Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

Summary: The Apple iPad may be on the rise, but fundamental limitations in the tablet concept need serious attention.

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  • I really want to love my Android Motorola Xoom. I'd like to be able to say I use it all the time, but in reality its use is mainly confined to my bed where a laptop would be too heavy and hot. So what is it about tablets that stops more people buying and using them? I think it's down to a number of shortcomings that are having a serious impact on adoption.

    1. Better integration with PCs
    Better integration in this context means better docking stations that would allow users to use their tablets more easily with existing peripherals. To be fully effective, these docking stations need to be capable of accommodating the usual collection of hardware, including keyboards, mice, speakers and external drives.

     

  • 2. Better keyboards
    For anyone who has to write a lot, the virtual keyboards on every tablet I have tried are inadequate. I realise that onscreen keyboards are probably fine for those who can text at the speed of light. But for those who have to do a serious amount of writing — authors, students or simply anyone who writes more than a single page of information — a real keyboard is a necessity. Unless you want a bad case of numb fingers, sore wrists or worse, a physical keyboard is a must.

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Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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24 comments
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  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Tablets need a "guest" mode, so that you can share your device without sharing your private contacts, email, etc..
    cleve1@...
    • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

      @cleve1@... That's exactly what the BlackBerry Playbook does, but it got knocked for that feature.
      John Hanks
    • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

      I think the main thing here is price, if they bring the price way down, you can buy everyone in the house one and call it a day. But I do agree with all the other things they talk about. I guess the main thing I see, is price, this will get around user accounts needed. Since it wasn't on the list but should have been number 2 lol...
      bethereornot
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    When Win8 devices are available next year, it will all change. Tablets currently on the market are still very "half-baked" and are more tests than anything else. iPad is great for the gadget geeks, but fails to deliver much beyond that.
    spaulagain2
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    What about user accounts? I can't believe user accounts isn't on this list. Right now, I lend my tablet to someone and they've got access to my e-mail, can buy apps on the Market without my permission, can run, modify, delete any application I've got on the device. Tablets desperately need user accounts (or at the very least a "Guest Mode" as cleve1 above suggested)
    dsf3g
    • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

      @dsf3g

      User accounts are definitely needed. My wife and kids use my tablet often while I'm working. I don't want my 6 year old to delete an email or buy something from a game - done once already. But unless I make it difficult for me to purchase something, there is no way to lock them out.
      RGC6789
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    ASUS Slider and google's cloud printing application wolves many of these problems...

    As for storage, external hard drives have actually worked with several tablets and the ASUS W/ Dock is one of them.

    Of course none of these will ever be solved by the iPad but Angain, most have suitable options with Android.

    As for adoption, Tablets are great for anyone that doesn't need a computer.
    slickjim
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    One other problem that needs fixing is ZDNET's Image Gallery.... Could you guys just make it so we don't have to refresh the page every time ?
    Madushan Siriwardena
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    I was wondering why this list existed until I saw you have a Xoom. Good luck with that.
    dheady@...
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    I can only speak with authority about the Acer A500 which I own, but a number of your issues don't exist on the Acer.

    In particular:

    Supports either bluetooth or usb keyboard.

    While no one ever had too much storage, I find the combination of internal plus sd card up to 96 GB sufficient for now, especially since I can play movies, music etc right off a thumb drive. I have plugged 64 GB thumb drives in and I suspect that the 128 GB thumbs would also work.

    The Acer and I believe all Android 3.x devices does have at least 2 users definable, an administrator and a user and files can be administrator only. I don't know if more than the two accounts can be created. One can also set parental controls on the tablet which allows restricting content. I freely admit that while I have seen all these settings on my tablet, I have had no reason to use them, so they may be interesting stubs rather than fully fleshed out.

    I have plugged keyboard, mouse, SD to USB adapter and thumb drives into the full size usb port on the Acer. I understand that one can plug in cameras and printers with appropriate drivers. I will eventually get around to testing the printer.

    As far as printing, I have found a couple apps that allow me to print on bluetooth or wifi printers available locally as well as using cloud printing.

    I can't argue price, but that really is a personal question of whether the convenience of a tablet justifies the cost. Since a big piece of the price is the touch screen, I suspect that tablets will come down in price as yields get better.

