Confessions of a tablet fanboy

Confessions of a tablet fanboy

Summary: I am a tablet fanboy, and I admit my excitement over the expected iPad announcement to take place later today. Whatever is announced will further the evolution of "comfort computing."

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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.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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22 comments
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  • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

    I've come to miss my Samsung Q1U-EL in the time since I sold it, the battery life left much to be desired, but the 7" screen was wonderfully portable. I'm still on the fence as to what new tablet to get, all I know is I would really like to have that portability again.
    Ghaleon_R
  • Apple was the first to realize that the hardware had finally caught up with

    the tablet paradigm. Cheap, tiny arm chips, RAM, flash, etc, made for thin and lightweight while still having great performance and graphics and long battery life. <br><br>But, let us not forget the importance of the OS in all of this. Apple ALSO had a lean and mean lightweight OS and the first touch interface appropriate for these devices. The OS was an integral part of delivering great perfromance and also long battery life.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

    [i]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. [/i]
    You call that comfort computing? I call that pains waiting to happen. The tablet is anything but comfort computing. Even when Steve Jobs demoed it last year he was holding it or sitting in an awkward position. He had to hunch over to type on it which will lead to back problems, holding it with one hand and pushing on the other was awkward and less than ideal. The tablet is as far from "comfort computing" as you can get just by its very design. Wait until the health reports start showing up.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Well, the &quot;full Windows&quot; based tablets are a pain for sure. Heavy, hot,

      awkward user interface, pitiful battery life, poor performance.

      That is why they were, and are relegated to niches.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

        @DonnieBoy
        As are regular tablets, so what you are saying is all tablets are a pain to use.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

        @DonnieBoy I have a HP Touchsmart tm2 and other than being heavy (4.7lbs) it has a great touch user interface, 7hrs battery life, great performance, Windows 7, 500G HDD and 4G ram. I use it as a tablet for reading and and for editing documents I can use it in either form with a keyboard or with the attached stylus. Handwriting is excellent! and you can pick one up for the reasonable price of less than $800 (last price I saw was $781CDN) It even has wireless!!! You know what else? I can dual boot to Ubuntu if I want. Can you do that with an Android or iOS device?
        bvonr@...
    • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

      @Loverock Davidson Another warrantless slam by a person who has never used a tablet. Thanks for playing though, your opinion has been noted.
      -from my comfortable-to-use iPad
      samalie
    • Although not very diplomatically stated by samalie

      @Loverock Davidson
      His rebuttal comment is correct. You might reconsider posting your opinion regarding any adverse ergonomic iPad issues until factual data supporting that opinion materializes.
      kenosha77a
    • One side or a leg off!

      It is Loverock Davidson's mission in life to be a pebble in the stream of life; a talking pebble who yells "Stop!" as a river of people passes him by.
      Robert Hahn
    • iPad Syndrome

      @Loverock Davidson

      There'll be reports on "iPad Syndrome" pretty soon, though the issue will not be unique to the iPad. I've used slates for about five years extensively, initially at work, where I had the slate on a cradle much of the time, and for the last year and a half at home and for study. For the most part, slates will be held near waist level when not standing up, leading you to look down on a screen which is at a 90 degree angle to your spine (even stand-up computing shares the angle). Do that for hours, and you're going to hurt (neck and shoulders). Most users probably don't do it to the extent I am, but those who do are going to hurt for it. I've gotten to the point where I make a point of lifting up my tablet intentionally and holding it at eye level with the screen facing me, rather than flat. Most people will be pained to do that for long periods of time, even with the "lighter" iPad (which still felt pretty heavy in the first version to me).
      dunraven
      • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

        @dunraven you are absolutely right. I have been using my tablets more often over the past two weeks and my upper back has been killing me.
        Lady756
  • I still see it as a toy

    no serious work can be done on tablets.
    Typing, drawing are just not made for the finger only.
    And same is true for its underpowered hardware.
    Only some thought control user interface could make me change my opinion. ;)
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

      @Linux Geek

      Sincerely AGREED!!! These "revolutionary computers" are highly lacking in any type of "usable" multimedia software. The memory needed alone to power this type of software is far from being instituted into these new "computers."
      JoeDrt
  • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

