bit-tech.net

The Tablet You Want Isn't What You'll Get

Posted on 10th Jan 2011 at 08:12 by bit-tech Staff with 43 comments

bit-tech Staff
It goes without saying that CES will see a lot of tablet launches. However, the tablet you really want is unlikely to be among them.

Why? Not through lack of innovation; it's more about economics and materials.

For starters, both Microsoft and Intel want in on the tablet market really, really badly. However, both companies don't have ideal systems for tablet PCs yet. Annoyingly, Microsoft isn't letting anyone put the Windows 7 Phone operating system on a tablet device, and is instead dishing out heavy rebates for full-fat Windows 7 installs.

Not only that, but we've been told by several industry insiders that Intel is putting some serious marketing cash behind its current Moorestown Z-series Atom hardware, as well as the new re-spun Atom platform dubbed Oak Trail. Manufacturers wanting to take the cash (and most of them do) have to make at least one Oak Trail tablet PC, and Intel will apparently help to co-market it.

As a cherry on top, Oak Trail is also cheaper than any Atom platform to date ($25 per unit, based on orders of a thousand; the 230 launched at $29). However, while DigiTimes states that the $25 includes the use of the MeeGo operating system, we've heard a less than positive reaction to the OS, so we'd be surprised if there were any third-party MeeGo launches.

This is why you're much more likely to see so many Oak Trail tablets at CES and most, if not all, will be running Windows 7.

Economics aside, we've also heard about supply problems. Capacitive touchscreens are in very high demand, and apparently a very large percentage of the total capacity is being vacuumed up by Apple. We've also had complaints about component manufacturers tailoring their output to Apple's specs, as they either barter for a contract or expect other companies to follow suit. Demand is dictating supply, and at least one company is entirely working from stock that it procured three months ago!

Showing off product samples is one thing, but getting them to market is a whole other ball-game. Sadly, the pack is stacked in favour of companies with stronger buying power and robust supply chains, rather than those with innovative ideas, or even a 'better product.'

Any requests for your ideal tablet, or are you happy that an Atom and Windows 7 combination might kill the fad? Please share your thoughts in the forums.

43 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
law99 10th January 2011, 09:29 Quote
Atom no, sandy bridge yes.

Also, haven't people shown dislike to full windows on tablets? Why does MS bother? Unless they are going to do a serious tablet UI for it.
CowBlazed 10th January 2011, 09:38 Quote
The metro UI on WP7 is great, there's even a vid of it working at 1280x720 resolution. Maybe we'll see it in tablets before Win 8.
BRAWL 10th January 2011, 09:46 Quote
Windows would be great... IF they bothered to set it up right for it. Wasn't one tablet used with Win7 at one point and it failed harder than the Soviet Union?
Snips 10th January 2011, 09:58 Quote
"by bit-tech Staff"

Lol, not wanting to put your name to this flamewar material?
Flibblebot 10th January 2011, 10:00 Quote
I'd rather wait for Android 3 than use a tablet with Win7 shoe-horned onto it.
Nexxo 10th January 2011, 10:01 Quote
Microsoft is hell-bent on spreading Windows to every device. That is its vision. This is why they are now porting it to ARM processors (which requires new drivers and new versions of Windows applications, as the underlying code is too different and the ARM CPU is not powerful enough to run in emulator or virtual mode, which kind of makes the whole exercise pointless), and why it refuses Windows Mobile 7 to be ported to tablets. It is: one OS to rule them all.

Nice idea. Except that it is only in the small print that you read that applications will not work across all these different versions of Windows; there is only an illusion of uniformity. It is not like Google Android's 'fragments' architecture, in which applications are programmed to display and behave differently depending on the hardware they find themselves on. Rather, it makes more sense to think of Microsoft's ambition as a branding exercise: to get all OS's everywhere to carry the Windows logo and look like Windows and behave like Windows even if under the surface they turn out to be very different beasts. It is like Macdonalds: looks and tastes the same everywhere even though the ingredients are different in each country.

There is a certain logic to that: no surprises. You know exactly what to expect. If you can use Windows on one machine, you can use it on all of them because it is familiar. But other than that it brings no practical benefits. They are still different OS's under the hood. And the same experience is not necessarily useful for very different devices. You do not want a Tablet to behave like a desktop, because it isn't a desktop --and because otherwise you would have bought a desktop.

