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2011, Year of the Tablet?

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the doesn't-fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.

Handhelds 324

frontwave writes "After the huge success of the iPad, with over 4 million units sold since its introduction, all major hardware vendors of PCs and mobile devices are coming out with new tablets in the next few months, including Apple with a smaller version of the popular product. Analysts estimate the market for tablet devices (over 6" screen size) to be around 25 million units for 2011."

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Heh (4, Funny)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | about 4 years ago | (#33664690)

Including Apple with a smaller version of the popular product.

And let me guess; You can also call with this one?

Re:Heh (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 4 years ago | (#33664734)

I make phone calls all the time on my iPad via Skype...

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

Albanach (527650) | about 4 years ago | (#33665030)

I make phone calls all the time on my iPad via Skype...

Hey, I can't see you. Is your camera turned on?

Re:Heh (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 4 years ago | (#33665410)

Apparently you don't seem to understand what a phone call is.

të largohen nga ky vend

Re:Heh (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | about 4 years ago | (#33665038)

Including Apple with a smaller version of the popular product.

Umm, am I missing something? A smaller version of the Ipad is the Ipod touch. Apparently Steve thinks he hasn't saturated the market enough yet. design a cool product hype hype hype spin (iphone 4) Profit Yay mass marketing

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 4 years ago | (#33665616)

Calling the iPod a smaller version of the iPad is like calling a flip phone a small netbook, or calling a Nook a small TV. Try actually spending time with a device before making comparisons. They are similar in many ways, but the usability difference is a sharp contrast.

iPad Mini... or Nano?! (2, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 4 years ago | (#33665202)

And if you actually make it really tiny, you could call it the iPad Shuffle

Rumor! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33664692)

Apple is coming out with a easy to swallow capsule.

Re:Rumor! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 years ago | (#33665638)

Red or Blue??

Useless prediction (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 4 years ago | (#33664706)

I'm just going to go ahead and call it.

2011: Year of the soap bar

Re:Useless prediction (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 4 years ago | (#33664828)

I think you mean the Year of the Dropping Soap.

Tablets are going to be popular and then they'll be gone like Betamax.

Re:Useless prediction (2, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#33664842)

Tablets are going to be popular and then they'll be gone like Betamax.

Why do you believe that?

Re:Useless prediction (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665112)

"Tablets are going to be popular and then they'll be gone like Betamax."

Why do you believe that?

Because like most people on Slashdot, he mindlessly rejects that people are getting value out of a product that he has decided he hates because he can't install Linux or Apache on it. Every time someone says iPad, at least 500 Slashdot users blow a gasket and start ranting about how the machine is useless to them and therefore there is nobody in the world who is correct about it being a good purchase. Heaven forbid that some of us like the app store and don't give a shit about the lack of flash on the device.

Those of us who bought them and make regular use of them will continue to happily use them. Mine could in no way replace my work laptop, but it wasn't bought to do the same things as I do on my laptop. In fact, it was bought to do all sorts of things that I don't do with my laptop, and as far away from a desk as I can manage. In fact, sitting in a recliner or on a sofa is one of the most common ways I use my iPad. Sitting in an airplane seat is another place I'd rather have an iPad.

Re:Useless prediction (2, Informative)

BergZ (1680594) | about 4 years ago | (#33665612)

Binarylarry's reasons almost certainly have to be more than just "Apple hate" because he didn't even single out the iPad.
He has declared that all tablets are just a fad.

Re:Useless prediction (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33665050)

Why? We can fit most of the power people need in them, and they are convenient.

I have literally zero interest in a tablet. I like my books dead tree, and I'm usually by a computer, so if I need to do something internet/computer related, the computer is convenient, moreso since it's got a keyboard. That being said, I am NOT most users, most users don't usually have a computer nearby wherever they go, and most users don't do nearly as much typing, the point and click (or slide and tap) interfaces are just fine for them.

Re:Useless prediction (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33665076)

I posted that, and then I realized, I would actually put a tablet to use in the kitchen, for recipes. That's about the only use I have for it. And it's not worth a tablet price.

Re:Useless prediction (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33665152)

> Why? We can fit most of the power people need in them, and they are convenient.

That only works out if hardware vendors don't castrate the device.

Re:Useless prediction (1)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33664986)


2010: Year of the iPad
2011: Year of the [AOL]Me Too![/AOL]

2021 (0, Troll)

nazsco (695026) | about 4 years ago | (#33665090)

i can foresee /. headline for the next 10 years.

