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Tablet 2.0 Moniker At Least Acknowledges There Was a Tablet 1.0



7000_years_stone_tablet_bulI think Rob Bushway is feeling much like I am watching all the Tablet mania unfold at CES2010, even if it is unfolding under the growing shadow of the mythical Apple Tablet that may or may not be unveiled on January 27. Both of us are sitting on the sidelines of this CES, and I’m not trying to speak for Rob, I feel like some old fart sitting on a rocker on my porch saying, “I remember back in the day…”

Well, enough of that. Shawn DuBravac, director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association has up and labeled this new tsunami of Tablets as Tablet 2.0. As I said in the title of the post, at least that acknowledges that there was a Tablet 1.0, but I think that will be short-lived if and when Apple makes its announcement.

CES2010 is still underway and there has indeed been lots of Tablet news, but we’re seeing some interesting absences (so far) from major players from the 1.0 days. Toshiba and Fujitsu seem to be sitting on the sidelines for the moment, letting Lenovo (not an original player if you remember correctly,) and HP carry the torch. Rob reminds me that even with their tight focus on vertical markets Motion still has some juice, but Tablet 2.0 is all about the consumer not the vertical markets at the moment. Concepts pile upon concepts in this great rush and admittedly they do look pretty cool.

The craziness of Tablet 2.0 is that everything that can be held in your hand is being labeled a Tablet, if not a Slate. (Within a month or so, we’ll hear about the discovery of the Slate as if it was something new.) As an old convertible Tablet PC guy, I remember fondly the debates about Slates vs convertibles, and like most of that old retinue, have cherished memories of the HP tc1000 series that was a hybrid with a detachable keyboard. It looks like Lenovo remembered that fondly as well with the IdeaPad U1 as well.

There’s quite a bit of this story yet to play out in the short and the long term and while it may seem like calling 2010 The Year of the Tablet, and labeling the era we’re in Tablet 2.0 fit the rush of the moment, I’m guessing all of what we are hearing and seeing now will pale in comparison once 2011 rolls around. Sooner or later someone is going to figure out that during the early days of Tablet (call it Tablet BC) Tablets needed a chisel. Otherwise they were just pretty rocks.



  1. Achim

    01/08/2010 at 11:36 am

    All that Tablet crazy talk :-)

  2. zenpilgrim

    01/08/2010 at 11:37 am

    Well I am an old fart I guess but not in a rocker. I have been using tablet computers for over 10 years. Started with a pilot in our company for field consultants using a GRiD pad and then moved up through the various offerings of Fujitsu and H. I have since moved on to a business where they are just now getting ready to deploy Outlook for the first time so a tablet form factor is beyond them but I still have an HP 2710 tablet for my personal use.

    I appreciate the current enthusiasm for the tablet but when I heard on NPR yesterday a correspondent at CES gushing over this new tablet with the detachable keyboard, I wanted to scream at my radio, “Where have you been for the past 10 years?”

  3. pmatulew

    01/08/2010 at 12:09 pm

    I’m sill laughing even though it’s not funny.

    Until nearly every piece of software is written with user selectable modes for keyboard/mouse/pen AND touch, or until someone comes up with stand alone software that will convert existing non-touch software, then hammers and chisels will still be required.

    Pretty rocks indeed.

  4. Paul Harrigan

    01/08/2010 at 12:26 pm

    “I wanted to scream at my radio, ‘Where have you been for the past 10 years?'”

    My guess is that a lot of the people talking like that were in junior high school.

    Lower cost components, lower power use processors, and improved manufacturing systems are allowing the new systems to be more usable than those 10 years ago, so they seem new, just as “cloud computing” seems new, despite the client-server architectures of the eighties and nineties.

  5. GoodThings2Life

    01/09/2010 at 7:51 am

    I love the new attention tablets are getting, but unless the experience is as pen-friendly as it is finger-friendly, it’s just not gonna be a true “improvement”. Having an on-screen keyboard is nice (and desirable, certainly) but it shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all input experience.

    Believe it or not, people LIKE to write. They like pen and paper, and if you don’t believe me, just look at anyone over the age of 25 that still writes things down when they could type it into their phone or computer.

    Microsoft’s TIP is great for most things, but too many applications simply don’t support it properly, and a OneNote style input for applications would certainly be preferred, at least to me.

    Anyway, enough ranting, I am enjoying the attention the tablet models being released are getting. I hope it continues and that application developers will take advantage of it.

  6. Charlie Cassidy

    01/23/2010 at 4:03 pm

    Between the hype over Tablets and the excitement over SSDs I’m feeling like a real old fart. I designed my first SSD in 1985.

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