What is a tablet even good for?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MrCheeto, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #1
    I've been following the rumors for two years and have been disappointed during the WWDC's and Keynotes for that time as well. But what I started asking soon after the rumors is...what advantage does a tablet have over a notebook?

    Think about it. Sure it costs less but will it perform as well? Will you be able to install Photoshop and Final Cut on it? What's the point of a big iPhone?

    Then it donned on me. Apple is known for making revolutionary leaps into whole new industry-changing technologies, the iPod, the iBook, the iMac...bunch of i's...anyway, why not now?

    Well, I think I've begun to understand why Apple would find a tablet so appealing, assuming they are working on one. With this I am finally excited about the darn thing and can't wait to see it.

    Simple, I think that the Tablet is going to be a CLOUD computer! Think about it! Such little on-board CPU usage that this thing won't need a fan yet could possibly run Photoshop and even the iLife Apps!

    ...but who's servers would they use? =\

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #2
    No it will very likely just be a big iPhone/touchscreen laptop without a keyboard.
     
  3. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #3
    Then what advantage does that have over a notebook? Is this going to be Apple's netbook?
     
  4. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

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    #4
    I'll just wait until it's out. I have no idea what it will do or how I would use one. I felt the same way about the iPhone, but now I don't leave home without it. If it's just a big iPhone, or an underpowered multitouch netbook competitor, I'm not interested right now. Apple is full of surprises, and I'm in no hurry to be amazed.
     
  5. MTI macrumors 65816

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    #5
    How will consumers react, not just computer/geek consumers, but consumers in general?

    Remember what MP3 players were like before iPod? Smartphones before iPhone? E-books before Sony E-Reader and Amazon Kindle? Digital video cameras before the Flip?

    It's shortsighted to only consider the needs/wants of existing computer users, since there's a larger market of consumers that want technology to be functional and easy to use, rather than the nose bleed fast or replace a desktop or laptop computer.
     
  6. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #6
    If I was a betting man then yea, I'd put money on it being their netbook. Small, no need for external drive.
     
  7. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    #7
    Give this a look. Here's why I'm excited about a tablet.

    mt
     
  8. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    #8
    This is why Apple's much-rumored tablet computer will be such a big hit. Imagine a weekly magazine with FAR more interactive content than any "dead tree" version.
     
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #9
    ESPN highlights and The Blitz all through a digital ESPN The Magazine subscription? That would be worth buying. If the tablet could deliver something like that, then I'm savin' my money for one of these.
     
  10. knewsom macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    ...except that it'll likely just be a bunch of "click here to save more money on car insurance" crap.
     
  11. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

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    #11
    Anybody with a reasonably critical mind will have realized for the past two decades that laptops are pretty crappy machines in terms of ergonomic design. The entire design is crap, but they do succeed by giving mobile computer function to those who want it or need it.

    "What are they good for?" could easily be applied to laptops from the view point of a desktop. Especially now that an iMac is able to be carried about easily compared to old desktop models. Let's be honest: most people do not NEED a mobile computer, but most people WANT a mobile computer.

    Most people with computers don't need high end function: they read things, they create simple documents, the plug in data to simple format programs like address book and iCal, they read and send email, they surf web, they watch movies/video and listen to music, they play relatively simple games.

    Gamers, video and art freaks, and purists, won't grasp the concept that people don't need what they personally desire in computers. So the computing power of the iPhone is getting close to what a majority of the possible market needs and desires. With a larger screen, I am certain Apple can squeeze in all the processor and memory needed to have a reduced laptop with a kind of iPhone touch screen function. The big question is probably price vs. buyer interest.

    The iPT/iPhone screen and function is just too limited and small to be a very pleasant experience in computing for most people. With a larger screen and more ability to input and transfer data, the iPT computing form and format would be very successful...

    At the right price.

    I'm pretty certain Apple understands all these aspects, and they have probably been working to find a killer app or some function which would hook people by setting the product far apart from any other competitors for a time. Otherwise, they just have a nicely redesigned netbook-as-tablet. They should have designed and released a tablet near when the iPhone debuted, because it would have been an amazing market advance. As it is, they are coming far behind mass market anticipation, and they might never live up to expectations.

    As for the tablet in far future (5 years or more), it is the form that will survive the laptop, unless something even better is designed. By 2020 I bet most mobile computer users will be looking at laptops the way we look at VHS now.
     
  12. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #12
    Bingo.

    They will open the door for apps with more features than current iPhone apps.
     
  13. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #13
    Lack of a keyboard is a huge advantage for this kind of device. For a wide range of uses, particularly when not seated at one's desk, people spend much more time consuming content (music, video, text, etc.) than they do creating it. Ditching the keyboard allows for a lighter, easier to carry, less intimidating, device. One can carry it into meetings and view data without distracting folks and without putting a little wall up between the various participants. For people who travel a lot, a light, keyboardless device is an awesome device.

    One might as well as "what advantage does my iPhone have over my laptop with VOIP?" Overlapping capabilities is only a small part of the overall usage model.
     
  14. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #14
    Plus, content creation doesn't necessarily mean heavy keyboard usage.
     
  15. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #15
    Well for me I much prefer a laptop to any device. It has all the power I need and in a wonderful form factor. I couldn't be happier.

