From the perspective of a multiple tablet owner

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Nebrie, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Nebrie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    I love the promise of tablet/touch computing and have accumulated many devices over the years. I have owned a Newton 130, Sony MagicLink, Palm Vx, Psion 5mx, Sony Clie, Windows CE based Cassiopeia, Compaq iPaq, Sony Ericsson 910, iPhone (duh), Lenovo X41T, OQO 02, and an HP Touchsmart 501.

    Out of this whole list, there are only two devices that I would be willing to purchase again - the Palm Vx and the iPhone. Let me give my thoughts on a few of the other devices.

    The HP Touchsmart oohed and aahed everyone for about two days. After that, you realize three things - that the special touch software that HP wrote is 90% wow and 10% useful (not to mention sluggish), that things like the close, minimize, maximize windows buttons, radio widgets, drop-down lists and anything similarly small were impossible to hit consistently, and too many functions just did not work without a mouse or required extraordinary acrobatics. I found out this week that the touch driver had corrupted and no longer worked, no one in the house noticed because no one had used the touch feature since the first week we got it.

    The Lenovo X41T was too heavy to hold for long periods of time especially with the extended battery it required and too slow for full blown windows. After a while I found that I had stopped using the stylus because it was easier and faster almost all the time just to open up the unit and use the pointing stick. I eventually gave it to my brother who is a 3d artist. He hated it - it was a fine doodle device (a $1500 one at that), but there was no way he was going to use that for any serious work when he had a Wacom tablet.

    The Windows CE based Cassiopeia was probably the single worst purchase on this list. As I recall it was $600 and a geek's dream because it had every feature checkbox you could check at that time checked. The UI made no sense, even to a Windows user. Launching an app required clicking on the start menu, then programs, then program category, then scrolling through a list. Then you would get an out of memory error and then have to repeat the process to get to the process viewer and try to guess which app was killing the device. Then the device would crash requiring you to pop out a conveniently-integrated pin to push the hard reset button. I got the iPaq a few years later fully expecting that MS had heard about and resolved these issues. Boy was I wrong.

    Going back to my favorite devices, I fondly remember the Palm Vx because of how I was just able to pick it up and pick what I wanted to do. If I had to create a calendar entry, I just went to the page with the calendar app, opened it, clicked new, and filled in just what I needed (In Windows CE, this was a good 60-90 second exercise). Later, I read about all the experiments that Palm had done just for that application where Jeff Hawkins would randomly call someone and see how long he could stall them while trying to get this task done. If the other person sensed something was amiss, then it was a failure and had to be re-thought. It looks like an incredibly "lazy" app for being so simple and yet that simplicity was the hardest part.

    I guess if I learned anything from this, it's that features for features-sake without usability considerations and useless pizazz will draw in a lot of first time buyers but very few repeat buyers, and that desktop OSs don't work on tablets. Even when you read the manual then visualize how it should work in your head, it's a *very* different experience when you actually go and try to do it. All of that is why I'm getting an iPad.
  2. bndoarn macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2008
    +1. Even though I've never used a HP Touchsmart, a desktop OS is simply not meant for touching. The iPhone OS is however and that's why it was put on the iPad. If Apple would have put full OS X onto the iPad everyone would be praising it right now but once they got their hands on it there would be even more complaining than there is now. While I think the iPad is slacking in some areas I also think it will be a great success.
  3. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2009
    Finally nice to hear stuff from people that actually have used tablets before.

    Best post in this section so far.
  4. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    Yea, now this is a post that's worthy of its own thread, unlike many other threads in this forum.
  5. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    This post should be required reading before posting in the iPad forum.

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