The display in my Dell Inspiron mini 1012 is even "worse" at 1024x600, yet 120 dpi doesn't cause a problem for my use cases. If you hate 16:9, think of it as two 8:9 windows side by side. And side by side is something you can do on a netbook or x86 tablet that you can't do on tablets that run a phone OS.
A Windows laptop starts at $200 (source: hp.com) and should last at least four years if not physically mistreated. You may have to replace the rechargeable battery at the two-year mark, but I don't expect that to cost more than $60. How much does four years of cellular Internet access cost, let alone the EC2 or Azure subscription on top of that?
a proprietary instant messaging application that is available only for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
If there is such a thing
WhatsApp, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat...
Amazon EC2? Window Azure?
You need more horsepower, you just give them your credit card #.
Both to them and to the cellular carrier. Connecting to them requires a valid subscription to Internet access. Doing so while riding transit requires a separate subscription to cellular Internet access in addition to what you already pay for Internet at home.
What is it you imagine you can do on a 10" netbook laptop that you can't do on a tablet paired with an external bluetooth keyboard?
Anything that requires multiple windows on screen at once. One example is using a calculator that doesn't fill the screen. Another example is putting a source code window on one half of the screen and the output window on the other half.
Or applications that Apple has not approved. One of them is programming for a class or a hobby. Last time I checked, programming on iOS was limited to a small selection of interpreters for dynamically typed scripting languages such as Codea (a Lua interpreter) and Pythonista (a Python interpreter). On a netbook, on the other hand, if I want to use C++, Java, Fortran, 6502 assembly language, or any other language, usable tools are a sudo apt-get install away.
(For the purposes of this post, I'm treating the ASUS Transformer Book, Surface Pro 3, and other Windows x86 tablets as laptops. My objection is not to the tablet form factor but to the restrictions inherent in iOS.)
On this PC (Windows 8.1 with Classic Shell), it's Ctrl+Esc (opens Start), Alt+U (opens Shut Down menu), Down, Down, Enter. It's probably similar for Windows 7. Which operating system is your PC running?
Desktops are better suited for developers and smart phones are better suited to consumers.
Then what's better for people in the middle? They're not "developers" because they are not directly involved in the production of computer programs, but they're not "consumers" because they do not exclusively view works created by others. Besides, schoolchildren are "developers" in training now that "introduction to computer science" has been added to high school curricula.
Later models of the Transformer run Windows desktop apps. See Transformer Book T100.
The problem comes when one of these iPad-only "many people" comes to need one of the many applications that is not available for the iPad. If he has only an iPad, there's the sticker shock of buying a whole new computer.
"DSLR remote shooting" makes me think it's a tablet connected wirelessly to a digital interchangeable-lens camera.
Why pay $500 for an iPad that can only do a small number of things if you could get a Surfrace Pro that can do so much more
Because the Surface Pro 3 costs even more than an iPad Air, though a Transformer Book or Nextbook is cheaper. And there are plenty of applications that are on iOS but not Windows, such as games and messaging applications. If the game you want to play is exclusive to iOS, or the family member with whom you wish to communicate uses a proprietary instant messaging application that is available only for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, then a Surface Pro isn't going to be the best choice.
Of course, my Nook (and I'm pretty sure Kindle these days) is basically an Android Tablet when all is said and done....
True, Kindle Fire is a tablet running the Fire OS distribution of Android. But I think tlhIngan was contrasting tablets with the e-ink Kindle readers, which are more like the Nook Simple Touch.
You have a smartphone, you have a tablet, and you have the PC.
Except some people don't have the PC. Instead of engaging in productive activities that work better on a PC, they do without. One user predicted that this would happen in five years, but it's happening now.
the laptop too big and heavy and uncomfortable
Even a 10" laptop like the "netbooks" that were in fashion from 2008 to 2012?
Jobs even did the mandatory car analogy - the PC is a truck - a very versatile vehicle that can do tons of things, but to be honest, there are times when a car is far better.
To complete this analogy, someone who can use a car most of the time and only occasionally needs to do these "tons of things" can rent a truck, such as a moving truck from U-Haul or a pickup truck from The Home Depot. Is there a comparable PC rental ecosystem?
Mapper chips were invented for Video Chess but weren't actually used in the final release, which was squeezed into 4096 bytes. (source)