"2012: is this the year of linux on the desktop tablet?" ...
"2021: is this the year of linux on the desktop tablet?"

Re:Useless prediction (1)

srussia (884021) | about 4 years ago | (#33665688)

I'm just going to go ahead and call it.

2011: Year of the soap bar

Nah, that was 2005 when the Motorola PEBL came out.

Another overblown bit of hype (4, Interesting)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33664728)

I'm seriously waiting for this tablet hysteria to die down. In 2007/2008, it was netbooks and nowadays we barely hear a peep about them.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Interesting)

frontwave (1895050) | about 4 years ago | (#33664796)

The BBC called the iPad "a glorified toy", but the numbers are there: 4 million units in less than 5 months. I just try to look at the business market. Tablets are for hardware vendors what 3D is for TV now: an opportunity to raise profits. The mobile market is where people make money now

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33664810)

I'm not saying it's not going to sell. I'm saying I'm waiting for the breathless superlatives to die down.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 4 years ago | (#33664920)

Don't hold your breath ;)

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (5, Interesting)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 4 years ago | (#33665594)

I work in an industry where we have historically bought US$3k+ touch screen devices to be the basis of kiosks. To our clients, the ipad is a miracle. It completely surpasses the hardware they were used to at a fraction of the price. From my perspective the ipad is every bit the piece of killer hardware the hype says it is and more.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (4, Insightful)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 4 years ago | (#33665092)

The fact that 4 million people bought one doesn't mean it's not a toy. It just means that 4 million people bought a toy.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | about 4 years ago | (#33665156)

In Q2 2010, PC makers shipped a combined 82.5 million devices. HP and Dell combined to ship over 25 million computers.

Over the course of a year, that's 330 million PCs. Assuming each one has a life span of four years, that puts 1.32 billion PCs in use.

Apple have achieved great sales numbers with the iPad. I've no doubt that they created a new market segment (though one that would likely have been created anyway). It's still useful to be able to place that 4m number in comparison with the billion plus computers already out there (and able to run Flash too!).

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

Cylix (55374) | about 4 years ago | (#33665214)

The mobile market has been ramping up for several months now.

I'm not sure if its actually predicted what customers want or simply marketing the shit out of it.

Personally, I've been wanting a couch surfer since a bit after the first asus clam shell mini netbook of doom. Mostly this was because my laptop was a bit on the heavy side and getting an ultra portable was a bit pricey. I've wasted far too much in the past on laptops and they depreciate so quickly. At this point I'm simply used to the convenience, but I've had a laptop in some shape or form since the late 90s. (Thankfully work paid for mine during my younger and less prosperous days.)

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665302)

The iPad is an *excellent* toy. My sister has one and loaded it up with educational materials for her kids. We decided to order take-out one night from a place we hadn't tried yet. I searched for the place on the iPad then passed it around so everyone could look at the menu and order what they wanted. My friend used his as a portable video player to show movies from his last vacation. It's not something I'd carry around with me like one does a cell phone, but I've seen how convenient it can be.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | about 4 years ago | (#33664862)

I still see quite a bit of news about them.

Dual core chips now being used, lots of new models being introduced.

I'd say netbooks aren't and weren't overblown, they filled and still fill a niche in the market that regular laptops don't and tablets can't.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (3, Interesting)

dubbreak (623656) | about 4 years ago | (#33665110)

I'd say netbooks aren't and weren't overblown, they filled and still fill a niche in the market that regular laptops don't and tablets can't.

Yup. For the service guys at my work netbooks have been a blessing. They can take them to the field easily to attach to in field equipment. They are light and rugged enough for field work and are so cost effective that it becomes possible to carry a backup unit that gets left in the truck or hotel in case of failure. For the stuff they do a laptop is overkill (in both processing power and size + weight) and for the cost of a decently rugged laptop you can buy a bunch of netbooks.

I almost bought my wife a netbook for her blog surfing (to replace the aging bulky laptop she currently uses), but I'm glad I waited as an Android based tablet fits her usage even better (and costs less). I'm holding on a bit before jumping as I haven't seen enough reviews yet, but something like this $168 china sourced Android 2.1 tablet [dealextreme.com] would probably suit her perfectly. I'm waiting on seeing some reviews before I pull the trigger on that particular one. At that cheap it's I can justify some risk.. but I'd like to read at least one review to mitigate the risk of it being complete junk.

