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?