Over the years, I have been changing the way I use my Tablet PC. Some might think that this points to an apparent weakness in a major selling point of Tablet PC technology, but in my opinion, it actually strengthens the argument of why the platform is a no-brainer.
When I first began using a Tablet PC in December of 2001, I was an inking fanatic. I used the TIP a great deal, inked all my notes, played with slates a lot, etc. I wanted to jump right in and experience this new paradigm.
Over the years, though, my usage experiences with a Tablet PC have changed as I’ve grasped the flexibility the platform brings. For example, I type most of my notes in OneNote and MindManager now instead of inking them. It isn’t because there is something wrong with inking, I’m just at my desk a great deal. In addition, when meeting with customers, I primarily type my notes. I’m utilizing the keyboard because it works for me. However, I still enjoy the flexibility taking handwritten notes if I choose to do so in a given environment. So, why have a Tablet PC then?
It all boils down to choice. There are many times that I slip in to portrait mode to jot handwritten notes down, or prefer carrying the tablet pc in portrait mode for browsing purposes. If I find myself in a tight spot, I’ll use the computer in portrait mode. Utilizing touch has greatly enhanced those experiences, as well. I can navigate with my finger, the stylus, take notes with the stylus or with the keyboard – I have so many more choices at my disposal depending on my current disposition and how I choose to interact with the device at that particular moment.
That, to me, lays out the strength of the platform. Tablet PC technology isn’t about the ink experience – it is about having more choices available to you for how you work. Don’t get me wrong, ink is a big deal. But it isn’t the be-all, end-all. For those who utilize ink a lot – they can do it. For those who utilize keyboarding a lot and just want the ability to ink or navigate in a more personal nature on occasion, they can do it. Utilizing Tablet PC technology enhances my mobile lifestyle and that is why I continue to choose tablet technology over non-tablet technology. I’m not totally up on whatever price premium there is / is not with tablet pc enabled hardware over non-tablet pc enabled hardware, but whatever the premium ( if there is one ), having that choice and flexibility is priceless.