I am amused by the race of Apple and Android to produce a touchpad portable media device. The constant defending of the iPad to the masses from Apple why is does or doesn’t do that. Or the constant bickering that Android is inferior because it’s not an Apple product; it’s funny to listen to when you don’t really care.
And I don’t care… I simply have no interest in buying a tablet PC of any kind right now.
The media is surely pushing these tablets as the next ‘big’ thing, but I don’t see them as anything more than another netbook. The fact that the tablets; you have to touch them to do something— is that enough to wow people in to buying it? But beyond touching it to do everything, what else is there? What else is there that’s worth making that purchase?
The same reason iPads and tablets are popular is that they’re portable. They’re portable and they’ve flashy flashy lights that allow them [ the customers] to do 1/2 of what they used to at 1/3 the speed they’re used to. Smartphones enjoy this same affection.
That’s why Smartphones are so popular; they can be taken everywhere. And while not near as easy to use, the iPads kind of make the smallness of a Smartphone seem blah, and they’ve that partial functionality.
And this is from below, but there’s something to say for taking the same machine with you that you use at home. I believe there’s a clear need to not maintain two machines for the same purpose; let’s admit it – sync’ing stuff/PC’s is a pain in the butt.
Simply touching the screen does nothing for me. I am considering the sheer functionality, what can it do for me; is it going to be productive, or is it just a toy? For me it’s nothing more than a toy. The entry on the tablets have to be done with a simulated keyboard, which may or may not work for you, and when you do you it, you lose 1/3 of the screen.
This is partly helped with the ability to use voice recognition, but how many people are going to use that right now; it’s just not common enough. And for people like my wife, it’s virtually useless.
And why being able to touch something to get something done may be fun at first, I wonder how fun it is after X amount of time. Is it still useful, or just a hindrance now? Do you find yourself asking, can I get a keyboard for this thing and a mouse? Or where’s a docking station for this thing [for a bigger display]…
I believe it’s obvious that more and more people are searching for keyboards and mice for these things. If they had docking stations, like laptops do, I believe you’d see a LOT less PC sales and a lot more of these being sold.
I can see tablets like the iPad being used in schools and hospitals and other areas of industry where it’s just more practical. It’s better than lugging around a heavy laptop, but have you looked at a laptop lately; they’re getting small, light and comfortable— so it’s debatable.
The Display Area
The fact these things are compact is impressive. I mean, really small, and small stuff that does neat things are great, but still considered a toy on most levels. When the iPhone first came out; it was ‘oh my gosh…’ and everything jumped from there, even I was impressed at first; and then they copied it, and then they came out with Android.
And from above, the touch space for the keyboards, spelling, selecting and everything else; everyone knows about attempting to select something with BIG fingers and a SMALL screen.
There’s something wrong with the design there— everyone knows it. And yet these things are so popular, but not with me.
Again, with the small things, toys, and attempting to squeeze something in to a small space expecting a lot. I’ll admit that the devices we have now are impressive in what they can do, but they’re NO game machine, or a system that’s going to handle high end processing; you’ll require a PC to do those functions.
The best thing about these systems and their graphic abilities is the fact the screens are really small, the resolutions are low and they don’t have to process that much; thus giving the illusion of performance.
I really give them a lot of credit for putting as much function as they’ve in to the iPad and the Android tablets, but these hardware devices are nothing more than an evolutionary step to the real solution, which we don’t have yet.
One of the biggest issues, for me, is the communications. I’d like my tablet [if I bought one] to be usable on any network, including WiFi and bluetooth. The investment in to a device that’s tied only to Verizon or AT&T or Sprint, doesn’t impress me. It has to be portable, it has to be compatible and it has to work.
Everything prior to this is simply working up to a point that people realize that regardless of the carrier and the device; it’s going to have to JUST WORK. If you’re going to invest that much of your life in to something like that; it has to go and do what you want it to do…
The cost of the tablets are coming down, but not far and fast enough. There’s a good chance they can round this stuff out in a couple of years, but I spend my money wisely. I’ve to see the value in making a purchase like this, and these tablets are nothing more than small toys for those who can afford them.
For the future, I’ll be expecting another evolution of portable devices soon. I’ll be expecting to see, faster, lighter, long battery life, bigger screens and I’ll also expect to see docking interfaces to turn those portable devices in to home PC’s.
So, I am waiting… And watching.
Until next time,
Larry Henry Jr.