It will end in tears. Microsoft is a dinosaur. It has evolved to become very successful in its specific ecological niche but it cannot make the transition to the new ecologies. The future belongs to those unassuming small furry rodents called Google Android and Chrome and Apple iOS.
maximus09 10th January 2011, 10:09 Quote
I think I will wait until Win 8 to see what that OS is like. Also don't like closed systems so fingers crossed. Agree with Sandy Bridge, but how long will it take to miniaturize for tablets? Everything I have seen of Atom hasn't been that good, I wonder how the new Atom will cope, but I'm not hopeful that it will be more powerful and energy efficient.

Basically this depresses me :'(
Snips 10th January 2011, 10:26 Quote
We saw it happen with netbooks. They didn't take off until a Windows OS was added to the mix, then it went off like a rocket. Apple couldn't enter that market as it just couldn't produce a £200 - £250 item. Linux failed simply because it wasn't Windows. I'm not saying that was right but it was true.

Tablets again aren't selling like hot cakes and that is because it isn't Windows. Yes, the iPad has sold 12 Million or whatever the figure is but in comparison to netbooks, that will be a very small figure.

I've owned an Atom Win7 netbook and I own an iPad. I have to say other than the touchscreen, the Win7 netbook is a better experience and I can do what I want with the netbook. The iPad is far too restrictive for sharing data and media around my home network. This is a basic omission that needs correcting now for iPads as well as a price drop. Andriod to me just looks like a cheap iOS but is the same price as an iPad.

I know Nexxo does tend to be anti-Microsoft rather than pro-Microsoft (not to be taken personally) but his paragraph about Microsoft being brand dominant is correct. That was proved by the death of Linux netbooks.

The Tablet market will only pick up when Microsoft enters the market.
ChaosDefinesOrder 10th January 2011, 10:30 Quote
The thing that really amuses me with Windows 7 tablet reviews is that almost all of them complain that the buttons are too small and it's difficult to tap certain UI elements, but I've not seen a single site that's realised that you can change the height and width of most buttons including the "red x"... the interface for doing so is even indentical to that in XP...
okenobi 10th January 2011, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Tablets again aren't selling like hot cakes and that is because it isn't Windows.

You make an interesting point. Let's pretend to be Joe Schmo for a second. He's either a Mac or a PC. He's very unlikely to be a Droid, let alone use Linux.

If you already have a Google powered handset, maybe a Droid tab makes sense, but for the man on the street - it doesn't.

That said, I'd rather have a Droid than either of the other two. Unless I suddenly sprout a second bank account, in which case I'd probably buy a matching Mac, iPhone and iPad.
javaman 10th January 2011, 10:52 Quote
Wonder if windows tablets will allow you to play deus ex? You know you want to try it ;)
wuyanxu 10th January 2011, 10:53 Quote
i am looking forward to Andriod 3.0 on tablets, and also Blackberry's Playbook, which seems to have a very well made tablet OS. another good choice is Palm's HP's WebOS, it looks to be very suitable on a 10inch screen.

scaled up iOS is silly, it feels like a phone OS with way too limited functionality. (that's coming form an jailbroken iPhone user)

scaled down Windows is also stupid. having windows means people expect to be able to run their usual program on it, and it will disappoint.
r3loaded 10th January 2011, 10:58 Quote
I still don't see any reason to use a tablet rather than a netbook. Netbooks (especially those new Fusion jobbies) give you the "full experience", don't need to be held in your arm all the time, come with a physical keyboard and the screen is protected when you close it. You can get similar battery life too, and the weight isn't much more than that of a tablet.

The whole tablet thing seems to me to be a fad that was generated entirely by Apple's RDF. No one wanted one until Apple told them it was cool to have one.
bowman 10th January 2011, 11:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by okenobi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Tablets again aren't selling like hot cakes and that is because it isn't Windows.

You make an interesting point. Let's pretend to be Joe Schmo for a second. He's either a Mac or a PC. He's very unlikely to be a Droid, let alone use Linux.

If you already have a Google powered handset, maybe a Droid tab makes sense, but for the man on the street - it doesn't.

That said, I'd rather have a Droid than either of the other two. Unless I suddenly sprout a second bank account, in which case I'd probably buy a matching Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Joe Schmo isn't a 'mac' or a 'pc', he's just a guy. He doesn't care, he just gets what works. Regular folks are buying Android phones now.

