap didnt register. This problem can be reduced by having a faster phone but the tactile feedback cannot be replicated by a full touch screen. Many virtual keyboards vibrate on keypress or make an audible click to simulate this tactile feedback but this in turn creates a new problem which is excessive battery drain.

 

Another thing people dont consider about using a full touch device is how often we shoot blind. Think about it. You usually tap the touchscreen with your big ol thumb and for a split second, your thumb is over the screen and you dont see what you are tapping. With a trackpad, you see a cursor as it moves across the screen so your big thumb does not block the screen and you can hove/click. Not to mention all the ads you avoid mis-tapping when you use a trackpad. I cant tell you how many ads I mistap on my tablet when all I wanted to do was scroll. Sometimes, using a touchscreen feels like navigating a minefield. Its so frustrating. So what do we really gain? Half an inch of screen real-estate and more touchscreen problems.

 

Final Thoughts

I know the decision has already been made and theres nothing we can do about it but that doesnt change my opinion that its a bad one. В It saddens me that in order for a company like RIM to sell a good device, they have to dumb it down to cater to all the hipsters with iDevices and Droids. I look at this like a slippery slope. First, they removed the second convenience key for no clear reason. Then, theyre removing the trackpad and all their button. Whats next? No hardware keyboard on a flagship device? So this has been my short rant. What do you think? Will you miss the trackpad? Is this a smart move?

Trackpad Focused

Sirus XM Snap! Review

XM Snap!

Satellite radio have proven itself to be more than just a passing fad and I decided to try it for myself. I didnt want to break the bank so being a cheap skate, I bought the entry-level XM Snap! Even the name got me excited. I mean, it has an exclamation mark. It must be good, right? After testing out Snap! for a few months, I think they should have called it the XM Crap! Because thats what it is. Since I cant really sugar-coat it, Ill do a 2 part review. Both on the Snap! and the Sirius XM service.

 

I purchased Snap! at Best Buy on sale for $30. I figured, Hey, its cheap and I can try out the service to see if its any good. Ive been hearing Sirius XM often as newer cars have them built-in. My brother owns an older car so hes stuck with land radio and a cd player. Snap! promised simple plug-and-play. It was fairly simple to get started.

 

Easy Installation

Take Snap!, shove it into your cigarette lighter plug, route the antenna, hook the antenna, match the FM tuner, and start listening. Before you can start listening though, you need to subscribe to XM radio which can be done easily on their website. You need to choose a subscription and activate a radio. Each radio has a unique id, sort of like a phone ESN. Once you pay for a subscription and activate a radio, you can start listening to satellite radio. Setting up XM online was fairly easy though a bit tedious. Instead of paying one price, they actually have tiered plans that offer extra channels or whatever. I simply went with the cheapest, most basic plan. It was easy. Plug in my credit card info, radio id, and it was done. This is where things started to go downhill.

 

XM Snap!After using Sirius XM for about 2 months, I can honestly say that their service is just okay. Not great but not bad. Just okay. Let me explain. In my opinion, the basic plan was already pretty expensive. It was about $14 which is about half the price of basic Internet access around here. I have high-speed Internet service so I pay more but a basic net plan can easily deliver streaming music and video. Besides the relatively high price, I cant but help feel a bit conned into signing up. Granted, no one put a gun to my head and I probably should have read the TOS more closely(who does?) but I signed up for a recurring payment. There is no option to make single payments. I pay all of my bills online except for rent and I have the piece of mind knowing that I have to manually pay and not have xyz company reach their grubby little hands into my bank account and take my money. Ill even admit that I often keep my balance low so overdraft fees are a legitimate threat. After realizing that I signed up for recurring payments, I figured, Ill just listen to it for a month and if I dont like it, Ill just cancel. Boy was I wrong. Here comes the real con job. Sirius XM makes it so easy for you to sign up online with a few keypresses but to cancel your subscription, you have to call them on an 800 number. Really? Ive been through this before with phone contracts. Id have to call CS, tell them to cancel my contract, they beg me to stay, and go through all that BS. They make it so easy for you to pay and sub online but they dont give you the same option when you want to cancel. You know what? It works. Ive let recurring payments go on and to be honest, if I could cancel online, I would. The only thing that is keeping me is Howard.