I'm excited about the proliferation of low cost tablets. There are a lot of usage scenarios that they suit better than any other form factor (just as there are niche uses for netbooks). Let's face it, most people don't need the power of a full blown desktop or laptop. As a software developer that likes playing with media (RAW photos, movies etc) I DO need the horsepower, but for people like my wife or situations like my coworkers that just need to run configuration applications a netbook or tablet fits the bill perfectly.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Insightful)

matty619 (630957) | about 4 years ago | (#33664880)

I don't think its going away. I think in a couple years, the current ipad will look like a cruel joke, but the form factor will most definitely thrive, and schools will probably be the deciding factor on winners and losers. Make a tablet cheap enough to loose, rugged enough to survive a year in the hands of a 4th grader, and open enough to to become everything to everyone, and it will become ubiquitous.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

saider (177166) | about 4 years ago | (#33665322)

They can't do that with computers, why would tablets be any different?

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 4 years ago | (#33665364)

I think that the tablet is basically just a specialized form of smartphone. These gadgets have been predicted [ibiblio.org] to replace the personal computer, and things are moving in that direction with smartphone GPUs [techradar.com] , wireless graphics [techworld.com] , etc.

The writing's on the wall: laptops and PCs will be replaced by smartphones (and tablets) as everyday computing devices for most of the public.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33664888)

That's mostly because they stopped selling the good ones. The attraction went away when they got bug (11+ inches), and stopped using solid state storage. At that point they were just cheap underpowered laptops.

And also the netbook has now been done. We don't hear much about how amazing laptops are here on /. either, do we?

But I think they still sell a few of those.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33664908)

things get a rush of hype, and then it dies down. It doesn't mean the product loses relevance, it means it doesn't keep getting pushed for hype by advertisers.

You don't think this hype actually comes from the public, do you?

No, it comes from advertisers and publishers, driven by the seller of said product. Consumers just carry the hype.

Netbooks are still around, but yes, you don't hear about em as being hyped so much. In a couple years? Same with tablet.

Clarification (2, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33664926)

I'm talking about the hysteria going away, not the tablets themselves. I thought I made that clear, but apparently not.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33664968)

You still hear a TON about them: current tablets are nothing more than netbooks minus the keyboards.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (0)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 4 years ago | (#33665190)

Current tablets are nothing more than netbooks minus the keyboards.

It's worse than that. At least with netbooks, you can get some real work done. iPads are good for reading and light e-mail, but if you're trying to actually do something, it helps to have a keyboard and a real OS (not just a phone OS). And lest anyone think I'm just picking on Apple here, I think HP's plans for a WebOS tablet are similarly ridiculous.

Re:Another overblown bit of hype (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 4 years ago | (#33665466)

People could have dismissed color TV as hype as well. Just because an accusation is easy to make, doesn't make it true. Having actually spent some time with an iPad (though I don't own one) I had to admit it really is a unique device. It's no more an "overblown iPhone" than a desktop computer is a "paper back book." Netbooks showed that our current way of doing things is severely outdated. Apple seems to have noticed this trend, and actually taken time to redesign the way we use computers on a daily basis. I'm personally waiting for the gPad -- I refuse to buy an Apple product, actually -- but they do get kudos for the iPad.

Doubt it (2, Interesting)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | about 4 years ago | (#33664742)

I think apple is riding on its marketing success with the iphone which rode on the marketing success of the ipod, and the other manufacturers are just chasing to keep up. In terms of utility I don't find tablets all that great, unless maybe someone comes up with a colour, solar powered, ruggedised ebook reader, then I'll buy two. I'd call it a pad fad until then. I know there will be hundreds of comments detailing all the wonderful uses they have found for the tablet, but I can't think of many my laptop doesn't do a lot better.

Re:Doubt it (3, Interesting)

riegel (980896) | about 4 years ago | (#33664910)

I think apple is riding on its marketing success with the iphone which rode on the marketing success of the ipod.

Or perhaps people like devices that pack a lot of functionality into a small footprint.

I'm old but I loved the walkman because it was small. I loved the iPod because it was small, I love my iPhone because it is small, and I love the small size of the iPad.

