December 21, 2014

Is it Really Worth Putting Android on a Netbook?

While the tech-addict in me would love to own and play with an Android based netbook, the question must be asked:  Does an Android netbook make much sense?

Now before you go blasting me out of the water, (which I admit, may be deserved), take a look at the netbooks that are available right now for purchase.  You can get a pretty decent netbook with some great specs for about $300 or so that will serve you quite well.  If portability is what you seek, there are products running all flavors of OS to satisfy your need.

Would having an Android powered netbook be something that is actually useful, or something that would be a novelty?  Don’t get me wrong, it would be great to have a lot more real estate on a touch screen, and I would love to have more processing and memory power behind the OS; but I am struggling with the idea of using Android in it’s current form reliably on netbook hardware.  If I was to buy a netbook, it would need to be something that I could use without struggle, bugs or problems.  It would not need to be a beta unit, like most of the Android netbooks are right now.  I also would not be look for a netbook that was hooked into a carrier for mobile broadband, I simply do not have an application for that use.

Will Android mature to a point where it will be the preferable OS for mobile computing over the current choices?  I really hope so.  I would love to see a stable netbook flavor of Android that would work in conjunction with my handset, and all the Google Apps that I use daily.  Do I think it will happen?  Not anytime soon.  My feeling is that there will be a few netbook offerings out there that will be mildly successful, but it won’t be a must have item.

Does an Android netbook make much sense?  Regrettably, not at this moment.  I hate saying that, I really do.  However, if I am going to lay down $300, it needs to be very far from beta.

Let the flames begin.



  • slartibartfast

    It's more worth putting Android on a Tablet

    • http://www.usb-charger.mobi Jack

      Completely agree. Look at the iPad that's just a large iphone.

  • http://www.thisandroidlife.com Merago

    I've been thinking the same actually. What's the point of shoving Android on a Netbook. So far (bar the excellent proof of concept netbook that HP showed at CES), Android powered Netbooks haven't exactly been brilliant. Given that Chrome OS will be popping on netbooks soon, I suspect Android will probably end up being largely ignored for netbooks in a couple of years.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/schwiz schwiz

    I would say so, but only if it is a customized build that really fits the laptop. But I do agree with slartibartfast as well, android is more worthy of a tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/ZilverZurfarn @ZilverZurfarn

    I've been playing with some x86 Android distros, and while the geek in me loves the idea, until I can use the Google apps, it's pretty pointless. There is contacts and calendar, but the rest of the Google stuff is (for reasons not too hard to guess) omited making them completely useless.

  • Androidawg

    I couldn't agree more. Between Win 7/XP, Linux flavors of all sorts, and now Chrome OS, where's the sell for Android? It won't be able to any more than Ubuntu, or Fedora, or Windows. It will still be buggy because Android was not designed to run on X86 processors. AND I'll have access to everything the OS can do on an infinitely more portable device — my phone.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/apascua61 apascua61

    I'm glad i wasn't the only one thinking about this

  • inthemoment

    Think the main points are being missed here, ARM, price, speed and touch. I don't see the point of netbooks at moment slow bloated xp/vista, poor battery life, exensive Intel, useless touchpad. $150, day long battery, simple open system with touch, by 2011 arm/android will be main netbook platform.

  • Mike

    There is little point. Theres no decent office applications or PDF viewers. When there are really good fully functional apps for these, then itll be worth while using.

  • inthemoment

    Think the main points are being missed here, ARM, price, speed and touch. I don't see the point of netbooks at moment slow bloated xp/vista, poor battery life, exensive Intel, useless touchpad. $150, day long battery, simple open system with touch, by 2011 arm/android will be main netbook platform.

  • Guest

    Android seems to be Beta for Chaos (A-BC). What are the rules for one item only having Android ver 1.5, another ver 1.6, and others versions 2.0 or 2.1 and so on? Does each OEM program his own version as needed when he gets to it, to get it to work under his own broad rules? I've read that Google has not plans for Android on tablets. Isn't this one trait that killed the Windows PDA market as we knew it–it got beyond MS's ability to control so MS left it up to each supplier/OEM to program? We wonder why apps don't always work! Maybe Apple's heavy hands has some merit? Will Google step up to the plate?

  • johnkzin

    Sorry, I don't agree. Android, on a _convertible_tablet_ netbook, would be outstanding.

    You say that there's a lot of OS options for netbooks… but, Chrome isn't actually out yet, most versions of conventional Linux (all the ones I'm familiar with) fail when it comes to the screen-rotation capability you'd want on a convertible tablet, and Windows just isn't an option … at all. iPhone OS X is both "not an option" and "not available". Mac OS X isn't available (legally). I've heard Symbian might be available for netbooks ("smartbooks", which are the same thing with a different CPU). Maemo would be pretty outstanding, but is also not available.

    That leaves Android.

    Further, Android is becoming available on several 10" tablets (Notion Ink Adam, EnTourage eDGe, etc.). What's the difference between that and a netbook? a keyboard.

    Sounds reasonable to me. (and, I plan to buy a Notion Ink Adam).

  • Aloysius

    I install android 1.5 on a ARM 8505 netbook but i cannot get the wifi to work it can list available networks but will not connect.

  • http://yoshibaar.yolasite.com/ Kaye Hunter

    Android as a Netbook, never thought about it. Yet, even I don’t think that Android as a Netbook will make much sense, if it becomes true then also there will be less users of it.