Why Netbooks Aren’t There Yet

“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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