If the “tablet” is dead, why is everyone talking about it?

Anyone that knows me won’t doubt for a second that I’m a fan of the tablet form factor for a computer. I am patiently waiting for the Apple tablet (Mac Tablet, TabPod, iTablet, iPad, AppTab, etc) to arrive, as well as looking forward to test driving Windows 7 on a tablet PC. Tablet PC information on the internet is typically sparse, with little bits of information here and there. The last couple of days however, have seen an explosion in activity.

Here’s a peek at what’s been going on:

EMR and HIPPA.com ran a blog entitled Tablets vs. Convertibles vs. Laptops and EMR. The information presented was very enlightening. The most interesting statement in the blog: “there was one feature of the convertible tablets that was used quite often. The swivel screen. Yes, the least technical part of the convertible tablet technology is what they found so useful.” Maybe laptop and netbook manufacturers should give the idea of a swivel screen another look. The concept would be ideal in combination with the new LCD screen from Pixel Qi.

CrunchGear claims that “the year of tablets will never come – at least not in the next decade.” I humbly disagree as the tablet PC will find its way to freedom. Never count Microsoft out.

Gottabemobile thinks that tablets are excellent for certain functions, but not the ones that most users want. The author believes that tablets will become “consumption devices for web surfing and playing music, games, video, and the other distractions from life that we all enjoy“. That would be a great design, but I still think the fully functional tablet has a place.

- LIVEdigitally blasts the tablet PC by listing several reasons why they “suck”. Most of the reasons listed don’t make any sense, such as “Tablets suck to carry around” and “Tablets make you tired“. I’m not sure who this guy is, but my 11 year old daughter carries the one I use for “work” around and loves it. I have to tackle her and take it back when I need to use it (figuratively speaking of course). Fortunately, I didn’t have to defend my position on the subject of tablet PCs as Gottabemobile did that for me. Some of my favorite quotes from the Gottabemobile post include, “Tablets suck at handwriting recognition. No, you suck at handwriting” and “Tablets make you tired. No, you tire easily because you’re a wuss.” Take a second to read the entire article; it’ll give you a good laugh.

- ReadWrite posted an article entitled “Tablets are Toys (Not Mainstream Machines)“. While little better than the post at LIVEdigitally, the message is the same; tablet PCs just aren’t going make it. Again, Gottabemobile came to the rescue with a well thought out post that punches holes in the opinions of the ReadWrite author.

This type of banter can only mean one thing, the tablet PC is here to stay for a while. If everyone hated the form factor you wouldn’t see posts like this flying around the net. Hey, even the iPhone has it critics. Building a funeral pyre for the tablet PC, and other similar devices, seems a little premature at this point. A convertible tablet computer makes a suitable replacement for almost any laptop. I, for one, am in the market for a new tablet and hope to use it to replace my aging Dell laptop. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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4 Comments

  1. pillguy says:

    People are talking about it because of the Apple rumors. That is often enough to set the tech media ablaze.

  2. Jerry Fahrni says:

    Exactly, pillguy! People like me will probably be disappointed with the Mac Tablet. I want a full featured tablet, but if the rumors are accurate we’ll probably get a giant iPod Touch for entertainment. Wait and see, I guess.

  3. Rob Fahrni says:

    I’d imagine whatever Apple does will outperform todays netbooks, won’t have a keyboard, will have plenty of ports for peripherals, and hopefully run OS X, not the iPhone OS.

    My guess is, we’ll see everything except OS X. The app store is too successful, they’ll want to continue that.

  4. Jerry Fahrni says:

    Yep. I agree Rob, which is a bit of a bummer because I’d really like to see what Apple could do with a slate tablet and OS X.