Will tablet computers replace laptops as the preferred mobile computing platform?
The iPad is a smash hit for Apple, with over 100 million units sold as of the first week of October 2012. It seems tablet computers, with their full personal computer offerings are becoming the preferred smaller computer choice for many consumers. Having a mobile computer with a screen larger than a smart phone means a lot to the on the go computer aficionados.
Samsung, Compaq and Toshiba, Google and Amazon are brands chasing Apple on this latest foray into a new electronics medium, which is also known as motion computing. So what makes the tablet pc so radical? I mean basically it does what every other computer device can do right? Of course, at a minimum it can achieve anything your stodgy old desk top or clunky laptop pc can accomplish, but it is way less bulky and has touch screen capability. Tablet PCs are flashy right now, but can they replace a laptop?
The answer is undoubtedly yes. Now if you use a laptop in your job the tablet may be too small for you to see detail on your screen unless you are willing to use your fingers to enable the ability of the tablet to zoom the image on your screen to a larger size. But otherwise these small scale dynamos can match your laptop in its paces.
Unfortunately the tablets that are in the marketplace today are not regarded as a workhorse that will totally take the place of a full functioning laptop computer. It has internet accessibility going for it, which may be sufficient if you are a casual computer user or intend the iPad for a personal computer, but do not have any illusions it can replace a wound out personal computer as the operating system is still in its infancy.
So is a tablet PC worth the price?
The prices of tablets continue to drop as the competition in this sub-market continues to intensify. With over eighty billion dollars at play in this sub category of computer sales, there is definitely going to be room for the price points to squeeze lower. You can le=ready see that in the price of the Amazon Kindle Fire reduced from $199 to $159.
This is a question that should be asked of any purchase, especially one in the electronics arena. We have experience with rapidly plummeting prices as technology ages and realize we can get caught up in the hype and plunk down many more dollars than necessary in order to ride the wave of popularity of these flashy new electronics gems.
Most of the tablet pcs are coming to us with prices in the $300-$700 range. That is well within the range of a decent laptop, which can offer you a full-fledged computing experience. So it really will come down to what you want to do with the device. By watching the commercials Apple has plastered on every television channel we see many flashy ways to utilize your iPad.
Tablet pcs will find their niche
You can bet Apple executives and researchers sat in long meetings trying to determine what uses would be ideal for the iPad. Even with untold hours of brainstorming and what if sessions, even they really could have no clue which direction the iPad will be pulled by the purchasing public. Consumers have driven the Applications market for the iPhone into overdrive, with people not associated with Apple creating applications by the thousands. I think we will see the same with the iPad.
What I do know is there is a sustainable appetite for the iPad that Apple can ride the wave for a significant period. During this time they can tweak the operating system so that the capabilities that are becoming clear through market research and communication with customers will become standards of the iPad offering.
We consumers will benefit from this as those who wanted to be the first to grab one of these electronic devices help Apple scope out the width and depth of its potential. Before I narrow this to an iPad only discussion, the other tablets will be our ally by keeping Apple honest with their price. If you can find a comparable tablet pc for a better price, it gives you another choice, which is what a free market economy craves.
Touch screen tablets foretell the future of computing
I wonder if the biggest lasting effect of the touch screen tablet is the ability to communicate your command to the device by simply touching your selection and watching the device react to your action. I expect within the next generation of devices this will become a common method of interaction. Even touch wireless mice and keyboards are becoming more pervasive, being able to operate without any extra device is an appealing possibility.
I can remember the first time I saw a touch screen cash register at McDonald’s. I thought it was a great advance for the employees behind the counter and realized, since I have an Electronics degree how the industry would soon be changing away from those bothersome keys that would stick or get so nasty. Just being able to quickly signal your choice on the touch screen will appeal to many users.
Protect your tablet pc
Obviously you will realize as soon as you unpack your tablet pc how vulnerable it can be to environmental hazards. The usual suspects that are a threat to all pcs are your foes: moisture, heat, cold, dust and the usual suspect. Perhaps the most frightening concept is the accidental drop, where your iPad comes in contact with some hard surface.
I have a personal story where a new iPad user showed me a near miss with their iPad which they dropped approximately three feet to a concrete surface, but the unit survived with only a dent as proof of the incident. The owner related how their stomach was twisting while they bent down to retrieve the face down unit and their amazed relief when they recovered the unit to see no ill effects. Trust me, they were extremely fortunate. Don’t take that chance; purchase one of the covers for tablets that is offered so you don’t get that gut wrenching feeling yourself.