Re:Doubt it (4, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#33665196)

In terms of utility I don't find tablets all that great

A little contrast: I'm a programmer and a power user, with, god, 15 years of Linux under my belt. I recently replaced my Palm TX with a 4g Touch, mainly for use as an ereader and music player, and yet suddenly I find myself using it instead of pulling out my laptop for certain things. Want to check my email? Browse my RSS feeds? Look up a wikipedia article? (Yes, I admit it) Check Facebook? All these things work great on my touch. But it's often that I really wish it had a larger screen... the instant on, always connected convenience is awesome, Safari is an impressive piece of work, and the high-res display means the touch is decent for web browsing, but a larger screen would be perfect. As such, I can conclude that I would likely find myself completely replacing my laptop with a tablet for idle internet noodling if such a device was available to me.

'course, as always, I'm going to wait a hardware generation or two before I take the plunge. But I can definitely see a tablet filling a niche in my day-to-day life.

Re:Doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665216)

I think apple is riding on its marketing success with the iphone which rode on the marketing success of the ipod, and the other manufacturers are just chasing to keep up. In terms of utility I don't find tablets all that great, unless maybe someone comes up with a colour, solar powered, ruggedised ebook reader, then I'll buy two. I'd call it a pad fad until then. I know there will be hundreds of comments detailing all the wonderful uses they have found for the tablet, but I can't think of many my laptop doesn't do a lot better.

And I can't think of anything your laptop does that my desktop can't do a lot better.

Obviously, laptops are a fad.

Re:Doubt it (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | about 4 years ago | (#33665346)

You can play expensive frisbee with your desktop? Impressive.

Getac E100 (2, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 years ago | (#33665356)

Here you go: www.getac.com It is not solar powered, but it is direct sunlight readable and rugged.

Re:Doubt it (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 4 years ago | (#33665418)

I bought my iPad as an ebook reader. Kindle is nice for novels, but it's awful for textbooks.

However, just 10 minutes ago I was reading with my iPad outside and it popped up a warning that it was overheating, and I'd have to wait for it to cool down. It's only 75 degrees out!

Wrong (4, Funny)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | about 4 years ago | (#33664752)

I thought 2011 was going to be the year of Linux on the desktop?

Re:Wrong (5, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | about 4 years ago | (#33664784)

2012 will be the year of the Linux tablet! You heard it here first!

It already is the year of the linux desktop (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33664934)

and has been for several years.

Fact is it takes billions of dollars of advertising to change the way the masses use computers, and who really wants them anyway?

Re:Wrong (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | about 4 years ago | (#33664956)

It seems that next year is the year of the Linux desktop, no matter what year it is currently.

Re:Wrong (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 4 years ago | (#33665386)

That was 1998.

Notion Ink's Adam (2, Informative)

sverrehu (22545) | about 4 years ago | (#33664762)

What? No mention of the Pixel Qi -based Adam? This is the one I'm waiting for.
http://notionink.wordpress.com/
http://www.notionink.in/

Re:Notion Ink's Adam (1)

tyger_purr (1563735) | about 4 years ago | (#33665018)

I tried to go to the norton ink site but it just says my device doesnt have flash and probably never will but norton ink does....... well thats nice, but it doesn't help me learn about thier product. If their site is in flash, how do they expect to woo iUsers?

Re:Notion Ink's Adam (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 4 years ago | (#33665240)

How long have you been waiting? I remember this from almost a year ago, if not longer.

Mayor hardware vendors? (1)

theNetImp (190602) | about 4 years ago | (#33664778)

What is this 4square? When did hardware vendors become mayors?

Re:Mayor hardware vendors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665062)

To the people who have no idea what 4square is: You check in with your location. The person who goes to a place most often gets the title of "Mayor" of that location. (My girlfriend explained it to me a few days ago. She's decided to become mayor of our house.)

Re:Mayor hardware vendors? (1)

Eldragon (163969) | about 4 years ago | (#33665420)

Mayor Hardware Vendor has no comment at this time. Mayor McCheese encourages all citizens to eat more cheeseburgers.

One question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33664782)

What's a "mayor hardware vendor"?

The year of... (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 4 years ago | (#33664786)

I thought the phrase "The year of" belonged to the Linux community for all eternity... or at least until it is.

Re:The year of... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33664884)

I thought the phrase "The year of" belonged to the Linux community for all eternity...

Well you all had damn well better hurry up. 2012 is coming up fast and it's either going to be the Mayan end-of-days or Sarah Palin.

Re:The year of... (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 4 years ago | (#33665518)

(Offtopic) When I read this, I instinctively went to click the "like" button. I've been on Facebook too much...

