Any Tablet PC Defectors Out There?

As I’ve been talking with various customers and friends the past several months, I’ve been noticing a concerning trend: people who gave tablet a try have since switched, or are planning to switch, to a regular laptop or Mac. Keep in mind that this is an anecdotal observation on my part after observing my own customers, talking with various folks on airplanes / conferences, talking with friends, etc. It is in no way a scientific conclusion.

What are my customers saying about their defection:


  • they like the mobility, but needed more power
  • the pen was nice to begin with, but they never took to it as being a natural part of their notetaking process. It was always easier, and quicker, to whip out pen and paper.
  • they wanted bigger screens, fuller size keyboards
  • they mainly used the tablet functionality for navigation, rarely using it for pen input – not enough value there to justify it.
  • Most of their application usage, except for Office, has moved to the web – it is all text / keyboard driven. Tablet functionality doesn’t add value in that scenario
  • Others had problems with early models and grew tired of fighting problems / performance – they couldn’t deal with lost productivity
  • When pricing out notebooks and tablet pcs, they could get much more value for the dollar by going with a regular notebook instead of another notebook – Bottomline, “I didn’t get the value I thought I would get, so I’m just going to move on”.
  • a regular laptop represents simplicity – a keyboard and a screen; while the tablet feels awkward with too many issues. With a laptop, you just open it up and type. With a tablet, you have to deal with orientation issues, the TIP, flipping the screen around, being careful to not scratch the screen, vectoring due to touch, etc.

Ironically, I just read a comment in our own forums of someone thinking of replacing their tablet pc with a regular Toshiba laptop.

So, here is what I’d like to know: have you already replaced, or are you considering replacing, your current tablet pc with a regular laptop? If so, why? What were the tipping points? Was it hardware, software, lack of training, pricing, performance, OS, just didn’t fit a need? What are you going to replace your Tablet PC with – a PC, Mac, netbook, etc? I’m also curious about companies that purchased tablet pcs, and where they now stand on waterfalling / replacing.

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