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To tablet or not to tablet

January 21, 2010

It looks like 2010 is the year when e-readers get competitive, 3D gets hyped and table PCs get real.

Skipping the first 2 I find the tablet PC an interesting product.
Combining the interface/usability of a smartphone with a notebook form factor appears to be the main product type that is being shown.
I feel this isn’t a good enough reason to buy another gadget.  It won’t replace the smartphone because of form factor and it won’t replace the notebook/netbook because of the limitations of the input.  This means I would be carrying a phone, a notebook and then a tablet.  Kind of easy to decide which one doesn’t go in the bag.

For me the ideal tablet is an improvement on the Touch Book from Always Innovating.

It’s a tablet when you want it to be and then it plugs into a keyboard when you need to create rather than consume.  But, from my knowledge of the Touch Book I believe for a hybrid tablet/notebook to succeed there has to be an increase in capability when docked, not just a keyboard and trackpad.  This could be done now by having the tablet Bluetooth enabled.

My ideal tablet is as above but where the screen piece is thin, light and with limited functionality.  Maybe like the Quickstart Linux features in some notebooks. E.g the Splashtop on the Lenovo Ideapads. Give me web, skype, media consumption (movies, music, e-reader) and an ability to take limited notes.  Use USB drives or memory cards for storage.

Then when I dock I get the keyboard and trackpad, but also the application portfolio expands to a full productivity suite and an internal drive. Now I would have a tablet that acts like a tablet and not a notebook with no keyboard, but when needed I would have a full notebook.

Doing it this way I could put the screen in the bag I carry around and have the keyboard part back at base or in my stowed luggage when flying.

This I would buy.

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