Set to be one of the top ten technologies of 2010 the ‘Tablet’ or ‘Slate’ computer is likely to revolutionise the way in which we browse the web, share digital content and interact with the world wide web.
Without doubt, it is the recently announced iPad that is going to begin this wave of change, with many other manufacturers set to follow.
Just like the iPhone has propelled the smartphone forward, the world of tablet/slate computing will be driven by the iPad on the simple basis that it is an intuitive, easy to use, slim and portable device.
There are many arguments over the web of the pro’s and cons of these types of devices and what operating systems they should run, and this article does not intend to argue which is best, merely put into perspective where the tablet sits in relation to our other computing equipment today.
The majority of us will own a mobile phone/smartphone and then have a desktop pc or a laptop too and probably a TV and audio visual system in the home, that is without our setup for work purposes. So where does the slate PC sit? Will it replace the laptop or the desktop pc?
I can’t see how it will ever replace the desktop for pure computing power, but could these be the devices that mark the end of netbooks?
If you can invest in a device that is half the weight, less bulky and will within time do all the same things, not to mention have a more interactivity to them it is hard to see why not.
We all want things to be simple to use and often do not really wish to know how it works, it does just. What Apple have done is take existing technology and make it appealing…and they appear to have done a good job.
It is likely that the majority use their personal computing equipment for email, chatting, social networking and browsing the web, so why would you need a big laptop or desktop PC when you can have a tablet?
Ignoring some of the limitations of the operating systems, the tablet offers a versatile approach to everyday computing.
Just image how the tablet/slate PC could fit into your life…
You get home from work in the evening and you would love to sit down with your family but you want to check your email and do a bit of online shopping but you need to use the PC in the study for that. The tablet could allow you to do all this whilst still sat with the family in the lounge and not looking or feeling like you are not involved!
Normally have the children using the PC and not sure what they are doing? Want to educate them from an early age? Well the tablet would allow you to do just this, much more interactive and simpler to use, children can get to grips with it much easier, not to mention, you will be able to watch over them as the use it.
Got friends coming over and want to show them the latest holiday photos? Bring out the tablet and share the photos easily.
Got a business meeting with just a few people, need to show images or a few designs….store them on the tablet and conveniently share –no need to be in the office in front of the projector or have to bring out the laptop.
Just a few examples of how it can be used.
I am yet to be won over by the iPad. Whilst I see many benefits including the ability to have 3G on the device (an absolute must) the device has been limited some what by the need to connect it to a PC to work with iTunes.
I believe that the best devices will be those that have full telephony built in to allow for SMS functions and an be used completely independently of another computer. I think those that run Android will be the most useful as they will offer most flexibility. But whom will manufacture these? Rumours suggested HTC, but maybe Dell?
HTC sort of tried it with the HTC Shift and many manufacturers have produced tablet pc’s before, but none of those really took off…why? Was it because of size?
These are just a few thoughts, what are yours, we would love to know.