Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

Summary: Here is Scott Raymond's second installment in a two-part series about the Tablet’s Past, Present and Future.

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(Jason Perlow) To mix up the menu, Tech Broiler will be introducing new blogger voices with select feature posts. For our inaugural installment of Tech Broiler Voices, it is my pleasure to introduce Scott Raymond, an avid PC and technology enthusiast who’s done quite a bit of legwork on all the iPad alternatives coming out from major OEMs. Here is Scott’s second installment in a two-part series about the Tablet’s Past, Present and Future. For the first installment, click here.

Whatever happened to...?

Only the Amazing Criswell can truly predict the Tablet's future.

While there are some exciting new tablet products coming to market this year, there are a couple that were well-hyped and eagerly anticipated, yet they have been canceled. There is considerable speculation that the success of the Apple iPad is what caused the developers of these devices to change their minds and decide not to compete in the market.

If the smartphone market is any indicator, that isn't true – RIM's BlackBerry line still commands the lead in market share, and Google's Android platform is rapidly catching up to Apple's popularity.

So what are these devices that were abandoned, and why were they canceled? The first, and possibly most eagerly awaited, was the HP Slate. Designed around the Intel Atom 1.6GHz Z530 chip, with 1GB of RAM and 32/64GB of storage space, it was intended to run Windows 7 Home Premium. It was very close to hitting the sweet spot I discussed in the previous article: webcam, form factor, wifi, 3G; the only shortcoming was the battery with only 5 hours of use before recharging.

As I mentioned previously, the Atom CPU is great for a netbook, but for a usable computer slate it just doesn't work. It's not powerful enough to handle some tasks at a decent speed – especially not running Windows 7 Home Premium, not with only 1GB of RAM. And without Broadcom Crystal HD video acceleration, trying to watch 1080p HD video or HD Flash video on the web would be an exercise in futility.

Forget about trying to run games on it that you would run on your Windows laptop or desktop -- no Atom-based computer can run world of Warcraft capably if at all. Also, the heat output of the CPU while it was gasping to keep up would be considerable.

A device that's supposed to be handheld would not be welcome if it was painful to actually hold. For most basic tasks it would be fine, but the wants and needs of the people seeking to use a device like this would find the limitations of the processor to be unacceptable.

There is some hope, however. It turns out that the HP acquisition of Palm may be the solution to their slate woes. You see, the Palm WebOS, much like Android, is perfectly suited to a fast, low power draw CPU typically aimed at smartphones. It looks like the HP Hurricane is on its way later this year.

What started out as a rumor is now fact: WebOS-based devices are coming. It may or may not be the rumored HP Hurricane, but this is exactly what HP needed to meet the demands of a tablet device that could directly compete with the iPad.

The other anticipated device that was canceled was the Microsoft Courier. A two-screen, journal device that had some very intriguing design features. The promotional videos that showed what the unit would be capable of were extraordinary – or would have been if the device actually existed. It was quite obvious that the videos were vaporware -- no one ever saw a prototype.

However, it turns out that there WAS a prototype of the device last year, codenamed “Codex”:

So what happened? At this point there is nothing but speculation. Microsoft didn't even acknowledge the device at first until they released the demo videos. Shortly after that Apple released the iPad, and it wasn't long after that Microsoft decided to cancel the project.

My own speculation is that Microsoft discovered that what they wanted to accomplish in that form factor could not be done with the processors and operating systems they had available to them. It's possible that Windows Phone 7 might be able to handle it, but would there be a processor capable of running it? Would battery life be an issue?

Microsoft has struggled with mobile devices since the early days of the clamshell Windows CE devices competing against the Palm Pilot, and never gained substantial market share. Maybe they decided that this time they would play it safe instead of making a big investment in something that doesn't pan out. Or they could be biding their time.

Consider a device with Windows Phone 7 combined with their Surface technology -- if only Microsoft could find a CPU that would work in a tablet form factor and it might very well be be a major contender.

