Time to take your Tablets?

November 10, 2009 · Posted in brain dump . . . 

Tablet PC’s are nothing new. They’ve been kicking around being used by TV presenters for a couple of years but they seem to have been a spectacular failure as far as their uptake from general users so far.

Now the big hype machine of Apple (or I should say the big internet rumour machine and Apples rumour squashing machine) is gearing itself up for the release of the iTablet (or whatever they decide to call it) at MacWorld in January. Pictures of backplates are emerging from suppliers, stories of orders for huge numbers of 10 inch touch screens are being talked about and Apple is saying nothing, as usual. (Google is currently showing 11,000,000 results for a search for Apple Tablet)The closest we’ve actually come to a full Apple denial on for this mythical device was an interview with Steve Jobs at WWDC earlier his year when he said in response to a question about Apple making an eBook that Apple wasn’t in making a single use device (hence the move away from the traditional iPod to he iPod touch).

Despite all the ‘clues’ as to what’s coming I’m still struggling to believe that Apple is actually going to deliver. Not because I don’t think they can do it, I just really can’t see the point of it or where the device would fit into my life.

If we assume that the device is going to be a 10 or so inch touch panel with an multi-touch OS designed specifically around the touch interface I can see that it would be great for watching movies on . . . but so is my 13″ MacBook Pro, and that doesn’t need any sort of stand to enable me to put it down to watch a film on it. As a remote control for use with AppleTV 10″ is WAY too big, and the remote app for the iPhone/iPod is damn near perfect. You couldn’t type on it very well because a) your hands would be covering the screen, cutting the viewable area in half and b) it wouldn’t be very comfortable (try typing on a hard surface, it feels weird and it’ll hurt your fingers after a while)

If it’s just a panel then it’s likely to be somewhat delicate (I have experience in this area with a twice broken eBook reader) and if it’s more than just a panel then it’s going o be quite heavy to hold. If you were going to try and paint/draw on it then again, you’ll be cutting of the viewable area on the screen and you should probably go out and buy a graphics tablet instead.

Every time I think of a use I could have for a tablet machine I think of a reason why an existing device would be better. That doesn’t mean that limited market sectors would find it useful but I just can’t see Apple making device for a small market sector right now.

However . . . and it’s a pretty big however, one of the things Apple seems to do really well is simplify, stylise and reinvent devices, at the same time painting a reason into your life as to why you need it. They did it with the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone so who’s to say that they can’t do it again, but as of right now I just can’t see a good reason for the iTablet to exist other than, well, it’d be kinda cool 😉


One Response to “Time to take your Tablets?”

  1. Britney Bennett on November 10th, 2009 18:58

    I really thought that tablet PCs would be bigger sellers than they have been so far. Perhaps the introduction of an Apple model will change that.

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