    Now, having said all that, I find that I also use the tablet as pretty much a media player and web browser. I think you really hit the real issue when you discussed better integration with the PC. I can get a dumbed down version of office for the tablet, but there is no MS Project equivalent and not enough power for real video or photo editing. If you provide the power to do heavy work, current technology provides short battery life. So for me, the real issue is that I can't do everything I want on the tablet and so fall back to a PC.

    On the other hand, when the tablet can do the job, it has pretty much instant boot and is much more convenient to use while holding it than any netbook or notebook.
    sbf95070
  • did this really need to be a slide show of royalty free graphics? n/t

    did this really need to be a slide show of royalty free graphics?
    klockheed
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Sounds to me like a shopping list for the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet. Virtually everything on this list exists on the Lenovo... which is why I've bought one for the wife and now ordered one for myself. The damn things are brilliant. They are smothered with ports, come with a digitiser pen etc... I'm happy. :)
    welshdog
  • Tablets as Laptop Replacements

    That is really what you want here. And I agree. I would love to have a Tablet that could replace my laptop, but right now tablets are entertainment devices. Some specialized apps can turn them into more useful devices, but we are not yet at the point of replacing laptops with tablets. Maybe in 2 or 3 years. Although, I do have high hopes for the Windows 8 tablets next year.
    jpr75_z
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Hmm...a tablet with a keyboard, better printer support, more usb options...sounds like a laptop to me...

    "A device with the form factor of a laptop, the limitations of a smartphone, and the advantages of neither."

    -my description of tablets about a week after the original iPad came out. Haven't seen anything since that has changed my mind.
    printing724
  • User accounts might hamper sales, thus...

    they don't exist. Apple and the others want everyone to have their own tablet. They don't want you to share. When Apple fears losing market share, they will provide that feature.

    As for integration with PC's, I agree completely. I've used an iPad and I still view it as mostly an expensive toy. Can't get any real work done on it.
    shawkins
  • Printing? Seriously?

    Tablets are supposed to be a replacement for paper, not creators/wasters of paper.

    If you need to print a document, what about using a freaking PC? There is no reason to include unnecessary bloatware just to support something that will be of little benefit but to lazy people.
    wackoae
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Tablets are supposed to be a replacement for paper, not creators/wasters of paper.

    If you need to print a document, what about using a freaking PC? There is no reason to include unnecessary bloatware just to support something that will be of little benefit but to lazy people.
    wackoae
  • Frustration, the confusion in the

    Growing up in the arms of others, never a strong.
    tramps
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Tablets have an even bigger problem than any stated here.

    Tablets are useless in-between devices that are neither a laptop nor a smartphone. I am an engineer. If I need a computing device, I need one that ones engineering and math applications. The least I need is a top end laptop. Otherwise, I have my smartphone for mobile connectivity.

    A tablet for me is simply a useless third device that is a waste of money.
    cardhun@...
  • RE: Top 10 tablet problems that need a fix, fast (photos)

    Well at under $120 and supporting a 800mhz fast processor, my C-MID M70003 has been serving me almost a year now and it does the USB thing well, loves my soft roll-up keyboard, loves my laser mouse, accesses my all my storage, has great visibility in G sensor for outdoors use, love the battery life and WiFi. Even as a music player its cute and sure has rolled in the $$ showing my demo videos on my new products to customers. Yes I wish I could port my Maximizer to the android tablet for my client management CRM. But with it already on my hip, in my BlackBerry there is no need. IF there was a wish it would be that BlackBerry or anyone with wireless access on a phone could go Adhock mode and link the phone to the tablet, now there would be a feature rather than having to pay for a second SIM card access to get data to my tablet while traveling. None the less the 7" form factor fits in my suit breast pocket, can't do that with a 10" tablet. Also the 500-600 saved has paid for a lot of bar bills and meals. So if you want to spend for the big brand name and get shit, and complain go ahead. I am using mine and works for what I wanted it to do. Its not a Laptop, but then it never was intended to replace one. It is also not a replacement for my phone, I have that with my BlackBerry bold. Just some thoughts for you out there contemplating your next move. No intentions to influence the iPhone or iPad geeks. Sure is a neat shift from the first days of Apple.
    Cal Woosnam