We lay a lot of trust in our news sites, just as we do/did with newspapers before them expecting that when something appears in their space, it’s worth viewing and provides meaningful,concise information.
Then you get articles like the one @modernsusan dropped me today, “Time to drop the Netbook label.”
It blew me away, so much I’m having trouble expressing how frustrated I am trying to figure out their point in writing this. In the space of 949 words, the article meanders from being pro-notebook to anti-netbook, and somehow in between tries to explain the idea of the netbook class of computers by explaining where certain models fit inside the very gap that defines the difference between fully-featured laptops and stripped-down netbooks.
Netbooks DO NOT replace fully-featured computers!
They’re add-on devices. Pure and simple. Thankfully, CNN explains their original purpose:
The big PC makers, understandably, wanted a piece of the action too, but not at the expense of cannibalizing their budget-conscious traditional notebook lines.
So Netbooks were sold as a “companion device.” As in, if you keep some of your data “in the cloud” as with e-mail on Yahoo or Gmail or pictures on Facebook or Picasa, and you stream music on a service like Pandora or Last.fm, you can use your regular notebook at home and use something smaller on the road that still affords access to a lot of your stuff.
A good point. Totally ruined, later in the article:
Color, screen resolution, battery, Wi-Fi, Webcam? The same. And they both lack an internal optical drive. The differences, though relatively small, can be summed up in the 11z notebook’s 1.5 inches of extra screen real estate, a more powerful Celeron processor, 1GB of extra memory, and a larger hard drive.
Plus, by getting the notebook with Vista, you have an automatic free upgrade to Windows 7. With any computer with XP, it costs around $100 to get Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.
The specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other. And the way Dell introduced the 11z doesn’t clear matters up. Dell’s official blog notes that “the Inspiron 11z blends Netbook-like portability with laptop-like capability.”
Can you see where it is, this total blow-your-mind article-ruining realization that hit me after reading this passage? I did a count on the page, and CNN mentions the Dell 11z seven (count them, 7) times in less than six hundred words.
They’re promoting a bridge product! That’s why they’re writing this! Whether or not Dell asked, or paid, or they’re just using it as an example, the focus stands out, and it blows my mind because it ruins the whole thing. I feel like they’re trying to sell me one of these things, and I can’t help but be angry about it.
Netbooks fit nicely into the space between a laptop and a smartphone. By definition, they ARE a filler product! I’ve spoken before about why the market needs gaps, and I stand by it. So having CNN declaring the gap a non-issue really gets my goat.
A high saturation of what reads like product placement really doesn’t help either.