Also, would you STOP referring to Android as Droid? Droid is a line of Motorola phones. Christ almighty.
TMhat 10th January 2011, 11:15 Quote
I guess this was written a while ago...because hasn't CES finished? Sadly I think Intel and MS have missed the boat, I can't really see anything beating the iPad 2 when its launched.
[USRF]Obiwan 10th January 2011, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
I'd rather wait for Android 3 than use a tablet with Win7 shoe-horned onto it.

Well if w7 runs on this tablet, then android certainly will!
eddtox 10th January 2011, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
We saw it happen with netbooks. They didn't take off until a Windows OS was added to the mix, then it went off like a rocket. Apple couldn't enter that market as it just couldn't produce a £200 - £250 item. Linux failed simply because it wasn't Windows. I'm not saying that was right but it was true.

Tablets again aren't selling like hot cakes and that is because it isn't Windows. Yes, the iPad has sold 12 Million or whatever the figure is but in comparison to netbooks, that will be a very small figure.
Tablets aren't selling like hot cakes? I'm not sure where you get that from. 12 million units of a new class of device (to most consumers) each costing about twice the price of a netbook in 9 months is astronomical. By comparison, netbooks are believed to have sold about 400k units in 2007 and about 11 million in 2008 [sauce]. Put that together and you can see that the iPad has sold more units in its first nine months than netbooks sold in their first two years, despite being about twice as expensive

[...]

The Tablet market will only pick up when Microsoft enters the market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
I still don't see any reason to use a tablet rather than a netbook. Netbooks (especially those new Fusion jobbies) give you the "full experience", don't need to be held in your arm all the time, come with a physical keyboard and the screen is protected when you close it. You can get similar battery life too, and the weight isn't much more than that of a tablet.

The whole tablet thing seems to me to be a fad that was generated entirely by Apple's RDF. No one wanted one until Apple told them it was cool to have one.

The iPad is designed to do a few things VERY intuitively. That is it in a nutshell. It isn't for geeks who want a monster computer that will do everything. I spent a lot of time bashing apple and the iPad until I realised that basic fact. Now I intend to pre-order the iPad 2 as soon as it's announced. Why? Because I have a 1-year-old daughter. It will be years before she will be able to use a traditional computer effectively, but all indications are that she would get to grips with the iPad within a matter of days. THAT is why the iPad is successful.

And that is why I would argue that plenty of people wanted something like it long before apple launched it, they just didn't know the precise details of how that would be achieved.
jrs77 10th January 2011, 12:56 Quote
After this CES, Mr. Jobs is sitting there in Cupertino laughing his ass off, as noone was able to pull a decent tablet out of their hats.

Let's forget a moment about hating Apple and let's plain and simple look at the facts and devices irregardless of what you think is necessary and what's not. For the majority of people the iPad offers all they want actually.
So now, to get a good chunk of that pie, you need to come with a tablet, that is of a high quality as the iPad, has the same battery-life, a comparable simple to use OS, designed for being used with your fingers instead of a mouse+keyboard and..... you need to offer this thing for less or atleast no more then $500!

Galaxy Tab for example... only 7" and $100 more expenive then the iPad.
The tablets announced by Asus... the Eee Slate EP121 with Win7, CLUV-intel-hardware and poor battery-life for $1000+. The EeePad MeMo will run Android 3.0 and is announced to be sold for $500-700 but it's again only 7".

And the list goes on and on like this.

Let's face it. Either you want a full OS on a powerful notebook, or you want an atleast 10"-tablet with an easy to use and maintain OS and good battery-life. The things shown at CES are all sitting nicely around the sweetspot not hitting it.

On another note: I don't know what happened, but back in 2000 I had a small HP 620 LX Palmtop PC that was running Windows CE, had a keyboard and a resistive touchscreen.
This was a real good device actually and if M$ would've continued and tweaked their Windows CE OS into the direction of the back then popular Palm-devices then they would allready have something decent to offer for a tablet.
And Hardware? Well we had small netbooks (if we call the HP 620 LX that) with keyboard and touchscreen allready, powered by decent non-intel hardware with good battery-life.

So... what happend there, that we don't have the perfect devices in our hands today, which we allready were seeing to develop some 10 years ago?
Cupboard 10th January 2011, 13:03 Quote
What do I want out of a tablet? Something that when I'm out, I can use as a basic, simple, web-surfing device that can will work as my computer does (so include basics like Flash). But it also needs to have some use when I get to a desk. I want to be able to run multiple things at once, use a proper keyboard and mouse.

