If a developer is scared to cross to any platform because they don't want to be multi-lingual, they're doing it wrong.
An application can be separated into logic and presentation, or model and view, however your framework prefers to describe them. A program may require separate presentation for each platform, but versions of a program for multiple platforms should ideally share the logic. But some platforms strongly recommend or even require use of certain languages. How can a programmer follow the rule of not repeating yourself to share logic across languages? Say I developed a game in Java or Objective-C but I want to port it to a Microsoft platform that allows only C#. (In theory it allows any language that compiles to verifiably type-safe
So you need to look beyond Intel and Microsoft. [Try an ARM-powered Android laptop]
I currently run Xubuntu on my 10" laptop. But I use Intel for two reasons. One is that operating systems that ship on popular ARM devices tend to have window management policies that are all maximized all the time. The Android CDD explicitly has no provision for resizable windows. Though 1024x600 is small, it is still wide enough for a source code window and an output window side by side in IDLE, the code editor that ships with Python. The other is that three applications that I use regularly are not ported to GNU/Linux (FamiTracker, Modplug Tracker, and FCEUX debugger version), and I run them through Wine. Or have I just painted myself into a "too niche for hardware makers to bother" corner?
If you don't find it in the US, probably buy from China
How would one go about returning something that one finds unsuitable? One time I bought a mail order Bluetooth keyboard, so much had been crammed to the right of the space bar that my right thumb had to stretch uncomfortably to reach it. Fortunately, because I had bought it from a U.S.-based seller, I was able to ship it back. I do see that Newegg has the IdeaPad A10 though.
It's all marketing, don't be such a sucker! In fact, I just call 'em al laptops, in the case net/utlra/bollocks-books, I just call 'em small laptops.
I too refer to this machine as a "10 inch laptop". It's just that someone else used "netbook", and I tried to head off useless debate by defining words in advance because the popular conception of a "netbook" is a laptop whose hardware qualifies or would have qualified under Microsoft's Windows XP-era ULCPC licensing program.
games-consoles (as they are usually hacked enough to have pretty much the same functionality as any other computer in the house)
Which country do you live in that allows that? I thought the United States had the DMCA, the European Union had national versions of the EUCD, and Canada had the digital lock bill.
And if obtaining root access trivially is important to an Android user, they will choose their device accordingly.
So how does one who has been given a hand-me-down device, such as my cousin, go about that? Sell the device on Craigslist and buy another?
Nexus devices don't require some exploit to be found to achieve root... it's a very straightforward process.
Root on a Nexus requires unlocking the bootloader, which in turn requires wiping the device. This means you lose all your data if you want to gain root at any time other than the day you buy a new device.
You can buy Linux devices setup as kiosks that lock the user out of root.
The difference is still that GNU/Linux PC owners are expected to have root. All major distros either ask for a root password or put the first created user into a "wheel" group (which has sudo rights) during installation or the first boot. So there is root by default on the "typical" GNU/Linux PC. Reminding the machine's owner to establish and keep root access is the rule, not the exception as it is on Android. Besides, there are plenty of things that don't require root on GNU/Linux but do on Android, such as installing fonts to a single user account.
the nomenclature is pretty much meaningless
I beg to differ. Microsoft defined an "ultra-low-cost personal computer" (ULCPC) in its description of which devices were eligible for extended availability of Windows XP and for Windows 7 Starter. This definition, which covered screen size, resolution, RAM, and hard disk storage, ended up becoming the de facto definition of netbook hardware. Ultrabook, on the other hand, is a brand based on a spec set by Intel.
usually with slightly large screens
And there's the rub. Netbooks such as my Dell Inspiron mini 1012 came with 10.1" screens, but Ultrabook laptops are closer to 12". That can add up when you're trying to use a laptop while riding a full bus, and you'll end up needing to carry it in a larger, more obvious (to thieves) bag. That and Ultrabook laptops are far more expensive than your typical Atom netbook was, without an extended warranty to match.
If it is not there build it
I agree, but I refer you to my previous comment.
There is no monopoly in land: there are many buyers and sellers.
If you're trying to set up a service that requires burying your conduit under the land of "many buyers and sellers", that's hard because at least one of these "many buyers and sellers" is bound to be a "nail" and block your project unless you use the power of the state (eminent domain) to allow your entry onto their property.
Solution: develop other kinds of software.
Are you implying, say, giving up video game development entirely?
People realised that swipe keyboards are actually faster
Only when you're looking at the screen. I tried the free version of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure on a Nexus 7 tablet, and I kept missing jumps because my thumbs drifted from the on-screen buttons until I turned on my Bluetooth keyboard.
they need to they get a tablet, Bluetooth keyboard or ultra portable laptop
What ultra portable laptop? Weren't they discontinued at the end of 2012?