Will slate devices spell the death of the netbook?

Saunders-45X64.JPGPosted by Alec Saunders
What a difference a couple of years makes. Before iPhone came along, the world of touch screen devices was moribund — confined to tablet PC’s with pens and not much else. Today, fingertip driven UI’s are the rage, and the enthusiasm for touch devices generated by the launch of iPhone continues unabated. Consider the following stories currently headlining techmeme:
Apple Reveals New Touch Screen Technology for iPhone & MacBook Tablet
Plastic Logic (Finally) Shows Off The Que, Its (Very Expensive) Kindle Competitor
Windows-7 slate device revealed by Steve Ballmer
The Other HP Slate Runs On Android
Dell confirms Android-powered tablet device
All of that without a mention of Apple’s mysterious tablet device, which has been rumoured for months now.
It begs a question, naturally, which is “What is the future of the netbook?”. An enthusiastic netbook user, myself, I wonder whether I might instead substitute a slate if a suitable one were available. After all, netbook’s are most useful for simple email, web browsing, presentation display and the like. Couldn’t a slate fulfill a similar purpose? I already find myself reading a substantial amount on the tiny iPhone display — more so today than on my HP Mini netbook. Would I read even more on a device with a larger and sharper screen which incorporated natural page-turn gestures?
Food for thought, eh?

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