RIM Playbook Tablet
It looks like the tablet market is beginning to heat up. First the Apple iPad, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and now RIM’s Playbook. RIM’s announcement especially made me think about what tablet would work for me.
First of all, let me start by saying my ideal tablet hasn’t come out yet. The iPad resembles a “big iPod Touch” to me in looks and more importantly, functionality. iOS as a platform is too limited. It seems to be tailored to those who want to consume data, media, etc. I want a tablet I can create with.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Next, the Samsung Galaxy Tab (or insert Android-powered tablets). I can very much appreciate Android. As a smartphone OS it is solid. As a tablet OS (in its current form), not so much. The Samsung Galaxy Tab appears to be a big Galaxy S…and I already have a Galaxy S Captivate. The Galaxy Tab would simply be redundant for me. The Galaxy Tab doesn’t present any new features that don’t already exist on my Captivate. Another issue, Android fragmentation. Android’s openness is the epitomy of a gift and a curse. On one hand, Android users aren’t locked into one form factor, one hardware design like iOS. However, Android is used on everything from portable media players to smartphones to tablets to in car entertainment systems. By getting an Android tablet, I am not guaranteed top have a genuine Android experience, much less guaranteed Android’s core apps (Market, Gmail, Talk, etc.).
I have seen some parts of the Windows 7-based tablet, the HP Slate. That seems like its right up my alley. I’m able to do all my “work” that I do on my desktop, on my tablet. The only downside is it lacks the mobility from a user interface perspective. Windows 7 isn’t exactly the greatest touch based UI out there. Furthermore, Windows 7 is a full-blown desktop operating system. Battery life may not be that good (I need 10 hours between charges). I think if some company can develop a skin to cover up Windows 7 (for most tasks anyway) and optimizes power consumption, then it can be successful. Then there is a Google Chrome OS based tablet.
I haven’t seen much of Chrome OS, but it supposedly thrives it’s ability to run web applications…so its guaranteed to be “light”. Other OSes that could potentially make for a good tablet PC are WebOS and Meego.
Do what is my ideal tablet? A device that bridges the mobility of a smartphone and the power and flexibility of a laptop. It’s going to need a good amount of connectivity and communication options. SD card reader, USB ports, front facing camera, mic & speakers, and WiFi. It needs to run a flexible, but mobile oriented OS as well. I’m probably asking for a lot, so I can settle for a subset of these features.
Fortunately, I’m not in the “I will buy now” market for a while (saving for a wedding). So hopefully the tablet market matures in the next 12-18 months. In the meantime, I wait…