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The Tablets Are Here – Are You Ready?

Gartner Predicts 50% of PCs Purchased by 2015 will be touch-based /tablets devices. As a huge fan of the iPad, I’m hoping Gartner is right!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Mac, and I’m definitely not saying the iPad is perfect, but heck, I’m far from being perfect and my wife still loves me most of the time…

People often ask me “iPad is nice, but what do you do with it?” To them, I tell the same story I’m about to tell you now.

Warning: it’s not going to be easy…

You see, humanity fails to see things even if they are obvious, like an Apple falling down from a tree. It’s even worse when it comes to habits. People are just so addicted to their own habits they fail to see if something is wrong.

Getting the iPad was a smart move for me, not only for my work research (yes I actually have a real work) but also for realizing I had to change my old computer-based habits. Yes, I’m one of those computer addicts: reading blogs, social networks, some development, emails of course, games, you name it.

The iPad made me realize 2 important things:

1. Laptops are not really portable any more

Sure, they can be moved from one place to another, that is, as long as there is a table around, but you know whay? That was enough back in the 90’s. Nowadays, you need your computer with you 24/7. A true portable device means you can use it without looking for a surface to place it on. A true portable device means you can take it anywhere (living room, bed, and yes, sorry, toilets… ) without worrying about moving it around, battery, weight, long boot time, mouse, etc.

That is true portability.

And you cannot get that with a laptop and not even with a netbook.

In fact, today’s laptops are actually yesterday’s desktops, with the exception that it’s very easy to move them from one table to another.

2. Smartphones are truly portable, but they are just not enough anymore

And now, how about today’s smartphones? All-in-one power toys, amazing touch-screen based UI, fast as a beast, finger gestures, media, games, entertainment, productivity (to some extent), amazing apps – those are the characteristics of most of today’s smartphones.

Perfect, isn’t it? Not quite.

After using Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile, I still cannot point to one notes or tasks application that really helped me organize my daily tasks. The same goes with data consuming and social network activities – all can be done from any smartphone but it doesn’t mean that’s the best solution. Most people would agree that Smartphones is only convenient for short activities, and only if a laptop is not available. In most cases people will prefer to log in to their laptops to read their favorite blogs or look for new friends in Facebook

Microsoft’s Windows Phone (which I really like so far, but then again, I don’t really have one yet… [Boing boing, hint to Microsoft’s marketing company…]), brings kind of a new user interface approach known as the hubs. Visually speaking (and I know there is much in a hub than just UI), hubs are hosted on big pages and the navigation model is to move between different parts of the page.

Brilliant stuff, no doubt, but it shows one of the problems smartphones are facing today: screen size does not match with the richness of functionality.

I’ve seen a lot of articles by writers saying they reduced significantly their laptop usage in favor of the iPad, I would like to add, that I reduced significantly my smartphones usage in favor of the iPad as well. Just recently I dumped my iPhone and one of the reasons is how lame it looked after getting used to the iPad.

The iPad, therefore, completes a perfect gadgets trio together with a smartphone and a laptop. You can use it in many occasions where you would never use a laptop, and you can do stuff with it that you cannot do from a smartphone. At the moment, I believe every technology geek should get an iPad, others will soon follow.

In a few years from now, people will ask themselves how did they manage to do “stuff” without a tablet…  Turns out that humanity did not change a lot since Newton’s days – we still need an Apple to fall over our heads to change the way we think…

Gil Bouhnick

The Mobile Spoon

Technorati Tags: Tablet,iPad,Apple,Android