Why tablets will be the device of choice.

I’ve got too many devices in my life.  There’s always an update to load, or a virus to purge, a backup to do, or some data to synchronize. Another device on top of the smartphones and laptops I have would almost certainly  take away any remaining productivity I can offer up. So up until recently, I’ve sat quietly while others gushed over their shiny new tablet do-dads.

I look at devices this way;

  • smartphones are great because they are always on, connected, and within reach. But they will always have too small a screen and/or keyboard to be “the one device”.
  • laptops are too big and take to long to start up. I want a device that is always on and connected. I hate waiting for a laptop to come out of sleep mode. I’m not picking on Mac or Windows machines in particular. I have both types and they both waste way too much of my time.
  • a tablet would make a great reading and playing device, but taking a phone call on the road or typing a proposal on a touch screen…no thanks! Most importantly I really don’t want to buy a second wireless data plan on top of my smartphone plan. They are really expensive here in Canada.

So I admit I’m a little slow sometimes, but it occurred to me recently (in the usual hyper oxygenated cycling state) that a tablet with blue tooth headset could deliver a reasonable phone experience and with a blue tooth keyboard a good portable computer.

I may be stating the obvious, but I think tablet computers will be the device of choice in the next 18-36 months if it can be “the one” device. I concede this is not a bold statement given all the hoopla about the iPads and PlayBooks, and Google do-dads.

So the question is when will we be down to just one device? I’m likely not representative of the general market but here are the things that need to happen for this to be the case for me:

  • Solid state storage needs to be dense enough to replace a hard drive at a reasonable price. (250GB for <$100 in volume sounds right to me)
  • It would help if I already had a blue tooth head set for my phone. I’d like to get one of these anyway.
  • I need my main laptop to die and force me to make the decision of whether to buy yet another laptop (this would be the 13th in my career….such an unlucky number!) or a tablet of some sort.
  • Tablet screen size has too be “just right”. Too big, and it will be too big to carry around without a special bag. Too small and it will be more like a smartphone. I don’t know how to quantify “just right” but presumably countless industrial designers are attempting to crack this problem for the general market.

Ok there I’ve said it, I’d love to have a tablet if it can be “the one” device. What do you think about tablets and all the hoopla?

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