PCs as consumables

One of the main changes in the personal computer space during 2008 was the introduction of the netbook. A netbook is a light weight, low cost, small (with 7 – 12 inch screens), energy efficient, highly portable laptop that achieves these parameters by offering fewer features, less processing power and reduced ability to run resource-intensive operating systems. These PCs are largely suitable for web browsing, email and general applications. The netbooks are also being retailed just under £200.

Although these PCs tend to be offered with either normal hard drives or lower sized Solid State drives I feel that these will soon become consumable items which everyone will have and throw away when a better spec one is available especially as the cost migrates towards £100.

As these devices have wireless capability you can use these anywhere for multiple reasons and I personally would rather carry a netbook than try to browse a smartphone or similar device at home or on the move. Last year Samsung announced that it was offering a 256GB Flash SSD drive, which although is cost prohibitive to place in a netbook currently you can imagine in a few years the possibilities where you could have a device that sits on your coffee table which you could pick up at any time to browse the web, compile an email, stream video and even hold all of your CDs which wirelessly connects to your sound system.


Samsung FlashSSD 256GB


And infact at CES 2009 in Las Vegas, ASUS unveiled the world’s first notebook pc equipped with 512GB SSD. Therefore with this change of form factor to a more consumable, durable and smaller device, is it time that everyone started considering reducing the amount of information published on web pages so that it is easier to interact on a smaller device? Apple was the first to benefit from producing apps for the smaller form factor device, who will be next to consider the Netbooks??

Author: Steve Wakefield

Steve Wakefield is an experienced Innovator presently based in London.

One thought on “PCs as consumables”

  1. Interesting that many laptops are miss sold as netbooks these days, it may be a cunning ploy by retailers to disguise weak specifications, but as you describe a netbook is not build to host applications but to facilitate popular web based interactions. Obviously the rapid emergence and low cost of a SSD’s and wilting cost of a decent processer have made this possible, but why would I want a notebook? I already have a laptop and what are the benefits of a another device, without spending an extensive travelling it can only be considered a complete luxury.

    So here’s my situation, everyone I know or visit have a PC of laptop, and as I tend to drive everywhere (that’s right, no chauffeur) I do not have, or at least I have not realised a great use for this mobile capability. As a more appropriate option for myself, I carry a simple 8gb USB drive, using the opensource http://portableapps.com/ Software and a few other portable app, such as Roboform2go, it gives me everything I could need on the move, (officeapps/email/IM/Browser/GIMP/mediaplayer), enabling me to highjack any terminal’s processer and make me feel right at home, without even leaving a footprints. With a couple of tweaks using autorun and a .bat file you can make the whole experience very pleasant.

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