Will Tablets, like the iPad replace the PC?

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Image of Asus-Eee-Pad -TransformerIntroduction

It seems that these days you can’t turn on the TV, look at a magazine or surf the Internet without seeing, reading or hearing something about some sort of tablet PC.  If it’s not something about the iPad, which is most of the buzz, it’s the “ipad wannabes“, like the Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Xoom, Fujitsu, STYLISTIC Q550 Slate PC and my favorite the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which we have in our household. I must admit I do like the Asus Transformer, but I always seem to run out of stuff to do with it, but I will talk about that later.

Is the Traditional PC Dead?

Back on August 2011, The Register posted an article which contained a quote from a corporate executive, which stated that by 2016 tablets would begin to overtake traditional computers. The gentleman in question was Dr Joseph Reger, Chief Technology Officer for Fujitsu. Below are a few excerpts from the article:

“Reger thinks tablet sales are going to cannibalize consumer desktop and notebook sales, because consumers want to consume content more than they want to create it with a keyboard and mouse.  Reger cites the success of the iPad as evidence of this. He is convinced that the disadvantages of the PC will help ensure that tablet device sales will crossover PC/notebook sales for consumers in 2016 or so.”

You can read the full article titled “Tablets will overtake consumer PCs, says Fujitsu CTO” for all the details.  I would like to point out that when doctor Reger made this statement, Fujitsu was in the process of rolling out its own tablet PC’s.  As I mentioned above, I to have a tablet, we’ve had it for about a year. While it’s nice, I am hardly ready to throw out my custom built desktop computers or my HP laptop.

Tablets an extension of the Personal Computer (PC)

As I mentioned earlier, we have an Asus Eee Pad Transformer, it is based on the Android Honeycomb 3.1 platform. This is the same platform/operating system that powers many of the Android smartphones on the market today. While I like it, I can honestly say, that it has no chance of replacing my desktop. I think the Transformer, like many other tablets (including the iPad) are only good for the following:

  • Reading Email
  • Reading E-books
  • Light Surfing on the Internet
  • Viewing pictures
  • Viewing some videos
  • Working with Apps
  • Playing a few light-powered games

I normally use ours when I am lying in bed (also in another b-room…I know…TMI), sitting in a car or on the commuter train. Tablets are convenient for those places, but when I really need to get down to business, I sit down at my quad cored, 8 Gigged, 23 inch LCD monitored, Windows 7 OS based desktop computer.  My tablet could never do what I do on that PC.  Now I know some of you will reply back, saying that you can do anything on your iPad that I cam do on my PC… Yeah, sure you can.

Are Tablets Easier to Use?

There is this notion that the iPad and other tablets have become so popular because they are so easy to use.  I guess there’s some truth to that frame of thought. I think that one reason they are so easy to use, is because they are limited in what they allow you to use and do with them. For instance, there’s very little that you can attach to them, whereas, you can attach or install almost anything to a traditional computer, especially a desktop. As a result you don’t run into any of the compatibility issues that occur with computers.

Tablets are for People Who Hate Computers

In his article “Tablets are for people who hate computers“, Jason Hiner makes a case that people who are new to computers love tablets because they limit what you can do, meaning there is not much damage you can do because they locked-down (so-to-speak). He also believes that people who are highly-proficient with computers, get bored with tablets and tend to only use them as companion machines. Check out a few things he says:

New rule: Tablets are for people who hate computers

Okay, I know that “hate” is a pretty strong word here, but let’s be honest, there are still a lot of people who are scared, intimidated, or simply averse to using computers. For many of these people, tablets like the iPad are perfect. The interface is self-evident, the user experience is limited and uncomplicated, and there aren’t a lot of buttons and menus to cause confusion (especially with the iPad).

Tablets like the iPad are also great for children. Since most kids are natural touchers, they tend to learn the multi-touch interface almost instantly, without any instruction. I’ve seen kids as young as two who have watched their parents use an iPad and quickly learned how to swipe to unlock it and pull up the Photos app and swipe through pictures.”

Jason does qualify his statements with a few exceptions, but I think there is a lot to what he is saying.

Your Thoughts About Tablets?

Q – What is your take on tablets like the iPad and other Android based ones?
Q – Do you own a tablet and what do you do with it?
Q – Have you stopped using your PC since buying your tablet?

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