Who Else Has An Alternative?

The Tablets... of the FUTURE!

At this point there's no need to rehash Android. We have already seen that there are numerous Android-based devices coming out this year. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has already acknowledged that there is a Google-branded tablet on the way; if it ends up being anything like the Nexus One smartphone, it would end up being one very sexy device and one I would definitely consider buying.

Right now there is no solid information on devices based on the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform. Microsoft has been promoting the OS using Asus prototypes.

There is a considerable amount of interest in the OS since it first started appearing on the new generation of Zune devices. I find this to be encouraging, and yet typical of Microsoft's inability to compete in a timely fashion.

The regular reports that middle managers at Microsoft covering their own butts instead of encouraging innovation are the reason it takes years for anything good to come out of Redmond. It took them 15 years to realize that a mobile device shouldn't have the same interface as the desktop operating system.

This is why Palm ate Microsoft's lunch for a decade in the PDA and smartphone market. Even so, I would be very interested in seeing what they come up with on this platform now that they've solved their rectal/cranial inversion issue.

Samsung is still plugging away with the unsuccessful UMPC devices. Allow me to introduce to you the next generation Q1EX.

The Samsung Q1EX runs an ultra low voltage VIA Nano CPU, with 2GB of RAM, a 60GB mechanical hard drive, and Windows XP Tablet edition. Battery life compared to other devices is mediocre, and they're still clinging to legacy hardware and operating systems. This kind of thinking is why these devices, which stemmed from the Microsoft Origami UMPC project, never really took off.

One of the most surprising developments this year has been the rumor that Research In Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry smartphones, are throwing their hat into the tablet ring. This is fairly surprising, since the existing BlackBerry OS 5 isn't really geared for the tablet platform.

However, it is known that the core of Palm WebOS, the Webkit open source browser engine and also the basis of the Safari browser, will be at the heart of BlackBerry OS 6. So, this would portend to be another possible contender for the tablet market by a mature company that creates popular mobile devices, right?

Wrong.

As it turns out, according to Boy Genius Report, an often reliable source of unauthorized BlackBerry information, RIM is planning a "Companion Device" in Tablet form for their BlackBerry smartphones.

If this proves to be true, I don't know what the hell RIM is thinking by doing this. The Palm Foleo, by all rights, should have been the final nail in Palm's coffin. They were only saved (temporarily) by an infusion of cash so they could bring out the next generation of WebOS-based devices, just long enough to be bought out by HP.

Seriously? Companion device? The Palm Foleo was considered to be one of the most disastrous marketing decisions ever. I sincerely hope that co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis wake up and put a stop to that immediately. No one wants to buy TWO mobile devices to handle the task of one device.

So what else is coming? Well, Intel is about to launch a new line of ULV core processors next month that may have the capability of revolutionizing the tablet market.

If these chips are capable of running cool and have extremely low power draw, they could actually enable the creating of tablet devices capable of running a full-blown OS like Linux or Windows 7 without the drawbacks of running them on a pokey netbook device based on an Atom processor.

The AMD Athlon Neo chips are more powerful, but they generate a considerable amount of heat and draw more power than an Intel chip. Currently the only information we have concerning this new line of CPUs is that Asus plans on developing a tablet using them, running Windows 7.

I would consider this to be an unsubstantiated rumor, at best. Also, even though the CPU should run cool and drain less battery life, it will likely be more expensive than devices based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip. Battery life will trade off with performance, of course. But who wouldn't want a cool-running tablet running Windows 7 Ultimate with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD hard drive?

What You Need vs. What You Want

The question to ask yourself now is “What do I need?” Actually, if you are flush with capital, you don't need to ask yourself that question. If you want a tablet right now, buy the iPad. Keep in mind, however, that it doesn't multi-task, it doesn't have a camera, it can't do flash so many websites on the Internet are inaccessible.

