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Why Netbooks Aren't There Yet

Dec 03, 2008, 00:31 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jamie Lendino)

"The boot sequence needs to disappear. This has long been a dream of notebook vendors, but it's particularly important here. Today, netbooks take as long or even longer than regular, more powerful notebooks to boot up. Incorporating a real instant-on feature wouldn't mean a return to the incompatible Newton and Psion days either: a clean install of Linux or Windows XP boots quite quickly without crapware clogging up the proceedings. It can be faster still with solid-state memory (see below).

"• Batteries need to last longer. Another holy grail, but one that's especially relevant to netbooks given their typical use cases: e-mail, a quick Web browsing section, and light document editing. Think about it--if a cell phone can last for days at a time and sport a 500 MHz processor, a netbook should be able to do the same thing with an Atom processor and a much larger battery. Low-power modes, efficient green CPUs, solid-state storage, and LED displays are all means to this end.

"• Persistent WWAN connectivity. By definition, netbooks work while connected to the Internet. If you can't find a hot spot, and you’re not paying for a $60/month cellular broadband card, your netbook becomes... a doorstop. It’s clear we won’t have persistent Wi-Fi even in major cities for some time to come, much less rural areas."

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