The other day I came across the old netbook I used to carry around with me in high school. I tried powering it back on, but sadly it appears to have given up the ghost in the decade since I last powered it on.
There was once a time when my netbook was my daily companion. And it had a bit of a cult following. Fun fact: it made our high school year book more than I did.
When I was in high school, smart phones as we know them were just starting to get popular, and as a broke high school student I couldn’t dream of affording one. Instead, I relied on a relatively cheap dumb phone, and instead used my netbook in all the ways a person might use a smart phone nowadays.
I would save all my MP3s on there, and would plug it in with an AUX cord to my Nissan Frontier as I drove to and from school. It was my entertainment before class, and when I got off the bus at the library after the school day was over. It’s where I wrote all my essays and reports, did all of my research, and most of my homework.
Was it powerful? No. But it was good enough, and more importantly, it was portable. There weren’t many places I’d go without it. And the battery would last most of the day, at least enough for me to do what I needed.
In the end, the iPad came out, and tablets spelled the end for netbooks. For most folks, they were a better lifestyle fit for the person looking for something to carry around with them, and with a keyboard attachment, there weren’t really any advantages for the netbooks any more. Looking back, the keyboards were cramped, they weighed a lot, and most of the displays were kinda of crappy.
But still, it was a faithful companion, and I feel quite nostalgic for my netbook. Here’s to you, netbooks. You were before your time.