But at least the iPad has freedom from porn -- although many folks, myself included, consider it to be freedom from choice. That being said, it's still a pretty nifty device. I'm going to wait a while and see what comes out this year.

But what happens if you buy a device now, and then feel like you made a mistake later? Keep in mind that the market is fickle and rapidly changing. I bought a new laptop a month ago, and right after I did the price dropped $100. You will never win, because everything keeps changing.

So accept that the market is outside of your control. Make a list of the things you would use a tablet device for, and what features you require/desire. Then be happy with your choice. Sometimes you see something better come out and you still have time to return or exchange your purchase. If not, well, that's what ebay is for. Sell the device to someone that wants it and get the one that fits your needs.

Thanks for indulging me down a trip towards Tablet memory lane and toward the Tablet's future. Have I left any new and notable devices out? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Software, Tablets, Windows

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21 comments
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  • It's funny....

    I think you mentioned Flash early in your article and pointed out that it is a drain on processor power and by default speed and battery life.. But later you mention that the iPad won't run flash like it's a bad thing. It would seem to me it's at worst a mixed blessing at this time and as time passes it will become less of an issue. Sort of like when Apple dropped the 3.5" floppy at the TIME of the announcement there were many a complaint that the format was still valid and I guess to be honest it was for many but in the end it did not seem to harm Apple at all nor it's customers. I tend to think this will prove true for Apple not running flash. The iPad is known for it's responsiveness I've heard from a friend who has one "Instant on" and "no waiting" he raves about that alone. I wonder if he had flash loaded on it would that change? He also loves the battery life... Again would Flash effect that? I think so.....

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

      Flash really has nothing to do with battery drain. It's the video that really eats up battery life. With regards to battery life on the iPad, 10 hours is a pipedream regardless of having flash or not: http://gizmodo.com/5510095/ipad-test-notes-battery-life

      Flash doesn't affect the speed/performance of the Google Nexus One smartphone with flash installed on it, so it shouldn't matter. And with Flash 10.1, it's faster, more stable and has better hardware acceleration - even on the Apple platform.

      Having a choice is good. Lack of a choice isn't. Taking away the choice from people is bad. It's like the scene in Caddyshack where Judge Smails tells his grandson Spaulding: "You'll get nothing and like it!"
      Scott Raymond
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @Scott Raymond
        "IF" you know what you are doing sure choice is good. I know what I am doing I've been in the computer support/repair field for close to 30 years. However even I do NOT want to take my work home with me which is why I choose Apple products as a rule. Now take the consumer who has not interest in learning the basics of computer support nor even use as it traditionally means. All that consumer wants is a simple appliance. Now add Flash and a host of flash video's and applications on the device and performance begins to lag, battery life drains faster do either of us expect this consumer to be pleased with his/her appliance? Do either of use expect these consumers to be able to tech out there issues? Even if they can do they want to? I know I don't. I can but I don't. Perhaps Flash in and of itself won't slow the iPad down I'm not sure that is a fact. But what if a few flash games are not up to spec or performance standards that Apple has applied to protect the performance of it's device what then? Will the consumer who installed those apps/games know how to remedy the situation and even if it will eventually be fixed by an Apple Tech or a friend who knows how to do such does that not destroy the whole concept of a device an appliance that just works as it is expected to?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @James If we leave out the FUD from Steve Jobs and John Gruber, we can just look at the basic facts. Flash is used for a lot of things, not just streaming video. However, in the primary examples people use, streaming video is the benchmark. In order to stream video, you need to have a network connection - usually through WiFi or 3G connectivity.

        A Nexus One device can play fullscreen video for 7 hours. However, that is with WiFi and phone networking shut off. If you stream the video from online using flash, or just playing over a network by WiFi, that battery life is cut in half. It has nothing to do with Flash - it has to do with keeping the network connection on and constantly running.

