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5 Reasons I’m Still Excited about Notebooks — And You Should be Too

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The iPad 2 has arrived, and while I plan to pick one up, I’m still in love with notebooks, and frankly I think you should be too, or at least you will be after your tablet lust wears off.

Notebooks will still face increased pressure from tablets like the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom, but there’s plenty of reasons that users will continue to purchase notebooks. While the tablet may help a consumer avoid purchasing a new notebook for home or work, it’s hard to imagine the average consumer completely abandoning the notebook anytime soon.

5 Reasons I’m Still Excited About Notebooks:

The Keyboard: Yes, it’s an easy one to point out, but the keyboard is a defining feature that consumers clearly want to have at hand for long typing sessions. Why do you think manufacturers are trying to fit sliding and removable keyboards on tablets? Sure, you can add a keyboard to the iPad with an iPad keyboard case, but simply adding a keyboard to a tablet does not a notebook make.

The iPad and other tablets, even with a keyboard, lack the ability to use keyboard shortcuts which can greatly enhance productivity for users who spend their day, or even their evenings, in front of a computer.

It’s where the Work Happens: Go ask the next iPad user you see where they do most of their work. Odds are they will tell you they use a notebook or a desktop to get things done. Personally I can’t get by without being able to compare two documents side to side, which is an issue on most tablets not just in the software, but also in the size of the screen.

Flickr – rewinder

What I love about notebooks is the ability to find the software I need to get work done without compromising on an app that requires extra steps. While there are many great apps, if you want to work with others you need to be prepared to use Office or other programs which, if present in the app store, aren’t always able to deliver the same rich experience. As James Kendrick points out, this need to use common programs isn’t just for adults, students will need to have access to Office and other tools to do their homework as well.

The Full Web, Including Flash that Works: When you use a notebook, you can visit any website, and even if it uses Flash, it will work. While we can go on and on about how Flash kills battery life, it’s still a large enough presence on the web that I enjoy surfing on a notebook and not needing to worry about whether the video player loading in the background will be able to play. Android tablets may support Flash, but so far it’s not the same experience. Notebooks deliver the full web, and I love it.

Notebooks are Bringing  Sexy Back: It’s taken a while, but We are finally starting to see sexy notebooks from companies other than Apple.

The Samsung 9 Series looks great, as do the HP Envy notebooks. We’re even seeing manufacturers pay more attention to the looks of business workhorses as well as mid range and budget notebooks. They may not be as thin as a tablet, but don’t count out notebooks just because they are plus sized.

Accessories and Extendability: Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I like notebooks is that I can extend their usefulness with tons of affordable accessories. If I want a new keyboard, mouse or an additional monitor all I need to do is go looking and I’ll find a wide array of well made accessories that can connect using standard adapters.

If I Switch from an HP notebook to a MacBook I can still use my same keyboard, mouse and monitor. While some tablet accessories using Bluetooth will go between devices the interoperability with tablet accessories more closely mirrors mp3 player accessories than it does notebooks.

In Short…

In short, I may have lust in my heart for the iPad 2, but my true love is for notebooks. I could live without a tablet, but I could never give up my notebooks to live life with just a tablet.

Josh Smith is a longtime mobile tech user, currently using a Droid as his primary smartphone. Josh is also an editor at Notebooks.com where he reviews notebooks and other mobile tech. Follow Josh on Twitter @Josh_Smith or email him Josh@Notebooks.com.

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