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Tablet Thoughts, Con’t



Heading out of a weekend that allowed me the first bit of down time after a pretty hectic month long push I have to say one of the single biggest joys that I’ve had in this last crazy period of my life has been comparing Tablets against each other. Everyone who follows what I post here knows that I am a big iPad 2 fan, and those who have been following along know that I’ve been giving the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the HP TouchPad a workout as well.

But back to the joy part, because for me that’s key. Every week it seems we see posts and articles here and elsewhere about what this Tablet can do and that one can’t. We see punditry that speculates on speculation. We see predictions. And we see articles that one day claim that this one will win (usually Apple) and that this one has a chance (take your pick). All of that focuses on the usual things like specs, Apps, price, blah-de-blah. All of that is well and good and like most statements have some bit of truth within them, but what I think most of the everyday discussion leaves out is the sheer joy that you can derive from any of these very personal devices.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think the iPad 2 is far and away the better Tablet of the ones I’ve been testing. But I will say that even though The Galaxy Tab 10.1 left a lot to be desired, like the HP TouchPad once we saw an update of sorts come through, I could very easily see anyone who is looking for a Tablet experience enjoying any of the three. And of course that all depends on what they envision using a Tablet for and, what doors are opened for them to find uses that weren’t in that original vision when a Tablet was purchased.

The update I’m referring to for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is Samsung’s Touchwiz UI. I never thought I’d be one who liked that kind of overlay, but I have to say it addresses one of my biggest beefs with this Honeycomb Tablet. Simply put that beef is that there seems to be very real design sense with the Galaxy Tab when it comes to how this user wants to enjoy using. Of course that’s a subjective thing and you might prefer the non-Touchwiz UI. To each his own. The Touchwiz update, although not perfect, at least gives me a sense that someone cares about designing the user experience. I’ve seen equal amounts of praise and derision for the Touchwiz UI and I hope to write more specifically about that shortly, so I’ll leave that for the moment.

At various points during this period I’d find a few minutes here and there to shut down and turn off from what I was doing. Admittedly some of those moments involved Stall Surfing. As I did in work mode I’d rotate among the three Tablets. Yes, there were Apps I missed when on the TouchPad or the Galaxy Tab that I rely on with the iPad 2. That said, I was still able to enjoy whatever I choose to do on each of the Tablets because it just didn’t feel like work. And that’s the key I’m talking about. Whether you’re in creation mode or consumption mode, if you can’t enjoy the physical experience of interacting with whatever device you’re working with you’re already working with a burden on your back.

One of the current memes about Tablets (including the iPad) is that we still don’t know what role or niche they fill for the consumer. While there’s some truth there, in my view, Tablets provide consumers an opportunity to do some (not all) of what they may want to do at those rare moments when we are alone with our thoughts or our day. Perhaps its the insanely hectic period I’ve just been through that’s influencing this thinking, but more and more that seems to be my life these days. Bottom line, I’m glad I’m able to grab a Tablet and disappear into work or play mode when the time presents itself.

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  1. Dale Strauss

    08/15/2011 at 3:35 pm

    Warner – I really appreciate and respect your opinions, but when are we going to see an iPad/Galaxy class tablet (0.5″ or less) that can be a true yellow pad replacement? For me, that means a Wacom quality experience like I have with my HP 2740p. I too love all the thing an iPad can do, but for my use (and I’d wager a good number of others out there) we need a note taking machine above all else. I struggled in vain with both the Slate 500 and HTC Flyer – N-Trig is NOT ready for prime time in my humble estimation.

  2. Anonymous

    08/15/2011 at 4:39 pm

    My guess is not in the hear future. Unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to be a priority for manufacturers based on their market data.

  3. Dale Strauss

    08/16/2011 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t know what lags in this instance – “market data” or MS “marketing.” So few people know of the existence, much less virtues, of OneNote and a Wacom digitizer. So many of my collegues buy the ipad, love surfing and legal research on that gorgeous screen, but then tear their hair out trying to take notes on a capacitive screen. They look at my chicken scratching on that tank of an HP 2740p and are dying to know how they can do that on their iPad, Galaxy Tab, or Xoom. “So sorry, Charlie” but it’s just not possible.

    I keep holding out hope (against all odds) that King Jobs will invent the first “digital pen done right” and then declare the iPad 3/4 is NOTE TAKING done right, so long as all the controls are finger only.Then he can still exclaim that a simple stylus is “tablet done wrong.”

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