Cracks in the foundation of the Empire...

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by dceggert, Dec 15, 2011.

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  1. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    A very interesting thing happened to me while using my Q550 yesterday. I was approached and asked what I thought was going to be the 'usual' question but the result was a surprise:

    "Is that a .....Kindle?"

    In amazement that it was not the usual 'iPad question' I said, "no, it is a TabletPC; a fully functional PC like you would have in a desktop computer or laptop that you can carry just about anywhere and you can write on it."

    I was then asked to show it. Which I did, and the response was "I need one of those..."

    Was this a 'one off' incident or are cracks in the iPad Empire starting to develop? Hmmmm...
     
  2. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This terribly reminds me of the many times I got asked for my T42xx when the first iPad came out. Yeah, completely different form factor here and a convertible, but the pen thing was the same...

    I guess many people have just no idea what's actually available on the market. There is definitely a big portion of people who could get hooked on real Tablet PCs if they just knew more about them or that they even existed.
    It's not really a crack in the empire, it's just that people had contact with keyboardless devices that could do some useful things. Now they want something like that to use productively - or just with the familiar applications.
     
  3. monkey13

    monkey13 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    There could be a second chance for TabletPCs: the ultravertibles planned by Intel and some OEMs (there's still no word on which ones, except a possible Asus in September 2012). We'll have to wait what they'll come up with at the Computex in June.

    IMO Windows 8 and dual digitizers make up for a nice combination, which could really make consumers aware of other options than Apple.

    What could really kill of this second chance of the TPCs:
    1. high prices (and unfortunately Intel's decisions in mobile CPU TDP design seem to hint in this direction, let's see price lists. Pushing the IB ULV models by setting TDP-categories apart and placing a market-leader premium on the Ultrabook-ULV-CPUs will lead to high prices. Last hope: configurable TDP, but nothing leaked from Intel shows any evidence yet)
    2. touch-only, no pen (TPCs will remain a niche product for some more time)
    3. business category OEMs like Fujitsu or Lenovo think that ultravertibles are consumer class products and will come up only with consumer models.
     
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I think the real change is going to be that the dividing line between slates and convertibles, as well as pen and touch, is going to be slowly erased. Just look at things like the Asus Transformer, N-Trig, the Samsung Note, and Windows 8 being ARM compatible (and thus eventually bringing more typically used pressure sensitive programs into the current fold). An Asus Transformer with a Wacom pen is coming. Slowly...

    It took the IPad to get tablets to catch on. Now everyone is producing them, but there's still not much you can really run on them. I imagine Win8 might change that, but then we'll still have to wait for programs to become Win8 ARM compatible. So if 8 comes out next year, I imagine tech will follow shortly after or in conjunction with it, and then we'll have to wait another year or two for software to follow. As it is, there's not much need for a pen on these new slates because you can't do much with it yet. Just look at the Samsung Note- its got a Wacom digitizer on an Android slate, but pressure sensitive apps aren't available. That sure makes it less functional. We have a platform but nothing to run on it.

    Look at how long it took software to catch up to dual core processors! The truth is that, for many programs, an older core2duo is far more useful and powerful now than it was 3 or 4 years ago because so many more programs are becoming multicore and 64- bit compatible. I can only say that, as an example, Artrage is much faster now with its recent multicore update just because of that. Same computer as before, just software thats better able to take advantage of its specs.

    Perhaps the new 32 nm cpus will help battery life enough that we wont have to wait for ARM-versions of Windows programs to be developed, because new "mobile" Intel tech will catch up to the older windows 7 software.That would be nice. Otherwise, I think seeing real, productive, business focused slate computing more commonly used is another 3 years out or more, IMO, if its running on an ARM computer. Tech first, OS second, software third. Then we have a need for a pen on these newer slates.

    The reason I think ARM computers are so important is that they're clearly reducing the price point for new slate purchases for everyone, even us. Until your average Joe can get a real ultravertible or functional slate for under $500 I just don't think we're really going to see them around all that much. Once the tech is there (even relatively underpowered tech), at the right price point, I think the floodgates will open. Until then, I think tablet pcs are still going to be a very niche product. Current tablet pcs do just about everything I want them to do, but they're too expensive, too buggy and non-user friendly (hello Wacom drivers and Win7 desktop setup!), and too heavy for your average user.
     
  5. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Yup, all real good input but what I was trying to point out is I used to be asked all the time "...is that an iPad?" On that particular day I was asked for the very first time ever "...is that a Kindle?"

    See what I mean? Cracks are forming in the iPad empire.

    As for TabletPC's, yes, the price point, no matter how good a value it may present, is still too high for a home use scenario. How much does one really NEED Excel and Word at home? Note taking is fine in school, but do you really need OneNote integrated with Outlook and linked to MS Project for home?

    I now tack and go a different direction...my most favorite tool in the universe (well, electronic anyway) was the Windows Mobile PocketPC. Talk about expensive. My HX4705 was $775 back in about 2003. Based on ARM architecture, the 'apps' for Windows Mobile could do just about anything and the device sat nice in the pocket. It had Office Mobile on it, OneNote mobile, and pressure sensitive everything. How much reinventing does MS really need to do for Win8?

    I now digress back to what I consider my ideal device...a new 4" PDA size machine that runs full Win8 for ARM. I can carry it everywhere, reference it in a theater, and when I get home plug it into a dock and use a keyboard and 21" LCD. I have been asking for this for, oh, 10 years! Dreaming again....
     
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, I understood you were trying to point out that the person was presuming it was a Kindle instead of an Ipad. I was simply trying to point out that I don't think it's going to matter in the end either way if they can't get some actually functional software on either platform. As it is, its odd because we've got basically all Windows software and all Android or Apple OS's. That's a very strange combo.
     
  7. jbenham

    jbenham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The original question probably referred to the Kindle ereader and had nothing to do with the fact that it was a tablet. But I agree with the original premise that Android Tablets, collectively, are putting a dent in the iPad. :)
     
  8. monkey13

    monkey13 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Oh, I guess I overshot the facts as you put them...
    You've chosen such a catchy title for your post :)!
    And I believe too that ARM systems could contribute to pen-also enabled computing moving out of the niche, but as SteveB points out, it's also a matter of usability i.e. adequate software.
    I would see my ideal mobile device a bit larger, like 10-12 in., maybe 16:10, pen&touch, Windows 8, with a physical keyboard in ultrabook form factor, but made out of durable materials (aluminium or something similar) and having a CPU with a mature IGP and a "flexible TDP", somehow similar in concept to the IB i7-3667U.
     
  9. Liberty

    Liberty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The poor economy is really slowing things down. Entrepreneurs who like to try new products are hurting. Real Estate agents, landscapers who would really benefit from mobile tablet pc computing are hurting and have cut back on spending on these types of things.

    The luxury business supply sector is hurting because most of these professionals are so broke that can't afford them and won't be able to deduct them from their taxes.

    I am facing a twenty percent cut in pay and now my future purchase of an HP 2760 or Fujitsu has been put on hold. I am still trying to come up with new income streams.
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I'm a landscaper, and I'm interested. Though I agree that the price point is too high for new items. That's why I work with things like the x200t and the le1600. They keepfocusing on greater power, but it should be more about less weight, better screens, and better battery life- these 3-5 year models do everything I want already. Sadly, removing the pen from the equation tends to be part of the answer they've developed for better battery life.
     
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