Do we reeeaaally need all these tablets? (from MWC 2011)

Do we reeeaaally need all these tablets? (from MWC 2011)At the CES in Vegas last month, almost 100 spanking new tablets were revealed. 100! Mobile World Congress hasn’t been quite as mental, but the HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 have all turned more than a few heads. But is the tablet craze just a phase?

What the heck is a tablet anyway? A swollen smartphone? A laptop minus lots of laptoppy goodness? Owning both a mobile and a laptop (as many millions do), I can’t quite convince myself that I need a tablet.

There’s nothing a tablet can do that my phone or laptop can’t do just as well, if not better. Also, they’re bloody expensive. And they make you look like a bit of a knob to be fair. I’ve spotted a few business types walking around MWC with tablets, and they look ridiculous. Those guys clearly earn too much to care what I think, but street cred is invaluable to the average Joseph.

I’ve only witnessed a handful of iPads outwith the confines of the Apple Store, but supposedly 7.3 million of the things were sold during a “phenomenal holiday quarter” at the end of 2010. But is it just a fad?

Clearly the industry doesn’t think so. Scores of manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, and the specs are all over the shop. ViewSonic, for example, just announced the ViewPad4, with its tiny 4in screen. HTC’s Flyer has a fairly modest 7in screen but includes an insane 1.5GHz processor. Samsung still reckons size matters, opting for a 10.1in screen.

Then there are the operating systems; Android, Windows, iOS, webOS… or why not throw in Android and Windows, like ViewSonic? There’s a wealth of choice on the way, but will there still be a market?

What do Mobotniks think? Do you own a tablet? Are they here to stay?

Read more about: Android

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JanSt / MOD  Feb. 16, 2011 at 17:33

Dito that. I had a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and though nothing was really 'wrong' with it, it didn't do anything that isn't covered by most's just big. Yet not big enough to watch vids with a few people etc. And for gaming it can be unwieldy. And as you say, the tabs lack much of the laptop/netbook goodness, such as USB ports to stick in your pendrive or hook up a printer/scanner... I think they may be some sort of evolutionary mini-step. Maybe we will see foldable screens in mass production?
On the plus-side: the Galaxy Tab beat all touchscreen phones/laptops I ever used in terms of battery life.

slayer201277  Feb. 16, 2011 at 17:51

Sorry just can't agree. I absolutely LOVE my Advent Vega. Use it to read comics, books, surf the web and play loads of games and generally fiddle to my hearts content.
I think some people buy them because they are the new fad but I wanted mine because I wanted a proper web experience but without having to lug my Vaio about or sit on my couch with it nearly incinerating my legs coz laptops get so hot! I can slouch on my couch or in bed and not worry about third degree burns. Plus my Vaio at most lasted 2 hours cordless, my Vega is alot longer!
Also having my digital comics so easy to read was a BIG bonus.

phoenix198  Feb. 16, 2011 at 17:52

Wasn't absolutely sure about how I'd use it or where exactly it sat between smartphone and netbook when I bought an iPad. Have to say that I haven't regretted it even once since then. Yes, it has limitations compared to a (good) netbook, but it is infinitely superior in terms of usability and accessibilty compared to a smartphone, particularly for someone of more mature years who finds reading a pinched little smartphone screen a struggle. Horses for courses, I guess, but I find that a tablet fits my lifestyle almost perfectly, even to the extent that I have ditched the Samsung NC10 netbook that served me well for nearly two years.

iamdamien  Feb. 16, 2011 at 18:14

I like the look of the HTC Flyer, but the point of a tablet should be portability and affordability. A 7" screen seems about right for a tablet. The iPad is so overrated; don't get me wrong though I love my iPhone and have had every iteration, but the pricing of the iPad is a joke. Sub £300 is what I am willing to pay, but the prices that are estimated for many of the iPad rivals are way above what they should be! Hopefully once the iPad 2 is announced the device manufacturers will price their devices competitively.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 16, 2011 at 18:53

Upon launch the Galaxy Tab sim-free was actually more expensive than an iPad.

Bradder  Feb. 16, 2011 at 19:03

I personally think we dont need them full stop, Why pay for something of lower spec then a netbook with a higher price, plus if you actually have to do abit of typing nothing beats a keyboard over touch screen all day long.

phoenix198  Feb. 16, 2011 at 19:32

Take the point about pricing of the iPad and the launch prices for the early Galaxy tablets. They are a bit of a rich man's plaything :) Then again, the cash price for a decent smartphone is hardly cheap - the phone companies use them as loss leaders to rope the unwary into contracts but the hardware cost of an iPhone, high spec HTC or Blackberry is pretty much on a par with the lower spec iPads or Galaxy Tabs.

iamdamien  Feb. 16, 2011 at 23:50

When someone releases a tablet that actually replaces a netbook, then I think that will be the gamechanger that the tablet market needs. The point should be to replace the laptop. At the minute they are simply compliment to a laptop or desktop. As you need to sync for music etc. I can only see this driving the prices of these tablet devices to be sky high.


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