    But when I'm at the TV and decide to hit Wikipedia up to find the difference between the 6507 used in the Atari and the 6502 used in the Apple ][, nothing beats the iPhone. It's size and form factor are so unobtrusive, just leave it in your pocket on on the coffee table and no worries about it falling or getting damaged to the degree a laptop might not handle. Whip it out, search, press sleep, done.

    The UI is brilliant, as well. SOMETIMES I find it more fun to browse with the iPhone than with my MacBook Pro! Maybe a tablet would be the ultimate net device (assuming it will support flash...but knowing it won't) as well just a sort of "i-hub" for managing your i-life. Like Facebook, email, AIM, Jabber, Skype, calendar, photos and ITUNES!

    Hm, if I didn't need the power of my MacBook Pro and the super-portability and cell functions of my iPhone, it suddenly sounds appealing to an extent.
     
  16. MTI macrumors 65816

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    #16
    What "power" do you "need" from your laptop? The vast majority of consumers barely need the power of a 1.83 Ghz Core Duo for their computing platform.
     
  17. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #17
    Um...I edit HD video and my 2.0ghz C2D MacBook was performing like a slug and now my MacBook Pro handles so smooth I sometimes wonder if I'm actually editing full 1080i...

    As a plug, I'm working on my review of the 13" MacBook Pro at this moment! It will be up sometime within the week.
     
  18. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #18
    That's the sort of question that, in retrospect, is alway worth a laugh. "Who needs a computer in their home?" "Who needs more than 640K memory?"
     
  19. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #19
    First off, Thanks for the link! I wanted to send this on to a couple of buddies that had asked to see it after i talked about it at a party.

    As for the topic of the thread this link to how digital content will be delivered is a HUGE factor for me to buy a tablet from Apple. Aside from the streaming video and the fact if it runs iPhone apps it will make a badass device to run Slingplayer mobile on, Netflix, Hulu or any other digital streaming media around my house when the main TV has been taken over by the family :)

    My 13" MBP does the job well but I have always wished I could just disconnect the screen to hold while watching some Hulu, or TV via my Slingbox. iPhone to me has great functionality, but as I have large hands it can be tricky to hang on to the screen and actually play a game or use some apps just due to it's small size. I hope to see a 10" screen with a hybrid OSX/iPhone interface that runs apps as well as some web browsing, and functions of Snow Leapord.

    I don't need a full blows MBP for what I use mine for, I need a media device for viewing some email, web, video and pics, a tablet (aside from just being cool) would imo serve this purpose without the size and weight of the 13" MBP and avoid the MBA which imo has a long ways to go to become widely accepted. I won't even go into my MBA experiences, but a tablet has no hinge (hint, hint) better user interface (touchscreen vs keyboard/dated touchpad/click keys) and hopefully better battery life.

    I guess sales figures will tell the tale, but if they put out a 10" tablet under $800 bucks I think they will have a huge hit. Jan 26th can't come soon enough :) (assuming that is the date of an announcement)
     
  20. GidbinN macrumors member

    GidbinN

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    #20
    I disagree with the "giant iPhone" opinion.
    I think the point of Tablet PC/Mac is to run the original OS on a machine with more mobile capability, but not exactly an cell phone or PDA.
    If desktop computers need more space, laptop need a surface
    then the new Tablet PC/Macs only need on arm and (stylus holding) hand.

    And of course it will run such applications like PhotoShop or Paint, it works even better on a Wacom-Like touchscreen computer!

    Just My Opinion :D
     
  21. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #21
    I hope you're right, but all signs point to nope.
     
  22. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #22
    Any source for this claim? Just seems like a very specific number
     
  23. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    #23
    Just about everything I've seen expects the tablet to have some kind of on-screen keyboard, like an iPhone. I'm really hoping it's something closer to this. I could really see the laptop form factor disappearing if a tablet worked like this.

    mt
     
  24. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #24
    Won't happen. 1) takes too much battery. 2) offers too little benefit - the on-screen keyboard is already fairly big (compared to smartphone keyboards). 3) a tablet is designed to be held in the hand. It would be awkward to find a flat surface big enough for the tablet and flat surface and positioning everything, especially if the tablet doesn't have legs to tilt the screen up. 4) jumping between table and tablet (for moving things around like a mouse) would be very tiresome.
     
  25. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    #25
    Wow ... it's like you don't believe any of this can be engineered ...

    Battery ... I might have to give you that, but if a Mac laptop battery can be rated for 7 hours, how long would a battery last on a tablet that conceivably has no moving parts? Whatever the projection keyboard consumes, it could be earning right back.

    Too little benefit ... Strongly disagree. A real keyboard, even a virtual one opens the tablet to nearly every market now served by a laptop.

    Held in hand ... That's one way. Awkward? Heck no. People find flat surfaces for their laptops. They'll find one for their tablets too if it needs one.

    No legs ... Why wouldn't a tablet have hinged legs so it can stand upright?

    Table to tablet ... Maybe, why not a wireless mouse? Or even a virtual trackpad?

    I'm not saying Apple WILL do any of this. But IF they did any of it, the whole idea of a laptop would seem so ... 20th century.

    mt
     

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