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Netbooks don't strike me as garbage at all. I have a desktop (well, more of a desk-holder-up since it's a tower) and that's what I use for any kind of processor-intensive work. When I'm mobile, I don't want to do anything more complex than editing a document, and I don't need an expensive high-powered laptop for that.

Come to that, a typical netbook configuration of some atom-style processor and 2gb of memory is not that bad - that would have been a high-powered machine 8 or 10 years ago and with an SSD it's pretty nippy.

Invest in build quality and reliability, potentially at the cost of end-user repairability.

Thanks, but no thanks.

I've also gotten a lot of use out of my netbook. Small, long battery life, and can do just about everything my desktop/laptop can. All for $300 (a price point I could never imagine seeing from Apple). I can see that they're not for everyone and for many consumers tablets may be a better choice, but for me the netbook was cheaper and I could do more with it.

I think the main reason netbooks are considered garbage by many is that they decided to cram Windows XP into underpowered machines, which meant a horribly slow laptop with poor battery life, with the only advantage being that it was small and cheap.

For me, a netbook replaced a $2000+ Fujitsu subnotebook which ran Linux. It was fast enough to run a web browser and most of the CPU intensive work (compiling etc) was done on a remote server anyway. The build quality was actually about the same, the main difference was the lack of an optical drive (which I didn't need anyway).

I sold my iPad 1 four weeks after getting it and bought a netbook. Still using it today. It's a real computer, does real work, and was a great bargain—none of which was true of the iPad, then or now.

I can't help but notice you don't mention what "real computer", "real work" and "great bargain" mean to you.

I type fairly fast, so a keyboard is a big time-saver for me. I work in many popular file formats, Office, etc, that I can't do much very easily with on a tablet.

So "real" means a keyboard and software that fully handles common work files.

It was less than half the cost of the iPad, a great bargain by comparison.

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