I doubt it. (2, Interesting)

PhilipTheHermit (1901680) | about 4 years ago | (#33664866)

Tablets have traditionally been used in realms like manufacturing and maintenance, where they replace the clipboards technicians used to carry around. They're useful for activities in which you're running around collecting data (i.e. checking inventory in a warehouse) or going through checklists (i.e. doing maintenance checks on an aircraft's engines). But how useful are they as general-purpose computing devices?

We already have desktops and laptops, which are much better at general-purpose computing than tablets.

We already have smartphones for our mobile computing needs.

We have e-Book readers for carrying books around with us. They're getting programmable too.

Someone tell me: what do we need tablets FOR? What can they do that our other gear doesn't already do more effectively?

They don't seem that useful to me, compared to the alternatives.

 

Re:I doubt it. (1)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33665194)


Our iPad has...

... pretty much replaced the laptop. It was used mostly for web browsing and PDF reading. Instant on and no Windows chaff (AV, Spyware, etc.) to worry about makes this a sheer win for the iPad.
... works as a smartphone. Skype and Acrobits Smartphone (VoIP) work well on the iPad.
... is used as an eBook reader (mostly PDF and epub)

So, yeah, it's not a necessity in the sense that food and water are but it's a darn useful device. The most surprising for me was the laptop. It's only been booted up to get passwords for sites we now visit on the iPad.

YMMV, of course.

Re:I doubt it. (4, Interesting)

The Phantom Mensch (52436) | about 4 years ago | (#33665362)

They are computers for folks that don't do "general purpose" computing. Folks that want to browse some websites, check their facebook and e-mail, carry their photos around and play some games. All without waiting for a general purpose OS to boot or worrying about a virus protection subscription. If a general purpose computer is for folks aged 13-70, iPad like tablets are for the 9-90 year olds.

They're also a good secondary device the rest of us for low intensity after hours computing like the above mentioned activities. The size and screen resolution make them better than smartphones for this, and the instant-on Android/iOS applications environment make them better than netbooks for this.

Pixel QI Screens (3, Interesting)

captrb (1298149) | about 4 years ago | (#33664872)

I almost don't care about the operating system of a tablet, as long as it is well supported, as I suspect that in the future many tablet applications with be HTML5-based. But I really really really care about the screen. I want a Pixel QI(OLPC) style screen that works in light emitting and non-emitting mode, so that it can be used as a normal tablet, as an e-reader, and viewed in full sunlight.

Year of the Tablet? Not even close. (2, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33664878)

This is old news. The 5th Dimension called this years ago in their song when they sang,

'This is the dawning of the Age of the Archos.'

Hardware Requirements (1)

DarksideDaveOR (557444) | about 4 years ago | (#33664890)

I think I'll hold out for one that lets me play Civ V.

Re:Hardware Requirements (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 4 years ago | (#33664952)

Meh, Civ V isn't that great (in my extensive experience based on about half a game so far). If they've got Civ IV running I'd be happy. Still tablet-less, but happy.

Slashdot en espanol? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 years ago | (#33664946)

I'm not sure how else to read the summary line of

all mayor hardware vendors of PCs and mobile devices

Serious question to tablet owners (3, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 4 years ago | (#33664948)

What are you using your tablet for? I have never understood what problem a tablet is trying to solve.

I could see if it was a replacement for something like a notebook ( which I carry around daily ), but current tablets don't do that; the input method is clunky and unwieldy, I can still work significantly faster on my plain old notebook with a pen than a tablet.

So what's it good for?

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (2, Informative)

crunzh (1082841) | about 4 years ago | (#33664994)

I use mine to watch video and surf on the train when commuting. Better at this than a netbook. Its instant on, good battery and easy to use when not have much space and a bumpy ride.

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665058)

So what's it good for?

A few years ago you weren't cool unless you had a Palm Pilot. Then you needed in iPhone to be cool. Now you need an iPad to be cool.

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (4, Interesting)

zero0ne (1309517) | about 4 years ago | (#33665298)

Enterprise system administrator here.

_IF_ we had wifi setup in our building I can see a HUGE use for this in my daily activities.

Update a ticket? use the tablet to update it while you are on the PC dong the work. without one, I usually forget by the end of the day as I just want to leave.

Need to re-image a PC using Altiris / KACE / OPSI / other home grown app? go to the site, log in, and queue up the jobs / tasks necessary for that asset.

Those are just the ones that come to my head.

