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Loren Heiny: The Tablet PC HAS Been a Thought Leader

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Lenovo-thinkpad-x61-tablet-pc.jpg (JPEG Image, 490x505 pixels)What was I saying about Loren Heiny being on a tear and blogging up a storm about Tablet PCs, MIDs, and other mobile devices? He’s not just on a tear, he’s on a roll. Check out his latest, The Tablet PC HAS Been a Thought Leader and see what you think.

Loren takes a look at some of the knocks that have rained down on Tablet PCs over the years and correctly points out that many of them also apply notebooks in general. He even exposes a few interesting myths. Well, maybe they aren’t myths, but just shifting preferences (small screens, lack of optical drives).

Well worth a read.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

2 Comments

  1. Mickey Segal

    11/10/2008 at 4:00 pm

    It is an excellent article. Some of us have been arguing for smaller tablets for a while, but Loren Heiny is correct in pointing out that most people were arguing for bigger screens until they focused on mobility.

    The only major point I’d add is that the ideal way to use a slate is to have a dock at your desk. A mouse, keyboard and screen is typically better than a slate alone; the slate is only better if you are mobile or have some particular need to write on the screen. For me, I prefer a tablet almost exclusively for the mobility reason, and when not needing to be away from my desk I use a tablet in a dock.

  2. wickedpheonix

    11/10/2008 at 4:20 pm

    Further addressing the last few of Loren’s points after taking possession of a X200T, the rest of her points can just be pointed to netbooks, ’nuff said.

    a) don’t have good battery life: not true anymore, I get over 6 hours easy on my 8-cell on the X200T. It’s not quite as good as, say, the X200s with a 9-cell (in comparison with other laptops of its class) but it’s still a hell of a lot better than the mix of behemoths/Macs that I see other students carrying around.

    b) too long to boot: put in a SSD, problem solved. Just gotta wait for the price on these to come down and it’s no longer an issue, keep in mind that this was a problem with virtually any class of machine since most machines have been using HDD’s since forever as Loren notes.

    c) No CD/DVD. I don’t think that these should be built in but I do think that an external one needs to be included with the system for installing Windows and Office at the very least – the optical drive ain’t dead yet.

    d) Too heavy – 4 lbs on the X200T feels like a stretch. Going back to 2 lbs, maybe 2.5 lbs while still somehow maintaining a keyboard, build quality, battery life, and affordability is a pipe-dream unfortunately though.

    e) need a keyboard. Unfortunately I have to disagree with Loren here, I DO need a keyboard – basically programming in class, it’s a bit too inconvenient to carry an external keyboard with me for that. Also things like entering a password in EVE where you cannot pull up a TIP makes a keyboard necessary – but those are individual needs, and I figure that there would be a good many people who can go without keyboards.

    Again, I think that the 2 major problems with the TPC market right now are affordability and marketing. People can’t afford a tablet worth using, and people don’t know about them. Simply getting a X200T up to a reasonable amount of RAM and a 8-cell is over $2,000 and that doesn’t include a SSD for much better boot times. If you want to sacrifice shock-mounting, carbon fiber and the like because you baby your computer though, I’ve seen Tablets before under the $1500 mark, and that puts a Tablet at an acceptable alternative to a Macbook for a lot of people. Apple would need to make a Tablet though for the TPC market to truly succeed and I can’t see them making it for less than $2k though considering the prices of the MB/MBA right now.

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