We might indeed be in the midst of a sea change in portable computing--at least, according to early hands-on reviews of the iPad, Apple's cannon shot at the Netbook universe at large. "They're not better at laptops than anything, they're just cheaper," Steve Jobs himself commented at the unveiling of the iPad in January.
The iPad might bring something new or refined to the equation. And the affordable, tiny, and yes, often bare-bones Atom processor-running device we've come to know and love, or hate, as the Netbook is often clunky and frequently disappointing, true enough.
On the other hand, the Apple iPad is touted as a better solution for those in the market for a Netbook--for some functions, at least.
Though the iPad might win out on some particular functions--video playback quality, in particular--the truth is there are a great many things Netbooks can do that an iPad just can't. Right now, at least. We felt this way back in January, and we still feel that way now, even if Apple will have a $29 camera connector that will help answer for a missing USB/SD card input. And though that may not make a Netbook better than a laptop, in some instances a Netbook certainly seems better than an iPad. Check out the rundown (and, yes, multitasking would certainly be an excellent No. 11, unless a forthcoming OS update eventually fixes that).
Click below for our rundown, and tell us if we left any features out. (Note: this originally published right after the original iPad announcement, and has been updated with current information in mind.)