Hell, regarding tickets / work done, you could create a area for the user to sign his name after you complete the work so that if they ever try to come back at you and say you didn't do it right or it was never completed, you have their sig right there!

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 years ago | (#33665336)

don't have an ipad, but i've been thinking of going the desktop/ipad route. the last 10 years or so notebook sales have grown faster and outpaced desktop sales. a lot of consumers never take the laptop out of the house, like some people i know they just don't want to be tied down to the corner with the computer desk for their computing. if they want to surf the internet on the couch, they want to do so.

the iPad has around 80% of a laptop's functionality, nice lite casual gaming capabilities and if you have kids there are hundreds of good kid friendly apps in the app store. it's a lot easier to take the ipad with you instead of a laptop and if you have netflix you have access to a lot of media anywhere you go. and they even have board games coming to the iPad so you don't have to run to toys r us for them and have clutter at home. you can do it all on the ipad

same with business users. it's easier to carry around than a laptop and it has enough functionality to make people prefer it over the laptop

as an example years ago when i did helpdesk i liked the giant dell laptops with 17" screens, zip drives and a long list of cool specs. i bought them for my users and they hated them. they wanted something lighter and smaller to carry around even if it had a shorter list of specs.

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (1)

The Phantom Mensch (52436) | about 4 years ago | (#33665500)

Another use is for the business traveler stuck with a locked-down corporate laptop. After hours in the hotel room, why haul out the corporate laptop and deal with the limitations the IT department has imposed on it? Pack another 1 lb. device to play your movies, games and music on, and browse all the sketchy websites you want.

Yes they do (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33665448)

I could see if it was a replacement for something like a notebook ( which I carry around daily ), but current tablets don't do that; the input method is clunky and unwieldy

I had no problems typing notes on an iPad at a conference. It's much easier to type on them directly than you seem to think.

Tablets are great for travel, much lighter and better battery life. They are also good for more casual use around the house, like quickly looking up things or in the kitchen.

Re:Serious question to tablet owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665598)

Reading ebooks (most of mine are DRM-free ones from O'Reilly), watching Netflix in bed, browsing my Google news feed via River of News, recording music "sketches" via the numerous audio apps and sequencers, browsing the web on the couch (touch is actually good for web consumption).

You're right though, text-based content creation/note-taking/sketching is not an ideal use for it (where notebooks - electronic or analog - are better).

Year of the X (3, Insightful)

koterica (981373) | about 4 years ago | (#33664974)

Can 2012 be the year of the not-saying-"the year of the ___"-anymore? Please?

Re:Year of the X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665454)

This is actually a quote from Steve Ballmer, upon realizing how far out of the race MS has fallen in the mobile markets.

Re:Year of the X (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 4 years ago | (#33665488)

I'd rather that it be 2010.

2011, Year of the Tablet? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 4 years ago | (#33664988)

No.

post-PC era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665006)

Tablets are actually considered an important up and coming form factor by most hardware vendors; everybody who is anybody has one in the works now.

The higher level thing though is that with the rise of mobile computing, iPhones and iPads and other vendors versions of those, more and more computing will be done on such mobile platforms and less and less importance will be for traditional desktop PCs. Why have a heavy bulky computer tied down to one fixed place in your house, when you can be on the move, use your computer anywhere and everywhere you happen to be? From a coffee shop to waiting for the bus or between classes? People no longer want to be so limited as desktop form factor PCs do.

The smart folks now are preparing for this world, because do not mistake it, it *is* coming. The less than smart ones are denying it'll happen, just like they denied that 68000 based workstations would fall to x86 PCs a long time ago, because they had a personal investment in those workstations and were afraid of change. But it's going to happen even over those people's objections. Just wait and watch.

4 million my ass (1)

Wingsy (761354) | about 4 years ago | (#33665028)

Yes, with 3 millions sold from Apr 3 to June 22 (80 days), I'd say they've sold over 4 million. Hey TacoBell, why low-ball it? Why not treat it like a new flavor of bubble gum and give it your best UNbiased guess?

A smaller version of the iPad? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 years ago | (#33665040)

Isn't that just an iPod? Or has Steve Jobs finally figured out that he can churn out a new product every 6 months, regardless of its applicability or usefulness, and the drones will buy it?

Re:A smaller version of the iPad? (1)

zn0k (1082797) | about 4 years ago | (#33665188)

Alternatively blogs have figured out they can drive ad sales and clicks by randomly speculating about products Apple could potentially release.

