Complex tablets? Not what the people want

Lots of tablets are being shown at the CES in Vegas this week, with super-duper hardware to make them competitive. The problem is, prospective buyers don't care.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

The CES has tablets, lots of tablets. The desire to take a bite of Apple's iPad business is so tangible that a lot of companies are determined to build tablets. As Jason Hiner of TechRepublic puts it so aptly, the problem is with the exception of Amazon they are approaching it all wrong.

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverage

There are no shortage of tablets being shown at the big show in Vegas that have whiz-bang processors, gobs of memory, super-duper cameras, and even keyboards. The message is everywhere that our tablet runs rings around that "other" tablet. The truth is no one cares, at least not the vast majority of prospective tablet buyers.

The only thing that matters to those not already initiated in the tablet camp is what you can do with them. Read some books, surf the web, maybe play a game or two. That's it. Tablet buyers don't care if it's a dual-core or quad-core inside, or has a 20 megapixel camera on the back. If a company has to resort to selling hardware specs to push its tablet, it's already lost the battle.

Tech enthusiasts may get all excited over these high-end specs in tablets, but they are the minority. Mainstream consumers, and that's the only group large enough to make a difference in a company's bottom line, don't even want to think about specs. They just want to do stuff with a tablet.

As Jason points out, while tablets are being shown with keyboards to turn them into little laptops, that's not what many folks want or need. He's right about that, and that's coming from someone who regularly uses my tablet that way. The truth is, I use my tablet as a tablet a full 90 percent of the time. I only attach a keyboard occasionally, and while I find value in the added functionality that gives me, that's not the reason I bought the tablet.

I am in the minority by using a keyboard with my tablet, a tiny minority at that. I wouldn't give up my tablet keyboard willingly, but I could live without it no question.

If I was looking to buy a tablet to use it with a keyboard most of the time, then I should just get a laptop. Or, excuse me, Ultrabook. That seems to be the laptop genre du jour.

Image credit: Flickr user flickingerbrad


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