Apple Tablets, Dell Tablets, Crunchpad Tablets. Tablets, Tablets, Tablets. Rumors. Rumors. Rumors. We have more rumors about more Tablets everyday now it seems. The rumors have become so plentiful that they have become like currency, so much so that they are sparking posts and commentary about why we do and why we don’t need them, why they will be the second coming, and why they will flop. Heck there are even some slapping the word Tablet on the Amazon Kindle and the Plastic Logic e-Reader scheduled for next year. Matt Miller thinks Tablets suck, but then he also likes the mysteries and impenetrable mazes that are Nokia phones, so as I’ve always said to each his own.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for seeing the rumors come to life. (Well, except for that Dell rumor. That device with its small screen size seems odd to me. ) But I think we’ve got too much confusion centered around the word Tablet. Although we don’t really know what these devices will or will not do, (except for some details on the Crunchpad) some are thinking that the rumored Tablets will have the functionality that Tablet PCs tried to bring to market. I don’t believe it will even be close to that. These devices are going to be consumption devices for web surfing and playing music, games, video, and the other distractions from life that we all enjoy. Yeah, you’ll be able to send some emails back and forth, and yeah, you’ll be able to peruse documents from the web. But call me a purist, these devices won’t be Tablets in anyway.
I’m not suggesting we de-tabletize the rumored tablets because I’m some kind of purist or die-hard Tablet PC fanboy. I’m suggesting this because the current trend is just going to continue to create confusion, and the minute somebody finds a real flaw in a real product that actually gets shipped we are going to see headlines that scream Tablets fail again. My beef is simple, the Tablet form factor (in very broad terms) is an excellent one for a lot of reasons with or without Inking. With Inking, for those of us who actually like the simplicity of scribbling out a note and having it instantly searchable for later retrieval they can be a dream. Without Inking, a 10 inch screen can be a wonderful window into whatever you choose to view or display, that doesn’t require you to change your prescription for eye glasses every six months. Of course that’s my one man’s opinion and that and a $1.25 might get you a cup of coffee.
What I don’t want to see, and what I will bet money that we will see once the criticism starts, is that the moniker of Tablet will get another black eye to go with the one that Microsoft’s Tablet PCs still wears to this day and to its shame. As you can tell, I’m a big believer in the from factor in all its permutations. I’d just like to see it finally take off whether or not we are using it to play around on our couches or get any real work done.