So far, and I realise it isn't a tablet, the thing that seems to answer this best is the Motorola ATRIX. But I would be reluctant to buy another Motorola product after the fiasco I've had with getting updates for the Milestone.
Meridicus 10th January 2011, 13:33 Quote
Maybe I'm in the minority here but I actually WANT Windows 7 on a tablet. I don't want a media consumer device like the iPad, I want a real computer in a tablet form factor.

The Asus Eee Pad 121 (annouced at CES) looks really nice, slightly thinner and lighter than an iPad (allegedly), includes a Wacom digitizer and running Win 7.

If you haven't used Win7 on a tablet before then you should try, it actually works very well with a lot of subtle UI changes when it detects that a multi-touch screen is installed. The only caveat to that statement is applications on the whole sometimes aren't very touch-friendly. But blame the app developers not Microsoft for that.
jrs77 10th January 2011, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
What do I want out of a tablet? Something that when I'm out, I can use as a basic, simple, web-surfing device that can will work as my computer does (so include basics like Flash). But it also needs to have some use when I get to a desk. I want to be able to run multiple things at once, use a proper keyboard and mouse.

So far, and I realise it isn't a tablet, the thing that seems to answer this best is the Motorola ATRIX. But I would be reluctant to buy another Motorola product after the fiasco I've had with getting updates for the Milestone.

These things are exactly what we talked about in the other thread -> "Is the iPad the future of computing?"

It'll happen sometime in the future, but it won't happen the way you want it, as the future devices aren't targeted at nerds like us, but the vast majority of people who don't need anything else then a simplyfied and locked-down OS with the bar basics of software (i.e. web/office/multimedia).

If you want to keep the ability to work with your tablel like you would with your notebook, then you've got to rely on the full Windows 7 tablets like the Asus Eee Slate EP121.
asura 10th January 2011, 14:16 Quote
I would want something that I can use in my business life as well as my personal life, something upon which I can sketch or draw, and make annotations (eg site survey or doodling over a photograph I've just taken), something capable of running a dfx viewer, pdf viewer, and with a bit of luck a basic cad package like SketchUp. Something that can e-mail this information to someone on a desk in the office while on the fly, and will automatically sync with my desktop when I get within wireless range. Something that I can dock next to my workstation and drag and drop information between the two systems.

The list goes on and on, including wireless integration to cctv, tough enough to hand to kids to play on, etc, etc, etc.
Black Eyed 10th January 2011, 14:21 Quote
Eee Pad 121? Despite the quite poor battery life it runs Win 7 on a proper Core i5 so will do all those things. Asus has had the balls to actually make a something that'll suit Win 7.

Anyone think that by the time Microsoft gets to the market with Win 8 we'll all be bored of tablets and move onto something else? Look at the netbook market - that lasted all of 2-3 years, and tablets are already a year in.
Yslen 10th January 2011, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
I still don't see any reason to use a tablet rather than a netbook. Netbooks (especially those new Fusion jobbies) give you the "full experience", don't need to be held in your arm all the time, come with a physical keyboard and the screen is protected when you close it. You can get similar battery life too, and the weight isn't much more than that of a tablet.

The whole tablet thing seems to me to be a fad that was generated entirely by Apple's RDF. No one wanted one until Apple told them it was cool to have one.

You're exactly right there. Tablets were around for years (I remember using one in school) before Apple decided to make one, and nobody wanted them.

A netbook with a rotating screen is still the best option. There were some prototypes floating around the web (MSI?) I wonder if anyone ever made them.
Nexxo 10th January 2011, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
We saw it happen with netbooks. They didn't take off until a Windows OS was added to the mix, then it went off like a rocket. Apple couldn't enter that market as it just couldn't produce a £200 - £250 item. Linux failed simply because it wasn't Windows. I'm not saying that was right but it was true.
Windows is made for desktop devices, and laptops are basically portable desktops. Netbooks are supposed to be even more compact, mobile laptops. So Windows translated quite well --even if there were issues with CPU requirements. Windows does not translate to Tablets well however. How do we know this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Tablets again aren't selling like hot cakes and that is because it isn't Windows. Yes, the iPad has sold 12 Million or whatever the figure is but in comparison to netbooks, that will be a very small figure.
Putting aside the fact that you are wrong about that (never assume; check out the numbers), remember that we already had Windows tablets in 2003. Your HP TC1100, my Motion Computing LE1600. They flopped. Windows does not translate well to tablets. The GUI is unsuitable, the power requirements are too high, leaving the tablet slow and short on battery life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I know Nexxo does tend to be anti-Microsoft rather than pro-Microsoft (not to be taken personally) but his paragraph about Microsoft being brand dominant is correct. That was proved by the death of Linux netbooks.
I'm not anti-microsoft: I have said before that Windows Mobile 7 is more innovtive than iOS. Microsoft has all the elements to be as successful as Apple: where Apple has OSX, iOS and iPod/iTunes, Microsoft has Windows 7, Windows Mobile 7 and Zune. They are comparable. However Apple has a better business strategy.