Nope. (1)

cain (14472) | about 4 years ago | (#33665066)

2011, Year of the Tablet?

Nope.

2011? (1)

jonathanledlie (827174) | about 4 years ago | (#33665086)

How about 2010, the year of the tablet? There is still plenty of 2010 remaining, including Xmas season.

Seriously, skip TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665096)

Word count: 717
"could": used 6 times
"probably": used 4 times
"buzz": used 3 times

-writer's "analysts" are unsourced
-writer says specs based on "serious speculation" (what?)
-writing is awful, roughly eighth grade quality (I could cite a dozen examples off the top of my head, but just take my word for it.)

Re:Seriously, skip TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665314)

Welcome to the Facebook generation. You're just lucky the entire article wasn't full of LOLs and ASCII smiley faces.

No, Apple is not (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33665242)

I know some people have tried to spread the RUMOR that Apple is making a 7" tablet, but I just don't see it happing. Size is too weird being in-beteen the current iPad and the Touch.

Frankly to me a 7" tablet makes no sense. Part of what makes the iPad really nice to read or browse is the size. What makes the iPod Touch and iPhone so nice is portability.

A 7" tablet is what you make when you get engineers driving specs: "Well how can we make it priced around the iPad with quality parts", or "How to we make it light enough to hold for a long time". Rather than thinking about how easy the final result is to use they optimize for cost or weight without thinking how it will really effect people using the device.

The iPad optimized for readability and features, the Kindle optimized (very well) for long term use and dedication to reading. The smaller tablets coming out (including the Samsung), I just don't know how they will fare.

If anyone will succeed at all it would be Samsung, they are the ones to watch for sure.

Does transitivity hold? (4, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | about 4 years ago | (#33665276)

If I put Linux on my tablet.

And put my tablet on the desktop.

Would that make 2011 the year of Linux on the desktop?

What am I missing? (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 years ago | (#33665352)

I'm not the most cutting-edge guy, but I really don't understand what tablets are good for.

Can anyone explain?

I've seen exactly one ipad in the wild (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33665394)

And it was a girl that worked at an Apple store.

I played with it, it was fairly nifty. Like an iphone that can't fit in your pocket. I could see it being useful for UPS drivers or meter maids or something similar, but I couldn't imagine ever carrying one around full time just because.

I see non-stop hype for ipads in Wired, and I saw that story about a school giving them away in Australia to their students, but otherwise who is buying these?

Mixed feelings (1)

zorro-z (1423959) | about 4 years ago | (#33665400)

On one hand, the iPad has been an unqualified success, and Android, other linux, and Windows successors are said to be arriving shortly. On the other hand, part of me wonders how much of the iPad's success was simply due to Apple hype. Had, say, Dell released the exact same hardware, but w/o the Apple imprimatur or OS, would it have sold as well? I rather suspect not.

It me that, like desktop linux and the monorail, the tablet computer is the wave of the future- always has been, always will be.

Re:Mixed feelings (2)

zorro-z (1423959) | about 4 years ago | (#33665414)

Before anyone comments, I know that the iPad OS was a big part of its success.

There are some things to work out yet... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 4 years ago | (#33665514)

The current designs really don't impress me yet. How about:

- Solving the input problem. Virtual keyboards are virtually awful. Maybe integrate a snap-on BT keyboard?

- Easy to use on the couch? Have you tried it? Will someone make Chumby-style beanbag 'covers' for tablets? If only they had a cupholder, perfect! :)

- Screen size is in opposition to portability. Show me the folding or pull-out screen, something like a windowshade. Is this technology anywhweres near production? Well, I guess I'll be waiting a while.

Maybe Google Phone will suffice for now, maybe, but I'm not really looking for a tablet that makes calls over the cell network. It seems people think that having a 3G card in their means it SHOULD make calls. I got a phone. Lugging a tablet around in place of a tablet AND phone will not happen.

Larger version of I-Pad (2, Funny)

darth_borehd (644166) | about 4 years ago | (#33665642)

I heard apple is coming out with a larger version of the I-Pad as well. The Max-I-Pad.

Android better have a non-contract tablet (5, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#33665678)

If Android is going to really "flood the market" with tablets, it better revise it's decision to require a carrier contract to allow Market access. What use is a tablet that doesn't have the biggest storefront available for that OS? There's no way they're going to compete with Apple on price if they require contracts... I already have a contract for my smartphone, I can't afford a 2nd one just for data on a non-primary device.
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