Touchscreen Netbooks May Only Be A Gimmick

Posted: Dec 29 2008, 7:40am CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 12:20pm CDT, in News | CES


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We have talked on a few occasions about what we expect to see at CES 2009 from netbook makers. One of the biggest trends at the show will be touchscreen netbooks. I also expect that we will see a big push towards netbooks with integrated 3G modems.

The leaked Sony P Series Vaio netbook may be an indicator of something that we may not have expected from a netbook, high resolutions in a small screen. The biggest problem I see with a netbook running high resolutions is that the small screen size means that text and icons on the screen will be very small.

This may not be a big issue for those of us with good vision, but for users who like larger icons or have vision problems, high resolutions on a small screen aren’t ideal. I have reviewed several touchscreen notebooks over the years and for the most part, I have found touch screens to be a gimmick.

I’m not sure that a touchscreen will be anything other than a good way for netbook makers to charge more for their machines. I don’t think the vast majority of netbook users will find a touchscreen to be a compelling reason to buy a new netbook or go with a netbook costing more that offers the feature.

I can understand from a manufacturer’s perspective why they want to pack more features into a netbook – to drive up profitability. I think that in today’s economy most netbook users will forgo the new touchscreen netbooks and instead look to the better values that will likely be seen from some of the older netbook models as the new feature rich units are unveiled.

For myself what I really want is a netbook like the MSI Wind that offers a 10-inch screen, good battery life, Windows XP and a great keyboard with a standard layout. 3G Internet connectivity would be nice, but I want a modem that can be activated on a per-day basis like the one in my Dell M1330 from Verizon.

I want to be able to access 3G connectivity in a pinch or in the rare occasion I travel, but I don’t use mobile connectivity anywhere near enough to justify the $60 per month fee. My perfect netbook would be the MSI Wind with pay as you go 3G connectivity. What would your perfect netbook include?

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at




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