    @James Kendrick
    I'm a tablet fanboy and I must admit I've been an iPad fan since day 1. Been using it for almost 1 year, enjoying some apps but above all web surfing. Though I must admit we really need flash support on that, even more than multitasking (ok, I'm over-talking maybe). Can't wait to get the iPad 2 (will give the old one to my better half). I have seen an online user has released some pictures of the new Apple creature on this forum http://www.tabletforum.com/threads/stolen-ipad-2-pictures.3/ and it seems the tablet world is getting better. LOL
    AndrewFLA
  • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

    @Linux Geek
    I've to agree with you. No serious work can be done on tablets. I look at them as entertainment tools. No more than that.
    AndrewFLA
  • Seems like the OS is taking a front seat again with Honeycomb....

    not a back seat. I've read reviews after reviews describing Honeycomb as "Windows-like" with Windows-like taskbar, and with lots of emphasis placed on customization and widgets etc. The 30 year old Desktop metaphor is back with Honeycomb, unfortunately. The user interface and user experience, however, still seem to be on the back-burner. <br><br>Apple is taking the opposite approach by putting more emphasis on NUI, and how the user interact with the content, not necessarily the desktop space. The technology, the OS gets out the way which leads to it being more of an appliance-type device than anything else. The selling point to many will be the fact you can just pick-up an iPad and start using it instantly without thinking of the complexity of a desktop metaphor. Which I'm afraid where Google is heading.<br><br>Here's a quote from Jonathan Ives at the launch of the iPad:<br><br>"For us, it is all about refining and refining until it seems like theres nothing between the user and the content they are interacting with."
    dave95.
    • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

      @dave95.
      Really?? Thinking of the complexity of the desktop?? Really?? As long as the desktop has been around I spect most don't think about it one way or the other. They are so familiar with the desktop until they just do what they have to, having to only think about what they are doing. Now, these new fangled toys, I'm not so sure!!!
      eargasm
      • RE: Confessions of a tablet fanboy

        @windozefreak
        @Dave95: Re: Re:
        I'm totally now convienced that these devices are absoultely toys. Can't remember that I was productive on a methaphor (smile!) Ha Ha!!
        eargasm
  • The real descendant of the Palm PDA is the smart phone ...

    ... not a tablet computer.

    And I'm beginning to have a new respect for the stylus. I used to have a Palm Life Drive, which I loved. When it died, I replaced it with a HP iPaq running Pocket PC. which I loved a lot less. Now I have an Android smart phone. There definitely is a limit to what you can do with a finger. I've noticed that devices that rely on touch have fewer menus, fewer options, fewer things that can be customized to the user's preference. Recently I had to send my phone in for a repair, and used the old iPaq for a few weeks. I realized that I could write an email or a note much, much faster with the stylus than I could with a finger and began to wonder whether we were going forward or backward.

    None of the later devices is as customizable as my Palm Life Drive was. The Palm calendar was the best design for a small device I've ever seen. Color-coded appointments, banded onto the little squares for the days meant you could glance at the calendar and see when your dentist appointment was without opening anything.
    bvlenci
  • Oh, it sure is about the OS...

    Good points, but I disagree that the OS is taking a back seat. The iPad caused a revolution I believe mainly because it was simple, where Windows is complex - and with Windows you are taking everyone's last bastion of comfort away - the familiar keyboard and mouse. By sharp contrast, the iOS is written specifically as a touch OS, and it doesn't have the confusing web of settings and popups and warnings and.. and... and...
    Remember, Windows tablets (with touchscreens, even capacitive) existed for many years prior to the iPad.

    I'm not arguing that the iPad isn't a very fine example of hardware, because it is. But the simple OS, written specifically for tablets, is what makes it such a success. It's because people can pick it up, and refreshingly say "Hey, I can use this! It's simple!" poke, poke, poke.

    That's something "Windows on a tablet" isn't, and that's why the iPad is successful and "Windows on a tablet" has always failed. That, and the prospect of something scaling up from a phone-size device is a luxurious concept. A PC operating system scaling down programs designed for display on an 18" or 20" monitor, down to a tiny 7" or 10" screen is not a luxury by any stretch.

    I'd say the success of these tablets has everything to do with the OS - and that's why the successful players in the field are successful - because they are using touchscreen phone OS's, and not Windows or other PC operating systems.
    geolemon