        Right now I have a BlackBerry 9700. The BlackBerry 5 OS is based on Java VM. Normally the battery life is very good. But if I have WiFi turned on, the battery drains twice as fast as normal. Playing MP3s drains the battery faster. If I play simple, non-animated card games on it the battery drains faster. These games are well-written, stable applications. There is no flash on my phone.

        Admittedly, there are plenty of sloppy developers out there that put together flash applications for websites that behave badly. I've used some Adobe AIR apps that made me discard AIR altogether because most of the AIR apps used a ridiculous amount of RAM.

        I think we need to focus more on usage, rather than blaming battery life on an application just because Steve Jobs is pissed that flash beat out Apple's quicktime as the ubiquitous web environment for animation, applications and streaming video.
        Scott Raymond
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @Scott Raymond

        You can't take away something that was never offered in the first place on the iPhone (iPad) or any other phone. Flash in the mobile space has not been proven effective yet, again on any phone! Unless you believe adobe PR team (with their test videos of Flash).

        Apple has chosen instead of waiting around on Adobe to forge ahead without Flash. The choice was never offered because Flash is still not ready yet.
        dave95.
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @dave95 Actually, there were a few dozen flash-based apps in the iPhone store until Adobe revealed that they had a development app that compiled ActionScript 3 apps into native apps for the iPhone. Then Jobs threw a tantrum and changed the iPhone developer program license with this:

        "3.3.1 ?????? Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C , or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C , and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)."

        It was already there. Changing the licensing doesn't change the facts unless you're breathing rarefied air.
        Scott Raymond
    • The Flash Boogeyman Strikes Again!

      @James Quinn

      Flash is not the evil, mysterious power drain that Steve Jobs would have you believe it is. A year ago, you barely heard about the horrifying problems associated with Flash; in fact, the vast majority of people rarely experience any issues at all. Suddenly, Steve Jobs proclaimed Flash as the antichrist and the issue took on a life of its own.

      Those who believe that HTML 5 is going to suddenly replace the vast majority of Flash code out there are delusional. It's going to be gradual, like any other migration. The fact is, Flash is a BIG part of the Web experience, and, for the most part, it's the industry standard for delivering all kinds of video content. Eliminating it from your device on the grounds that something better will come along "pretty soon" is ridiculous.
      tricktytom
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @tricktytom <br><br>Funny because before the iPhone, you did not hear much complaints about mobile web browsers, or horrid mobile web sites created just for mobile phones (sadly you still have large name companies pushing horrible mobile sites today without a Full Site option). You did not hear much complaints about confusing mobile UI that lags because of their slow processors. You did not hear much complaints about resistive screen, compared to capacitive today. Point is you did not hear much complaints because there wasn't a better solution offered to users back then until the iPhone. <br><br>The sad part of this is, without Jobs putting Flash on notice, Adobe would be perfectly happy with Flash as is. Jobs is saying their needs to be a better solution for mobile and he thinks it's HTML5. And he is not alone. <br><br>I don't really have a problem with Flash on the desktop, my problem with it is Adobe and developers think they can just offer the same desktop Flash experience on a much smaller screen device, with ads taking up the other half the screen. It's just not a good user experience scaled down for mobile. I don't want to have to pinch and pinch again just to find the small control buttons to watch videos in a small browser window, with Tide Ads dancing around the screen. I can block these ads now on the desktop or ignore them with my larger monitor. Why in the world would I ever want that same experience on a small screen?
        dave95.
    • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

      You can still view flash content with virtualization software such as ThinServer and a good RDP client

      http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
      bojanwojan
  • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

    "the Atom CPU is great for a netbook, but for a usable computer slate it just doesn??????t work."

    Last I checked, a netbook is a usable computer. Not a gaming machine, but a usable computer certainly.

    I'm running a netbook with Windows 7 Professional. It works.

    "not with only 1GB of RAM. And without Broadcom Crystal HD video acceleration, trying to watch 1080p HD video or HD Flash video on the web would be an exercise in futility."