 

 

Howard carrying XM

You all you Howard right? The KING of all media, Howard Stern. Yes, I enjoy listening to his talk shows. Hes an interesting character and his shows are entertaining. I also listen to music obviously. Unfortunately, the music is not so good. First of all, lets talk about XM Snap! I bought the XM Crap! on sale for $30. The original price was $60. No way in hell is this little thing worth 60 bones. Let me tell you why. First off, the thing is cheap. Not really surprising since they advertise it as an entry-level XM receiver. It is all plastic. Im guessing they gave it the name Snap! because you can easily snap it in half. I have to give it some credit. Using it is pretty easy. You plug it into your cigarette lighter, tune your existing car radio to match the Snap! XMs frequency and enjoy satellite radio. They recommend that you use an AUX cable to hook to your cars stereo but unfortunately, that wasnt an option for my brothers old Eclipse. If you live in a metro area like me, you will constantly have to fight existing radio stations and re-tune your Snap! to get clearer sound. You really have to find an abandoned FM frequency to have it working without interference. I would highly recommend hooking up the AUX if your car supports it. Save yourself the headache.

 

Apart from the cool name, I found the XM experience to be very similar to its old FM counterpart. The reception is live and a bit spotty at times. If you drive under a highway bridge, you will lose reception for a split second. They say you should mount the magnetic antennae on the top-center of the car. We did that but we still get breaks in reception even when trees are a few car-lengths to our sides. The ability to change stations based on genres is nice back in 2000. Sirius XM also delivers song artist and title data. Unfortunately, and this is my biggest complaint about XM Snap!, the text does NOT scroll! Lets say you are listening to a good songs and you want to know what it is. All you see is Backstreet Boys It (:P)and it stops there. literally. It does not scroll. I paid $30 and I still feel ripped off. How hard is it to put scrolling text onВ this thing? Im not a computer programmer or anything but its 2012 and I have scrolling text on my damn watch. You mean to tell me a big company that charges 14 bones for radio subscription and $60 for this thing cant give us scrolling text? I have to pull out my phone and use Shazam to look up the titles. Why?

 

 

Another dumb thing about this thing is the backlighting. Its shines bright blue which isnt bad at all in the daytime, but at night, it ruins your night vision and you end up squinting at the road. If youre going to use backlighting, why not go with a color that preserves night vision like green, amber, and red? And you cant turn off or dim the brightness? So youre only choice is to (appropriately) wring its neck to the side. $60?

 

Final Thoughts

I have very specific taste in music. Most people looking up this review would feel the same way if theyre considering XM. For music, it didnt satisfy my appetite. For one, their electronica stations are very limited. They dont have trance, vocal trance, goa/psy, breakbeats, or dubstep. Although they have chillout(my fav) they often repeat tracks. You hear them way too often. Their hip-hop selection is pretty narrow also. They have southern hip-hop but not 90s hip-hop or conscious rap? The usual radio rap like Drake, Lil Wayne and all those auto-tune guys but Ive never heard Nas, RAKIM, Blackstar, or Mos Def. They have pop by the decade but they omit the freestyle era of the 90s? Come on. I want to jam out to Stevie B! Overall, for $14 per month, you dont get much at all. And Im not so impress with their service to upgrade any time soon. Especially after finding out about their cancellation procedures. I am still a subscriber. Honestly, listening to Howard is the only reason I am still paying. I commute over 2 hours a day to work so I have a lot of time to test things out. The selection is mediocre, the quality is fair(mainly due to FM tuning), the price is high(for what you get), and the product itself(Snap!) is subpar. It really is that bad. It shouldve never left quality control. They should haveВ hired a college dropout to program scrolling text. I mean, that in itself is inexcusable. I bought it for $30 and honestly, it feels like its worth $10. I dont know what went on during the Sirius/XM merger but it looks like a mirror of the Kmart/Sears merger. They need to get their act together or theyre going under. I get better music from my phone running Pandora and DI.fm and I would do so once I upgrade. After trying out XM Snap! I would steer clear of any XM branded products. I would rather buy a deck that supports XM as an option rather than a standalone XM receiver. They dont seem to stand by their products. Another thing to note. My friend purchased a new car and apparently, there seems to be a trend where car dealers give you a 3 or 6 month trial of XM to get you hooked. His trial ran out and not surprisingly, he didnt sign up. Overall, XM Snap! is garbage. there really isnt much more to say. The Sirius XM service is fair. With so much competition from smart phone apps like Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Spotify, there no need for shifty tactics like calling to cancel. Plus Bluetooth A2DP is quickly becoming a standard so unless XM get with the program, they will go the way of the video store. People will just stream music from their smart phones. Try harder guys. Siriusly

 

 

Update:

I called customer service to have my XM service canceled and В as I predicted, I was transferred to a customer service representative who hassled me to keep subscribing. I politely told the rep that I wasnt using it that much and she offer me more time to explore it with 2 free months. After giving her all my information and talking for a few minutes I asked her why do you guys make it so easy to sign up for XM via the website but I have to go through the hassle of calling customer support, being put on hold for 10 minutes, and fighting with you[XM] to cancel my service? She quickly changed the subject saying some written, We value our customers and we do our best to provide our users with the best experience blah, blah blah.. At this point, I didnt feel like arguing and was happy to get it over with. Ive since purchased a new phone and will use Pandora to substitute XM on those long rides to work.

