How Many Tablets Will You Own?
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How Many Tablets Will You Own?



There are some people who think we’re entering a tablet bubble – that analysts are pushing growth too hard and that people don’t yet know what they will do with their tablets. And to be honest, I’m still someone who needs three devices to get my work done and most people when surveyed admit they use their tablet primarily for entertainment.

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Part of that is the fact that the majority of new tablet owners have iPads and Android tablets, designed for entertainment before productivity. Another part is that the tablet platform has not fully defined itself yet – it’s so new that manufacturers are eager just to get into the market. They haven’t actually figured out how they will specialize and provide solutions to their customers.

With that in mind, I foresee a future when tablet computers are more than a tech fad and offer a variety of solutions for the productivity focused. People will own multiple tablets for multiple tasks in their lives (not just enthusiasts like us, but average consumers).

That does include the entertainment tasks people use them for now – reading and watching movies on an airplane or playing games on a particularly relaxed Sunday afternoon. But, it also includes everything you’d imagine a tablet can be as the technology advances. I’m talking about a tablet for work productivity – complete with word processing and spreadsheet functionality, cloud access to work files, and tools for video conferencing with colleagues.

It means there will be tablets designed specifically for education – our children will be able to access their textbooks, homework, and teachers with the flick of a finger. We will be able to check their grades and their current curriculum without calling a teacher. College will become more accessible for millions because of remote access.

I already posted the other day about what the next wave of tablet features might look like; this is a little different. I want to know what you think about the future of multi-tablet use. I believe tablet technology, like all technology, is best served through a variety of manufacturers focusing on specific niches in which they can excel. Right now, a lot of them are trying to do everything all at once and in the process churning out more and more iPad clones.

When companies start turning their attention toward how they can provide a very powerful product for a very specific purpose, we’ll move beyond the current boom of one hot gadget after another. Tablets will be designed to meet a specific need on the market and maybe we’ll finally be able to move beyond using them as just one of many computing devices – there might be days when a tablet is the only device you pick up.

What do you think? Is a future of tablet-only computing something you’re excited to see? What moves by major manufacturers are you hoping for in the years to come and how will they affect the evolution of the burgeoning tablet industry?



  1. Kay

    03/15/2011 at 12:20 pm

    I do not like the idea of multiple tablets. I would prefer one tablet that allows for entertainment and productivity and can stand alone without needing to be sinked to another computer.

  2. AccordV6er

    03/15/2011 at 12:22 pm

    All the work tasks mentioned in this article can be done on any computer already. I agree that tablets are highly functional, but they are more fun for play then work. I think tablets will be very useful in the future, but laptops/ desktops will always be in existence.

  3. iCommentator

    03/15/2011 at 12:43 pm

    Pretty simple, isn’t it ?
    Laptops and PC’s are complementary, not competitive.
    Tablets get you total portability at the cost of creation capability.
    PC’s get you creation capability at the cost of portability.

  4. Erikpeterson2

    03/15/2011 at 12:52 pm

    I hope to have many tablets in my home at some point. One by my workshop so I have access to the internet, and one in my kitchen so I can enter shopping list items and search recipes. I’m sure I could come up with more uses for a tablet. These tablets would not need to be top-of-the-line for me to do these things and would really only require wifi.

    Of course one nice one for entertainment with 3g or 4g would be nice as well.

    The only thing that would stop me is price. Prices of the tablets have to come down first for me to get the ones for my home. For the entertainment one, forget it until network access becomes cheaper. I already spend a lot to access 3g on my smartphone. I want a tablet but I don’t want to shell out another $30 per month for unlimited internet.

  5. Comment Maker

    03/15/2011 at 12:56 pm

    CORRECTION to earlier post, which should have read : –
    Pretty simple, isn’t it ?
    Tablets and PC’s are complementary, not competitive.
    Tablets get you total portability at the cost of creation capability.
    PC’s get you creation capability at the cost of portability.

  6. Toshd3

    03/15/2011 at 2:07 pm

    I’m typing this comment on my smart phone & I have a portable lap top therefore I really don’t feel the need to own a tablet. I agree with Kay if a tablet is issued to the marketplace that is capable of providing multiple functions I might consider purchasing one otherwise to me it’s a waste of money.

  7. Anonymous

    03/16/2011 at 2:57 am

    I am getting the HTC Flyer aka HTC View for work. It is going to be awesome just carrying that around in the lab. An infinite supply of paper with a wide variety of pens and pencils with audio and image recording capability on something that weighs less than a pound and should have no problem giving me 8 hour battery life. HTC’s active stylus is what puts it over the other top for me. I can’t see doing this with a smartphone or a notebook.

  8. rainman

    03/16/2011 at 3:54 am

    …one to rule them all.

  9. Chuck

    03/16/2011 at 4:53 am

    General Purpose always trumps specialization in hte long run. In the short term specialization wins. You are right in the short term, wrong if talking about the long term

  10. Hugo Ortega @MrMobilePC

    03/16/2011 at 2:05 pm

    @ALL: I love the feedback from all of you. I think it’s a good indication as to why everyone is still fighting for second place, i.e. Apple has the entertainment corner (so they win the place of everyone’s favorite tablet – and possibly become people’s second, third or fourth “device”). It may well mean there is not enough room for another tablet. Time will tell, and so will the consumer. It’s gonna mean that manufacturers will need to come out with very special devices to compete!

  11. Willem Evenhuis

    03/18/2011 at 8:33 pm

    I think the idea behind the tablet is one. One basic mobile technology for serveral business of personal tasks. Compare it, in a sense, to a swiss army knife. It is not a wonder, therefore among others, battery life, inking technology and many other feactures as the camera, gps, compas, g-sensors and other tools are ever added to these devices.

    • Hugo Ortega @MrMobilePC

      03/19/2011 at 2:57 am

      @Willem: I can’t agree that one is enough but I do like your “swiss army knife” analogy. Good one! :-)

  12. Anonymous

    03/21/2011 at 5:24 pm

    I don’t think I’ll need anything more than my HP 2730p with a slice battery, but having an extra screen to cross-reference would be nice.

    The idea I have is that the one tablet can replace a whole library’s worth of books and a whole backpack’s worth of paper notebooks, as well as a lot of other things paper-related. However, it won’t replace my custom-built desktop. No mobile computer will. They just don’t have enough performance, especially GPU performance, and what you do get will cost at least twice as much.

    Now if I could just tap into my own desktop from a notebook/tablet and reap the full benefits of its power…too bad networking technology isn’t there yet, and the services that do offer that sort of thing want me to depend on THEIR infrastructure, on their terms.

    • Hugo Ortega @MrMobilePC

      03/21/2011 at 11:43 pm

      I agree mate. It sounds like you have a strategy – now we just need to wait for technology to catch up! LOL! It wil. :-)

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