    Well, yeah - memory and GPUs tend to be weak on netbooks. But weren't we talking about the CPU?

    So if memory and the GPU are the problem, the CPU is to blame somehow??

    Fail.

    . . . and wow, that's pretty fast turnaround for HP to announce a device with PalmOS. Barely enough time to design a device, I think? Perhaps they were talking with Palm before the merger?

    "I find this to be encouraging, and yet typical of Microsoft??????s inability to compete in a timely fashion."

    I guess we'll find out. Depends on how serious Microsoft is about these devices.

    "What You Need vs. What You Want"

    vs What People Really Buy. If you're asking what people "want" or "need," you're probably asking the wrong question.

    Why? Because everybody wants/needs something different.

    My advice is to buy what you need or want when you need it, and to buy the right device for your needs when it comes out. If none of the devices meet your needs, don't buy them, plain and simple.

    Truth be known, buying the latest thing isn't always the answer. As cool as tablets are - if you don't think it'll help you, don't buy it.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

      @CobraA1 Actually, I've was curious myself as to how low-powered CPUs are able to handle video and have good performance, when a netbook Atom CPU can't. They can have plenty of RAM and a decent GPU, and yet somehow underperform.

      The reason is the operating system. I had a netbook in the past, and it wasn't capable of handling my work tasks because I needed to have a number of applications running at the same time. Eventually the netbook would get throttled to the point where it was an exercise in futility. I was running Windows 7 on mine as well. A test running a stripped down linux install proved to perform much better.

      The tablets that we're looking at have custom operating systems with much lower overhead. They don't have all of the extra crap that requires 15-20GB of hard drive space just to install it. They're not really intended to be full laptop or desktop replacements. But there are certain expectations from them.

      Even with this in mind, the Atom still isn't great for the platform. If you open a netbook, you find that the Atom processor has a heatsink and fan. For the form factor we're looking for in tablets, this is unacceptable. The power draw is higher, the heat output is higher. Using the iPad design as a benchmark, there should be no fans or vents. It should be entirely solid-state with no moving parts.

      I do agree with you on want/need. For instance, my specific requirements for a laptop make it fairly difficult to shop for them. There are only a handful that actually meet all of my criteria, most of them made by Lenovo. I would like to have more choice, but thankfully I actually like Lenovo. And I try not to buy the first round of a device if I can help it.
      Scott Raymond
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @Scott Raymond
        So what about the chip Apple is using? I mean in theory of course since I gather Apple owns it and won't be sharing it especially if it has advantages over the current batch of competitions chips in this arena.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @James The Apple A4 chip is a very efficient 1GHz System-on-a-Chip based on the core ARM processor design. The Qualcomm Snapdragon (1GHz version in the Nexus One) is an ARM processor. The golden child of the upcoming Android tablets is based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, which is a dual-core chip based on the next-generation ARM Cortex A9 MPCore. The Apple A4 is based on the previous A8 series.

        I suspect that while the Android tablets may not have the same battery life, they will definitely exceed the iPad in terms of performance. A dual-core CPU will be faster, and allow for better multitasking.
        Scott Raymond
      • I'll disagree with just 1 point

        @Scott Raymond <br><i>I've was curious myself as to how low-powered CPUs are able to handle video and have good performance, when a netbook Atom CPU can't.<br>...<br>The reason is the operating system.</i><br><br>I have an Asus AspireRevo which is an Intel Atom HTPC with the NVidia Ion graphics chipset. It is running Windows 7 Premium. I can watch ripped (I don't mean transcoded, I mean ripped to disk) BluRay movies with nary a stutter in sight and plenty of CPU left.<br><br>For video, OS and CPU don't matter, it is all about GPU hardware decoding and acceleration. Considering my HTPC is basically a netbook without a keyboard or screen, I'd have a hard time believing that a Windows 7 netbook with an Ion graphics chipset would have any trouble at all with video.
        NonZealot
      • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

        @Scott Raymond

        "I've was curious myself as to how low-powered CPUs are able to handle video and have good performance"

        With plenty of tricks. Lower overhead OS works better on a system with less memory, albeit with some loss of features. There are less codecs to worry about , which means you can spend more time optimizing the codecs available. Small screens means you're not throwing around as many pixels as a full PC. Often there's even some recoding done on the video server side. You can do a decent job of hiding the device's lack of power by doing a lot of stuff server side.

