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Look! Over there!! It's a Tablet...but wait, there's another...

by Retired Blogger on ‎01-04-2010 08:34 PM - last edited on ‎05-01-2012 09:22 AM by Retired Moderator

iSlate.jpgEarlier today the 'verse was all a-twitter about a mentioned/announced/leaked report that Apple would launch the Mythic Apple Tablet device (iSlate?) at an event in March of this year.

To my mind, that's a strategic leak -- the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is kicking off later this week, and one of the sure-to-be-uber-hot-and-cool technologies on display is the Tablet computing device by (insert your favourite hardware vendor here).

I'm sure that given the nature of the event, Future Shop Techbloggers (me included) will be monitoring the news from CES and offering our humble thoughts, but on the Apple news...

Apple forced the cat out of the bag just to make sure that everyone, your humble scribe included, didn't forget Apple amongst all the tablet twittering that's sure to occur this week.

That being said, who are the potential contenders at this time? According to Business Week:

A host of other hardware and software makers with the same strategy in mind are expected to showcase their own tablet computers at CES, which gets under way on Jan. 7. Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), Lenovo, and Asus may be close to unveiling their own tablet computers. Several could use the CES stage to try to steal the spotlight from Apple.

Though, it looks like a $1,000 USD Tablet is what Mashable is forecasting:

Apple isn’t full of idiots, though. They aren’t jumping into the tablet arena without a clear idea of what they hope to accomplish. In my estimation, they’re keeping the tablet’s killer features under lock and key. Maybe it’s a one-of-a-kind interface, a combination of LCD and digital ink, free nationwide Wi-Fi, or something none of us can even imagine yet.

But for $1K USD, it has be pretty slick. It's kinda hard for me to justify plunking down that kind of dough for another take on the mobile computer.

For my money, it's got to be a Star Trek Tricorder. I want it to interface with the internet -- WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet (when docked) and maybe EVDO or some such Cellular tech.

It's got to have kick-arse graphics -- I want games. I want web apps. I want graphics. I want everything that my iPod Touch gives me, but more.

Basically I want the functionality of an iPod Touch, on steroids. And it doesn't really matter what device gets it to me, be it a Palm, Android, Microsoft, Apple, Asus..etc.

But whatever the result of the Tablet wars at CS, I *won't* be investing my hard-earned dollars in the tablet tech until I've had a solid hands-on with the Apple table device. Currently, it's the one to beat.

But maybe the Tablet talk is overhyped. Your thoughts?

by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎01-04-2010 09:14 PM

First questions that come to mind....

-how heavy is it?

-what's the battery life?

-is the battery removable?

by Retired Blogger on ‎01-05-2010 09:55 AM
Good questions XL, esp. the removable battery -- for me that one is kinda important as I tend to do my own servicing.
by Exalted Expert on ‎01-05-2010 01:55 PM

Personally, I think the Apple Tablet will appease the Apple fanboys but I wouldn't bet on a huge market outside that. 


Tablets can be very useful, but they've been available for years already from various manufacturers (HP has had tablet PCs with a keyboard for several years, I know others who have had other tablet computers, etc), and they've never caught on big.  If Apple is successful, it's only because Apple is the current "it" thing. 


Apple is riding a wave of success right now, and it's not because their products are better than anyone elses, but because they've gone out and aggressively marketted their products and their marketting team has been highly successful.  There are things they've done right and there are things they've done wrong.  Apple is also counting on this wave to sell the Apple tablet (iSlate?).  And because people want to have the "it" thing, they will buy it.  But will it really help anyone become more productive or will it make life any easier?  I highly doubt it.  Unfortunately though, people will throw away their hard earned cash (or their lines of credit) for this, just because Apple made it.


My suggestion, if you really want a tablet PC (Apple or otherwise), check out all of the options before dropping the cash on it.  And make sure you'll actually be able to use it.  While I hate to be pessimistic, this is one of those devices that I see as a toy that people will play with for a bit and once the novelty wears off, the tablets will end up in some drawer somewhere only to be dusted off once in a new moon.  And the biggest reason for this?  For portability, a smartphone or something like an iPod Touch is better and for power, you're better off with a laptop.  Chances are that if you'll be carrying around an iSlate, you'd probably wish you were instead carrying around a 12-14" laptop.

by Retired Blogger on ‎01-05-2010 02:14 PM

Hey Krypto, great comment. There is substance to most of Apple's current product line, but you're right, the marketing presents the hardware as 'high tone' and fashionable = desireable -- which kinda subverts the fact that there is real actual value in the hardware.


As well, you do tend to pay a premium for the Apple label, and for most people, similar hardware with ranother brand name (Dell, Lenovo, Acer, etc) would do the job just as well.


For me the Tablet will really come down to size. It *must* be  convenient to use, and that's a hard form factor to make. Too small and It'll compete with the iPod Touch. Too large and it's not convenient, and competes with the laptops.


I'm curious to see what they come up with, but won't be investing until I follow your suggestions and get some serious hands-on time with a few of the competitors.


by Exalted Expert on ‎01-05-2010 03:09 PM

I hate to be this anti-Apple because they do make good quality products, but I just hate how people hold them on a pedestal as being so much better than everyone else when they aren't (sure, their laptops are better than the $600 laptops you can buy from HP, Toshiba or Dell, etc., but that's at least a bit of a case of you get what you pay for).  And it's really unfortunate that many of the other new tablets out there may end up getting overshadowed because of the Apple tablet.


@bgrier, of course when I write my above comments, I'm directing them to everyone, not just to you :smileyhappy:, but I'm glad to see you say that you intend to check out the others.  If you do get one though, or if you get hands on with several of them to play with, you know I'll be waiting to check out your review! :smileyvery-happy:


I like the idea of tablets and had considered getting one before, but with a smartphone, a netbook and a laptop, I honestly have no need.  I'd also constantly worry about damaging the screen on a tablet, so maybe it's better like this.  :smileyhappy:

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