I am a tablet fanboy. I'm not ashamed of that, it is an apt summary of my mobile computing preferences. I have been using tablets since 2003, actually before that if you count handheld PDAs. I have used every type of tablet that has appeared over the years, and I admit my excitement over the expected iPad announcement to take place later today. Not because it is Apple and that warrants unbridled anticipation, but because whatever is announced today will further the advancement of the tablet, and the evolution of "comfort computing."
Comfort computing is what tablets have brought to the masses and it caught them by surprise. I knew that it would be big as details leaked out prior to the original iPad release. While tablets prior to the iPad were capable devices, they were not comfortable to use in the hands. They invariably weighed over 4 pounds and had big screens that made them impossible to hold for extended periods. They mostly lacked touch screens, requiring a special pen to interact with the device.
As rumors spread about the iPad before its launch, I knew a revolution in mobile computing was at hand. Millions of iPad buyers quickly discovered how pleasant a tablet is to use, due to the thin, light form. Computing habits changed as iPad users adjusted to more comfortable computing with the tablet. The iPad became a heavily used device, as it was possible to use it in comfortable venues for extended periods. Comfort computing was discovered to be useful, productive and most of all, fun. The tablet revolution began in earnest.
Tablets that have appeared after the iPad are contributing to the advancement of comfort computing. The OS is taking a back seat to the ability to use them anywhere, comfortably. They don't require perching precariously on the lap like notebooks, and they don't need a surface to set them on to use. You pick them up, turn them on, and do your thing. The form has set the uncomfortable computer user free.
Watching companies racing to market with tablets makes this fanboy happy. All tablets are bringing the comfort factor, but we're gaining more choices over device size, OS, apps and price. It is a good time to be a tablet fanboy.