 

Sirius XM Snap!

Sirius XM Snap! is a cheap entry level Sat-radio receiver and it shows. The device is all plastic and although it works, Sirius cuts costs by omitting obvious standards like back-light control and scrolling text. The Snap! is easy to install and it works as advertised but the XM service is spotty and way too expensive. The device itself is very expensive costing $60. Sirius XM needs to get their act together. Verdict: Pass

Rating by Set Sar: 0.5 stars
1/2

 

Tablets vs Laptops: Which Is Better?

If you are in the market for a new computer, you may be considering a tablet PC over a traditional laptop. Many tech analysts predicted that tablets would phase out netbooks and that seems to be the case. A bigger question now is, would it kill off laptops? As an owner of a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer, this is a legitimate scenario. What are the roles of these devices, where do tablets fit in, and which is better? To better aswer these questions, lets go though the basics of these 2 and their pros and cons.

Filling the gap

Most people already have a smartphone in their pockets. With all major carriers pushing them over the past 10 years, its almost rare to find someone with a dumb phone. Even prepaid carriers like Virgin Mobile offer smartphones at an affordable price. Smartphones are filling the communications gap not just with calling, but with email and social networking. You can do a lot with a smartphone but the primary role is still communications whether its call or text messages.

Desktop PCs have been the workhorse for consumers and professionals since the invention of the personal computer. That title isnt likely to change any time soon. A desktop computer can do nearly everything you can imagine from editing videos, browsing the web, or simply chatting with friends. A desktop is best suited for graphic designers, musicians, or gamers. Theres one disadvantage of desktops that will likely remain. Portability. While you have production power with a desktop, you cant take it with you on the road. Laptops and tablets fill this gap but which is best?

 

Are laptops dying?

Laptops solved this problem by offering portability without sacrificing much power. Over the years, laptops evolved and specialized into different niches from gaming laptops, ultraportables, to the very small netbook. For the average consumer, a laptop could fulfill about 95% of their needs. Some of the best laptops on the market areВ advertised as desktop replacements. Laptops can connect to most hardware devices from all-in-one printers, portable hard drives, PMP(Portable Music Players), smartphones, and third-party peripherals such as keyboards/mice.

Pros: Portable yet still relatively powerful. Cheap. Price has drop considerably. Hardware keyboard. Full desktop OS. Connectivity
Cons: Not portable enough to take everywhere. Heat.

 

Tablet PCs are newcomers to the game but theyve proven over the years that they are not just a fad. These touchscreen computers have been criticized for being no more than oversized smartphones yet theyve proven to be capable consumer devices that are more portable than laptops, and in some cases, more practical. An unavoidable example is Apple and the iPad.

 

All play and no work?

The iPad is more portable than a laptop and can be used to consume media easier as well. There have been internal reports from Apple that the iPad is cannibalizing their laptops(macbooks). This points us to a trend that most consumers are more aimed at consuming media rather than being productive. The iPad has gone through 3 generations(so far) and has shown staying power. Other tablets(Android and RIM) have entered the market to claim their piece of the pie. I use my tablet to listen to internet radio, read magazines, books, and do quick web browsing. All of which seems easier compared toВ a laptop while taking up less space. One inherent flaw of tablets is the proprietary nature. They dont have to be compatible with all printers, keyboards/mice, etc like their laptop rivals. This initial flaw looks like it will be phased out with time as newer printers and accessories adopt standard technologies like WiFi printing and Bluetooth 4.

Pros: More portable than laptops. Great for consuming media. Easier to pick up and use.
Cons: No hardware keyboard. Poor for production work. Hardware connectivity.

 

Needs and preferences

One of the biggest factor in determining which is better is recognizing your needs. Do you need a tablet or a laptop? Do you already have a Desktop? If so, then a laptop wouldnt be a good choice. A tablet would be a better choice that fills a larger gap. In that scenario, a laptop would just be a less powerful, slightly more portable desktop replacement. The next question you should ask yourself is what do you plan to use it for? If you just want a new gadget and dont critically need it, then a tablet is the likely choice. On the other hand, if you were starting university and had a choice between a laptop or a tablet, get a laptop without question. That would fit your needs better.

