Macbitz Musings – Netbooks

I have read lots of posts from people who seem to have a genuine requirement for something larger than an iPhone/iPod Touch and yet smaller than the 13″ MacBook to use for basic web and PDA duties. There are also lots of rumours that Apple is preparing to enter this market, but that they have said they’ll only consider it when they can “do it properly”.

I wondered what “do it properly” meant and it wasn’t until I started using an MSI Wind 100 netbook that I started to realize. As devices go it really is not something I’d want to buy or use on a regular basis. The screen seemed relatively clear but that’s about where the usability experience ended. The touchpad is miniscule, and the two buttons below it that act as mouse buttons – talk about needing a firm press… if they don’t give you RSI then nothing will! As for build quality, well the whole thing has a plasticy cheap feel to it and I can’t imagine it’s that robust.

While I don’t personally have a need for a netbook, it will be interesting to see what Apple do in this space.

Oh and a final word about the new ‘2009’ Mac Pro. The Quad-Core 2.66GHz version can ‘only’ take a maximum of 8Gb of RAM, compared to the 32Gb max on the 8-Core model. Shame… (I run multiple concurrent VMs on my 2008 model that require 2Gb of RAM each).