After detailing my plan to purchase a Tablet PC and select the right unit, my HP 2710p has finally arrived. I’ve been using it exclusively as my primary note taking device for a few days, and I’ve encountered a few differences between using a Tablet PC, traditional paper, and a conventional laptop computer.
The first difference I’ve noticed about using a Tablet PC in the work setting is the reaction others give. Younger colleagues regard the Tablet PC as cool, asking what it is, how it’s used, and where they can purchase one. Seasoned coworkers regard it as complicated and advanced, while students surprisingly pay little attention to it. Despite the reactions it receives, the Tablet PC still struggles to find a spot in mainstream, daily computing for the average user.
One of the reasons why I believe Mac OS X and the popularity of Apple’s laptops has skyrocketed in recent years is largely due to the fact that their computers are like a refrigerator. When you’re hungry and want something to eat, the frig always has a big sandwich waiting for you. The frig is always running, set at the perfect temperature, and satisfies your hunger; it just works. Apple’s line of computers provide a powerful computing experience with little work on the user’s part. Open it up, and it works. Close the lid, and it sleeps. For the Tablet PC to reach the mainstream, it must continue to adopt the “appliance approach” to computing. It must be as easy to use as a refrigerator. Instant on, quicker sleep functionality, and better integration of Inking must be implemented by OEMs to attract new tablet users. There must be a shift away from the business model to a more consumer oriented model. While many of these needed changes are software related, there is plenty of room for hardware related improvements as well.
The second dilemma I’m facing as a full-time tablet user is trusting that all of my digital notes are safe and secure. I love being able to physically hold my notes in my hand, pack them away in my bag, and know that they will remain intact unless a random fire decides to ignite. There’s something scary about trusting a computer with important documents that could have major consequences if permanently lost. However, the question to ask in today’s modern, technological society is who doesn’t use a computer to store important documents? As we continue to experience technological advances, the Tablet PC will develop a secure spot in our daily lives.
Stay tuned for a full Inkshow where I’ll share reactions and full feedback from two weeks of paperless inking. If you’re new to the Tablet PC scene, follow our Tablet PC 101 series to learn more.