        "They can have plenty of RAM and a decent GPU, and yet somehow underperform."

        I'd bet with more RAM and a decent GPU, they could perform as well as similar size devices. You can certainly offload video processing to a GPU, and more memory can reduce the overhead of handling a larger OS.

        "A test running a stripped down linux install proved to perform much better."

        Well, yeah - because it was stripped down. I'm pretty sure I could make Windows perform better if I stripped it down too.

        No matter how you cut it, if you're working on a limited platform, you have to make sacrifices. You have to choose the features and applications you want to use more carefully.

        "They don't have all of the extra crap that requires 15-20GB of hard drive space just to install it."

        That's the cost of being able to run on virtually any system you want, being backwards compatible with previous versions of Windows, and Microsoft's decision to allow users to reinstall features directly from the drive, and Microsoft's decision to cache a lot of stuff.

        Which makes a lot of sense if you're designing an OS for PCs, which have an enormous variety of configurations and a large amount of drive space. It's not "crap" on a PC - it's allowing you to swap out virtually any component on your PC and use virtually any application you want.

        Windows makes a lot of sense on the PC.

        The advantage a lot of mobile OSes have is that they're designed for a smaller number of devices and don't have a long legacy of older software to support. And since they're designed for limited platforms to begin with, they'll run better on those platforms.

        "Using the iPad design as a benchmark, there should be no fans or vents. It should be entirely solid-state with no moving parts."

        That's gonna be a tradeoff as well - less cooling means you won't be able to crank the GHz as high as you could with a heatsink and fan.

        Multiple cores can help, but designing software for them can be a challenge, and if the software isn't designed for the multicore device, it'll only run as fast as a single core.

        But - having stable hardware and a lack of a long software legacy helps a lot on smaller devices, so they should make better use of the more limited hardware.

        The big advantage of Windows on a netbook?

        Well, despite the limitations, it's actually pretty capable. When my main PC went down, I simply plugged in a USB hub, and my monitor to the VGA port. Now I have a full size keyboard, mouse, a monitor, a wireless headset, a printer, and a few other devices. I can use virtually any PC compatible accessory and use Microsoft Office to access all of my documents (which were stored on Live Mesh, so I didn't lose access to them).

        Try doing that with an iPad ;).

        No, I couldn't play the latest games, but Plants vs Zombies, Peggle, and the original Half-Life work well, and WoW works well enough to check my character's in-game mail. Anything 2D works well, and older 3D games (those that don't require hardware T&L) may work.

        . . . which is actually another advantage the iPad and other mobile devices have, actually: Since the hardware on those devices are well-known, it's easier to optimize for them. This is especially important for games, where optimization is extremely important. A netbook has a real disadvantage here due to the fact that most games for the x86 platform are optimized for higher-spec PCs. The lack of consistency means the lower end tends to have less games optimized for it.

        But - on an iPad, you know the hardware well in advance. That very much allows games to have an optimal number of polygons, textures, and various effects for the platform. So you can definitely do everything possible to make a game that's optimal for the platform, which works much better than working on multiple platforms with multiple specs where you can't really optimize for a single spec.

        Although that can be a disadvantage as well. Since it has to work in a very limited environment, you can't throw something like Crysis on it. The limited size of mobile devices means they're likely to always remain behind larger devices in terms of graphical capabilities. A PC can always use its larger, roomier space to throw in more raw horsepower at a game.

        But anyways, those are my thoughts.

