With the limited options on netbooks seemingly exhausted by the variety of models out in the market today, we have yet to see one with built-in 3G connectivity become available in the local market. As far as I’m aware of, Smart is the only one offering a netbook that provides built-in 3G connectivity via the Asus Eee PC 904 GO. I’ve seen many people comment and ask when a 3G-capable netbook will arrive in the Philippines, but I can’t help wonder, is 3G really necessary right now in netbooks?
True, the overall functionality of a netbook will indeed be boosted with 3G connectivity, and as local telecoms continue to improve on the performance of their respective networks, 3G is fast becoming a reliable tool for mobile road warriors. However, I’m still turned-off with how the technology is being implemented not only in netbooks, but in laptops in general.
The SIM card slot is located in the same area where the battery is placed. Thus, in order for you to insert/remove the SIM, you’ll have to remove the battery as well. It’s a hassle especially if you’re in a public place and you use the same SIM to make/receive calls on your mobile phone. Of course, the safest route is to use a SIM dedicated for 3G internet use only, but not everyone will have that luxury. There’s also the practice of connecting to a 3G network through Bluetooth which is what most people do nowadays in the absence of built-in 3G support, but needless to say, you need to have a 3G and Bluetooth capable phone first in order to do this.
So right now, I’m not at all that excited about a 3G-capable netbook being released in the local market. There are other ways to take advantage of a 3G connection on a netbook without the need for any hardware modifications. However, if they launch a netbook with a SIM card slot conveniently located on the side or front alongside the multi-card reader slot, that’s a totally different case and I’d definitely be interested in getting that one.