These two are of complete different areas and yet they compete for the same buyer. Now, here I am talking about the Netbooks as well. I believe strongly that with the coming of Windows Tablet (Both the RT and Pro) its need will diminish slowly to the point of no use.
It is simple observation that leads me to this conclusion. The only real advantage of Netbook over Tablet is keyboard (and for now the OS). After coming of Windows 8, the OS will be the same on both and of course a touch based device with a keyboard is bound to be more successful than a non touch based one.
Of course, price matters but I do not think that Microsoft can place its tablet (RT one at least) at a very high end of the spectrum. It cannot be more than the other tabs out in the market and with rumors of Google getting it to less than $100 it seems that Microsoft will have no choice in the matter.
So, in my opinion, netbooks are going to have a bad time in the near future. Especially with Windows tablets coming with keyboards attached to them (kind of).
Now, coming to the high end of the spectrum – Two things are of paramount importance here. One is that all softwares run smoothly (especially office ones). Second an awesome battery life!
Considering that Microsoft Office shall come to Windows tablets (I am even hearing that it will be coming for Android and iOS) the only question is how powerful it will be and if people will rather use it on a tablet than an ultrabook.
I know what most people might be thinking. Ultrabooks or netbooks for that matter are superior in terms of hardware-price value than tablets. And it is true. The portability factor is also reduced as they are small as well. The thing is that they still cannot beat the tablets in portability. And if a tablet is good enough to run Office, then people will use it over the ultrabook. I have three reasons to believe that-
1. Touch matters
Whatever we might believe, touch has changed the way we interact with our devices. Windows 8 is meant to be touched and so will work superiorly in the tablet. People prefer touch because it is intuitive.
Yes, Windows has tons of software (the best ecosystem I think) and Windows tablets in comparison is in shambles but people will want to make apps for Windows and it’s a basic fact that creating an app is more difficult than porting it.
With such healthy ecosystems as Android and iOS already in place all Microsoft needs is to woo these developers. (It is not easy I know but Microsoft is working hard on it). And as the apps are far cheaper than softwares, if they even work similarly (not exactly) it is a sound investment.
3. The current trend
Tablets are already hurting the sales of laptops and this trend will only increase once the King of the laptop OS comes to the tablet market.
Looking at all this I believe that though there is a huge debate over which tablet will win this war, I am more curious about how big a loss it will be for Netbooks and Ultrabooks?