Tablets-Frustrating? Oh yes!

Now, I may get flamed for this, but I wanted to put my thoughts down on the current state of the market where tablets are concerned.

So, we started off just over a year ago with the iPad, it was ‘amazing’ and ‘magical’ and it has gone on to sell millions for Apple, there is no reason why the iPad2 won’t follow suit. From this first tablet on (yes yes, I know there were tablets before the iPad, but it was the first to go ‘global’) I have had issues with tablets.

Let me explain simply. They are just large phones!

I know, I’m hardly sticking my neck out with that statement, but in my opinion they got off to a bad start with the iPad and everyone has just followed suit. Apple saw an opening and released the iPad with the exact same operating system as the iphone and it worked, so they didn’t change anything, as proven a year later with the iPad2.

Problem with this is that it has made all the opposition as well as Apple lazy, it works, Apple have sold millions so why change it?

My annoyance is that tablets, like phones, make multi tasking hard work, the things we take for granted on the PC are not even attempted on a tablet, even when they are capable of it. Drop and drag, copy and paste, opening multiple tabs or windows, easy viewing and access to programs or apps running in the background….

I may be being overly harsh, but once you get past the fun of playing phone games on a large screen the gloss of owning a tablet is going to come off very quickly for some people when they realise they still need the laptop.

I’m sure Android is heading in the right direction, give it a few years and I’m sure we will be dropping the laptops completely, not sure that Apple will ever change their simple operating system philosophy to address this considering it’s probably why they sell so many devices!

Am I expecting too much, or is it just because tablets are in their infancy?

Second rant:

Android tablets and releasing them with sensible pricing!

I touched on this in this post some time ago, personally I don’t think much has changed since then! We are still waiting for nearly all of the major players to release a tablet, certainly a ‘proper’ one running Honeycomb, the operating system designed for tablets. ( Is the Xoom even out yet in the UK? I’ve lost track…) It would seem the cheaper, lesser well known makes are leading the way with the budget Advent Vega selling well (See James Pearce’s excellent mini review here ) and the Asus Transformer being a worthy contender for your money…..

But, the other big issue is the price. I have no idea what some of these companies are smoking, but we have had some ridiculous prices being banded about, all of them above the price of the ipad2 …. Now I’m no businessman, but if you price your tablet higher than the newly released successor to the market leader you’re not going to sell many!

Unless Motorola, LG, Samsung,HTC etc2 all price their 10″ tablets at a sub £400 price (Wifi only) they are doomed to being niche sellers for fanboys only.

My twitter feed is full of Android enthusiasts that want to buy a tablet but are either hugely frustrated waiting for one to be released at the right price or have cracked and bought a cheaper, budget one (Advent vega..) or an iPad 1 or 2 .

Please, sort it out! there are a lot of sales out there waiting.

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  • Samosa111

    EExcellent article. I was in import and wholesaling for almost two decades and your comments ababout pricing hit the mark perfectly.

    Such a shame that tablets don’t even do the simplest of functions like multi user logins. I bacterhhave an iPad 2 on order which I am cancelling for through asus transformer. But even that won’t entirely replace my Dell Xps.

  • Samosa111

    Sorry about all the typo errors. Damm HTC desire keyboard !

    • Stillknows

      Have you considered proofreading before hitting “Post”?

  • Tim

    Buy a laptop or an Android tablet, PLEASE…………….

  • naughtybudgie

    great article.. 100% agree. out.

  • Martin

    I think that people do not realise they don’t need a tablet until they get one!

    I would like a tablet so that on my long train commute I could watch a movie or tv episode. Trouble is £400 is far too much to pay for something like that. Especially when I could by decent laptop for the same money with far more functionality and power.

  • Lee Smart

    I researched the current crop of tablets before buying one to replace a netbook which failed to live up to my expectations (too slow, couldn’t upgrade the memory, small size was no trade-off for lack of power).

    I completely agree that the majority are over-priced and limited in terms of end-user experience as far as multitasking and so on are concerned but still saw features which, for me, took the concept of a tablet beyond the “new and shiny kit, I want one” stage. Mostly, having a larger screen makes viewing content easier. Attachments such as spreadsheets and PDF files display better on a larger screen. My HTC Desire is great and just as capable as my tablet but the screen’s physical size is limiting for the consumption of some types of content.

    I still use a Windows laptop for creating stuff and anything requiring decent processing power but, as I don’t regard the tablet as my “primary” device, I don’t see this as a compromise.

    My chosen tablet device is the £250 Archos A101 Internet Tablet running Android 2.2 – it does everything my Desire does which doesn’t need the GSM radio and it has a USB host socket you can plug a USB keyboard into…

  • bp101

    “the things we take for granted on the PC are not even attempted on a tablet,”

    Your mistake is in thinking that a tablet is a replacement for a PC, which it isn’t.

    • Stuart Mcgregor

      Indeed, but a little more pc like functionality would make tablets much more day to day usable- IMO of course.

      Thanks for the comments everyone.

  • Had a Vega and sold it, looking at trying the Asus Transformer.
    Great article though….

  • Dave

    well as i have always said all available tech is not released to us at once. in time all the things you mention will indeed be the norm for tablets but right now we will not be getting it. we get teased with the possibilities of our gadgets but have to wait sometimes forever and a few models later to get exactly what we want off these things……….. manufacturers have to take care of bottom line and if ya sell millions without adding any real power capabilities why change it. when all the hype eventaully diminishes then manufacturers will be forced to do more and get it horribly wrong at times ala iphone 4 aerial

  • Anonymous

    Tablets looks very useful for what they do but I doubt I’d buy one.

    My brother’s 13″ laptop (not to be confused with netbook) is very light and portable but has a full operating system (Win7) and with it brings full PC power. It has an option for 7Hr battery life too, close enough to tablets. Sure it’s not as a light or portable as a tablet but it’s perfectly acceptable.

    Sure you cannot stand up holding a laptop but how often is there no chair (put it on your lap) or table (put it on the table) around?

    Tablets are all about content consumption, whereas a small portable laptop is all about consumption and creation. A crucial difference. I spend plenty of time on my laptop manipulating data/content, as well as consuming websites.