        A netbook works for what I do - I'm a student, and the netbook was primarily for school related activities, and it works well for that. I think having Microsoft Office really helped, as I didn't have to worry about compatibility issues with whatever the instructor used (which was usually Office). Office also has OneNote, which is great for taking notes.
        CobraA1
  • What about the Hanvon Tablet?

    The Hanvon tablet which was just released in Asia fills the bill for many users who find the iPad too underequipped.

    The Hanvon tablet comes in two flavours, one of which features a Celeron 1.3 with 2Gigs of RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, etc. The beauty is that is has USB, HDMI, runs Flash, and has recieved excellent reviews so far.
    tricktytom
    • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

      @tricktytom As nice as that device looks, the battery life is poor (3.5 hours max, much less using wifi and playing video). Pricing is also outside of the "sweet spot" range. That being said, it's not a bad device. Hanvon support, however, has been reported to be completely abysmal.
      Scott Raymond
  • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

    @tricktytom

    <i>A year ago, you barely heard about the horrifying problems associated with Flash</>

    Funny because before the iPhone, you also did not hear much complaints about mobile web browsers, or horrid mobile web sites created just for mobile phones (sadly you still have large name sites pushing horrible mobile sites today). You did not hear much complaints about confusing mobile UI that lags because of their slow processors. You did not hear much complaints about resistive screen, compared to capacitive today. Point is you did not hair much complaints because there wasn't a better solution offered to users back then until the iPhone. <br><br>The sad part of this is, without Jobs putting Flash on notice, Adobe would be perfectly happy with Flash as is. Jobs is saying their needs to be a better solution for mobile and he thinks it's HTML5. And he is not alone. <br><br>I don't really have a problem with Flash on the desktop, my problem with it is Adobe and developers think they can just offer the same desktop Flash experience on a much smaller screen device, with ads taking up the other half the screen. It's just not a good user experience scaled down for mobile the way it is being promoted. I don't want to have to pinch and pinch again just to find the small control buttons to watch videos in a small browser window, with Tide Ads dancing around the screen.
    dave95.
  • RE: Tablets: Past, Present and Future Part II

    @tricktytom <br><br>Funny because before the iPhone, you did not hear much complaints about mobile web browsers, or horrid mobile web sites created just for mobile phones (sadly you still have large name companies pushing horrible mobile sites today. And without Full Site option). You did not hear much complaints about confusing mobile UI that lags because of their slow processors. You did not hear much complaints about resistive screen, compared to capacitive today. Point is you did not hair much complaints because there wasn't a better solution offered to users back then until the iPhone. <br><br>The sad part of this is, without Jobs putting Flash on notice, Adobe would be perfectly happy with Flash as is. Jobs is saying their needs to be a better solution for mobile and he thinks it's HTML5. And he is not alone. <br><br>I don't really have a problem with Flash on the desktop, my problem with it is Adobe and developers think they can just offer the same desktop Flash experience on a much smaller screen device, with ads taking up the other half the screen. It's just not a good user experience scaled down for mobile the way it is being promoted. I don't want to have to pinch and pinch again just to find the small control buttons to watch videos in a small browser window, with Tide Ads dancing around the screen.
    dave95.
  • You (we) need to get some definitions...

    Great tablets for Windows continue to come out from Lenovo, HP, and others. Yes, I realize now you are talking about iPad-like tablets.

    Perhaps you (we) should adopt the terminology from IDC, which uses Tablet Devices vs Tablet PCs.

    I think writers like you need to step up and decide something so that we readers can figure out what the article is about.

    To expound on your Atom statement: with todays tech (batteries, etc) to get a lightweight (< 2 lb) device you need a very lightweight OS. Windows, OSX, and (desktop) Linux just won't cut it. The Atom is capable of running those OS's (sans gaming, etc.) but it uses 2-5 times the power of ARM chips, which in turn don't run those OSs. HP tried to push the envelope, but found out it just won't work yet.
    batpox