Netbooks are the latest rage. They are light and portable, and have enough power to do basic internet browsing , word processing and other light computer chores. Are they good for editing movies and photos? No. Are they good for gaming? Absolutely not.
Netbooks are perfect for performing the tasks that 75% (pure guess) of computers are used for. Web and email.
Enter the smartphone. First the Apple iPhone, now the Motorola Droid. These are sophisticated computers. Not smart phones, but computers that happen to be phones too. The iPhone 3gs and the Motorola Droid both pack a 550 MHz processor. The new Google Nexus phone has a 1 GHz processor. There are tons of netbooks out there that are being sold with the 1Ghz ATOM processor.
So, today's smart phones and netbooks are close or equal when it comes to computing power.
My Droid came with 16GB of storage standard and can be upgraded to 32GB by simply replacing the MicroSD card. 16GB or 32GB is plenty of storage for a netbook. We are not talking about a machine that we will be archiving family photos and videos on.
There should be dockable home and mobile computers that can interface with our smart phone.
How about a laptop that has nothing but a screen and keyboard that you can slide your droid into. Once inserted you can use a full size keyboard and monitor with your droid. You have fast 3G internet speed. Most people would need nothing more than this. The droid would draw minimal power at this point, because the phone's screen could remain off. The laptop dock would need power, but only for the LCD monitor.
At home, we have a similar docking station, one that has interfaces for our keyboard, mouse, monitor and printer. When docked, the droid could even be used as an additional input device, making use of custom touchable icons.
It's ingenious. Your mother needs a cell phone and computer? Give her the Droid and a dock and she's all set.
I'm not sure if the video output of the Droid is high enough resolution for an external monitor, but I have no doubt it would be easy to do. The current Droid may be a little underpowered as a netbook, but the new Nexus phone and all smartphones in the future should be able to handle day to day computing tasks with no problem.
I'll bet we won't see something like this at CES. I wonder why? I can't be the first person to have thought of this.