 

Another factor is portability. When you are out, do you find yourself hunting for a computer? Is your smartphone not cutting it for extending web browsing? Laptops revolutionized computing because they offered mobility. Tablets take it a step further. Laptops, although portable, are still too big. Tablets take up the same footprint as a textbook and are relatively lighter in comparison. Now, trendy hipsters can pretend to do work in coffee shops instead of being cooped up in homes. I kid. рџ?›

 

If you are debating between a laptop and a tablet, considerВ portability. If you find yourself in need to do quick tasks like checking your bank account online or just killing time, then a tablet would be a better choice. If you find yourself trying to edit office documents or doing more critical tasks on the go, then a laptop would be a better choice.

 

В 

If you look at the size of these devices, there seems to be a correlation between size and function. The smaller touchscreen devices tend to be more popular for media consumption and leisure gaming while the larger laptops and desktops are more geared towards work, production, and serious gaming. This doesnt equal causation but its interesting to point out.

 

The Winner?

So which is better? A tablet or a laptop? The final answer is, it depends. For pure capability and power, a tablet cannot match aВ laptop. Theres just no comparison. A laptop with a true desktop OS can do more than a tablet which is highly dependant on apps. For most consumers, this isnt a major issue. Most people spend their computing time browsing the web, not editing images/video. The trend for a more capable mobile PC is growing and the tablet does a noble job fulfilling this role. Though not nearly as capable as laptops(yet), tablets definitely wins in terms of portability. The touchscreen interface not only adds novelty to the experience, but it also opens the door to some interesting and refreshing UI changes. Some professionals are critical of tablets calling them toys and distractions. Is the tablet craze a result of marketing or is it a practical tool in todays tech world? Personally, I have to agree with the critics. You can use tablets for work but every time I see someone using them, 99% of the time, theyre using it to consume media or playing games. Not saying thats a bad thing, it just doesnt seem useful. I already own a desktop and I love my tablet. If I didnt have a main computer, I wouldnt buy a tablet. Id probably opt for a laptop instead. Most people do own a main computer so buying a tablet as a supplementary device may make sense but to say that theyre better than laptops is a stretch. Are they portable? Yes. Are they powerful? Yes. Are they useful? Productive? Meh. But it has a touchscreen and thats cool right?!

 

It will be interesting to see how tablets evolve. As it stands, tablets are luxury electronics and laptops are tools. When technology became status symbols, keeping up with the Joneses means spending half a grand on an electronic slate that runs Angry Birds. Theyll sell regardless.

 

BlackBerry PlayBook OS2 Launches With Remote Control and Native Email

BlackBerry PlayBook OS2 Update

The PlayBook just got a big update today with the release of OS2. I woke up and was prompted by my phone to download the new Bridge version 2 when I realized what day it was. It was update day! Went to my PlayBook and there was a software update waiting to be downloaded. The upgrade process was very Ubuntu-like. I was told I had an update and it did all the work for me. I had to use the advanced setups to get all my email accounts going but that was the only initial complaint.

 

Control your PlayBook with your BlackBerry!

BlackBerry Remote ControlOne this I immediately noticed when IВ simultaneouslyВ update Bridge and my PlayBook is Remote Control. Finally, a way to control your PlayBook with the BlackBerry smartphone! This feature works just like a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Good thing I didnt waste money buying one of those. After the PlayBook update, I had a chance to test drive this feature and it works well. When you use the trackpad, there is a mouse cursor that appears on the PlayBook much like using a computer. This is fantastic. Ive always felt that tablets would stay geared towards consumers without the input accuracy of a keyboard and mouse. Now I can use my PlayBook to type without the clumsiness of the on-screen keyboard. Speaking on on-screen keyboards, the PlayBook updated their software keyboard with additions like predictive text andВ auto-complete.

 

Native Email is here Finally

I wasnt one of those people who complained about native email but its finally here. It took RIM a while to implement this and perhaps the boat has sailed for those that found this to be a deal-breaker but at least we can finally say its here. The native email works just like BlackBerry Messages which groups all your email in one convenient inbox. You can then sort your emails from here. One nice addition is the ability to add social networks to this inbox like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Very cool. Ill be updating my PlayBook review after I spend more time with it. Stay tuned for the link!

Are Netbooks Dying?

Dead Netbook

Around late 2007, a new computer entered the consumer market by appealing to users who wanted something in between their smart phones and laptops. Filling the gap, theВ NetbookВ was born. The main purpose of the Netbook? Its a computer that can browse the Internet, type documents, and still be portable. Most netbooks are powered by Intels underwhelming Atom CPUs which improved longevity. Besides their small form factor and long battery life, netbooks continued to penetrate the market with their attractive pricing. Most can be bought for about $300 and even giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Target started selling them. They also worked great on Linux and I even bought one! Whats not to like? They were portable, В affordable, В and cool. Today, theres a general consensus thatВ the Netbook is dead or dying. Can this be true? Lets take a look at the signs.

