The growing trend in laptop computers over the last year has been the race to the fill the niche between the hulking, weighty beasts known as “desktop replacements” (those laptops with 17” screens and enough processing power to run even Windows Vista at a reasonable speed) and the Internet-enabled smartphones such as the iPhone, Blackberry, Treo, etc. What has emerged is the Netbook: a line of lean and inexpensive laptops that are small enough to carry in a purse or briefcase yet still fast enough to run Windows XP or the consumer-focused versions of Linux.
Why do people buy a laptop computer when they’re more expensive, harder to upgrade, and easier to lose than desktops? Because it’s not powerful computing people need, it’s portability. If you haven’t guessed where I’m going with this, I’m asking why only one in five REALTORS® in Massachusetts (according to the 2007 NAR Profile of Members) owns a Blackberry, Treo, iPhone, Google phone, or similar smartphone that can access the Internet from anywhere?