Mainstream

The mainstream do not like Netbooks. Netbooks are looked at as cheap, underpowered laptops. The mainstream values power over longevity. This is probably why people drool over the latest 1-2Ghz smart phones but battery life is a second thought. The same can be said about computers. If you think about it, marketing power is easy. This laptop is the fastest on the market sounds much more appealing than This netbook lasts twice as long as that fast laptop. Power is easy to market and trying to sell an underpowered laptop is difficult to say the least. Another reason the mainstream dont like Netbooks is their build quality. Netbooks are affordable. The side-effects of affordability is a reduction inВ quality. In order to keep their prices down, luxuries like a metal body must be replaced with plastic. One can argue that you are getting a good value, but try convincing that to a culture that is infatuated with expensive iProducts.

 

MSRP Buy I mean Best Buy

I was in the market for a netbook last year and Best Buy had tons of them for sale. Unfortunately, they all had the N450 single-core processors. I spoke to one of the staff and asked him if they were getting the dual-core N550 soon. He told me perhaps they are clearing out the N450 netbooks before they stock in the new one. Flash forward a year later and Best Buy still has these crappy N450 Atom netbooks on their shelves! Im glad I didnt wait. I ordered my AsusВ EeePC off Amazon and put that sucker to work. If I am in the market for another netbook, my money will probably go to Amazon again. Why? Because the retail industry suck. Why, after a year, does Best Buy still have netbooks that are years out-dated? I mean, this is not a flea market. This is supposed to be an electronics retailer. Electronics go out of date the day they hit the store shelf. Lets get some new models already!

I think a few things might be going on. They could be liquidating the ones they have in stock. That makes some sense. If netbooks are dying, why order new units? Why not just get rid of the ones you have? On the other hand, if you are trying to sell a bunch of new tablets, why promote a competing product? Out with the old, in with the new, right? Maybe retailers dont have much faith in netbooks anymore? Maybe they ARE dying? One thing is clear, if netbooks are not dying, the retail industry is not helping.

The Tablet Experience

Many analysts predicted that the tablet market will eventually kill off netbooks. People needed a product to fill in the gap between their phones and their laptops. Netbooks and tablets did just that. Although netbooks had a head start in the market, tablets continue to fill the shelves of electronics retailers gaining massive popularity. Another interesting thing about tablets is their demographic. Both tablets and netbooks aim at similar markets but tablets are more geared towards consumers. A netbooks main strength is the physical keyboard and full operation system. Tablet OS are less featured and generally dependant on app quality. App design and quality varies on most tablet OS and they havent had as much time to mature compared with traditional desktop OS. Tablets seem to have a disadvantage, right? They dont have keyboards. Their OS is not geared for production. And yet they are still more popular. This leads me to believe that most people are looking to buy tablets for another purpose; consuming media. And that is probably why the netbook is dying. The gap between smart phones and laptops is more fit for consumers than producers. Producers would rather use a laptop or a desktop to edit images and video over a netbook. The only real production work you can do on a netbook without hiccups is word processing. With tablets, you can browse the web, listen to music, view photos, watch videos, and play games easily. You cant really edit videos or images effectively on tablets but consuming media fulfill the needs of most people. Perhaps in the future, they will be powerful enough to handle production tasks.

In the meantime, the relatively new experience of using gestures and a touchscreen as a main input method is fun and intuitive. This tablet experience makes it easy for anyone to pick one up and use without being well versed with computers. Maybe the market is asking for a new way to use the computer.

 

The Future of Netbooks?

Do I think netbooks are dying? Yes, sort of. Netbooks are becoming less popular in the mainstream but there is still a demand for them. Students who want a computer are still more likely to buy a netbook over a tablet because of their physical hardware keyboard. Netbooks are becoming a bit stale. Theres nothing about netbooks that really impresses consumers. They dont offer anything new. Sure they are smaller and slowly getting more powerful. Anything else? The tablet experience is fresh and while some people thought it was a passing fad, they are still going strong. The fact that netbooks are small and affordable means they can be transported easier by student and purchased in bulk by school districts. Aside from the education sector, netbooks in the consumer market only seem to attract a small niche. Unfortunately, unless something drastic happens, like a huge bump in processing power, I continue to see interest in netbooks decline. As someone who is a part of this niche, this makes me sad. What do you thing? Are netbooks dying?