Microsoft wants to become the Nike or GAP of computers: a recognisable brand name and leader in the market. But Apple is already there, with Google coming up fast as the younger, hipper alternative. Microsoft is focusing on consistency: to have the same Windows experience in all technological niches of the market. This is Fail: these technological niches are all fundamentally different. If they weren't, they'd be the same niche. Hence they make different demands and different selective pressures apply. So Windows (desktop) works well on desktops and laptops, but poorly on Tablets and smartphones. So if you are introduced to Windows in the desktop niche, your (positive) expectation is set, and then disappointed in other niches. If you meet Windows for the first time in the mobile niche, that experience is so bad that you don't even want to know about Windows in any other niche.

Apple focuses on the experience: to have a slick, user-friendly experience in all technological niches of the market, regardless of how different it functions from that in another niche. It can be different because the niche is different; because the technology is used in different ways and for different things. Apple is banking on the fact that no matter in what niche you are first introduced to Apple, it is going to be good, so your expectation is set. And when you move to another niche, it is confirmed.

There is nothing to prevent Microsoft from taking the Apple route. It has all the elements in place. It has a much better cloud infrastructure to boot. It just stubbornly deploys them in the wrong way, because its management can't make the paradigm shift. I think that is because Apple already has a vector for its brand consistency, which is its hardware product design. You recognise an Apple object from a mile off. Windows is made to run on generic hardware which has no physical design consistency at all; apart from the Zune, the only way you know it is a Microsoft device is when you see the logo appear on-screen. So Microsoft obsesses a lot about keeping the GUI consistent, and this is wrong. What it needs to do is keep the experience consistent, which it is only just learning to do with Windows Mobile 7: for something to be ideally suited to, and work well within its specific niche.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
The Tablet market will only pick up when Microsoft enters the market.
It already did. 2003, remember? It failed. It took Apple's iOS to make Tablets a success. It will take Google Android 3 to make it established. It could have been Windows Mobile 7 --if Microsoft had the vision.
Picarro 10th January 2011, 15:28 Quote
I really want the Motorola Attrix concept to go forward. The only thing that would be even better would be if I didn't have to dock it, but it would interact wirelessly with the docking stations.
Nikols 10th January 2011, 16:28 Quote
I got all excited looking at tablets and then I saw the amazon kindle. I spend my entire day looking at backlit screens and if I look at any more my eyes wil frazzle. What a pretty black and white screen the kindle has and whats more it's fit for purpose! That'll be my next purchase!
eddtox 10th January 2011, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikols
I got all excited looking at tablets and then I saw the amazon kindle. I spend my entire day looking at backlit screens and if I look at any more my eyes wil frazzle. What a pretty black and white screen the kindle has and whats more it's fit for purpose! That'll be my next purchase!

I've had the Kindle 3 since launch and it's awesome. Its e-ink screen is excellent for reading and its battery is incredible (I think I've only charged it two or three times), but it's no tablet competitor. Its processing power is minimal and its screen is not suitable for the sort of work you would do with a tablet, not to mention the lack of a touchscreen.

Off-topic: How awesome would it be if apple put a pixel-qi display in an ipad?
Nexxo 10th January 2011, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
I still don't see any reason to use a tablet rather than a netbook. Netbooks (especially those new Fusion jobbies) give you the "full experience", don't need to be held in your arm all the time, come with a physical keyboard and the screen is protected when you close it. You can get similar battery life too, and the weight isn't much more than that of a tablet.
Basically, what you want is a netbook. :) That doesn't mean other people don't want a Tablet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
The whole tablet thing seems to me to be a fad that was generated entirely by Apple's RDF. No one wanted one until Apple told them it was cool to have one. made one that works.
Fixed.
kempez 10th January 2011, 21:01 Quote
Nexxo - if only Microsoft listened ey? ;)

I really want a tablet, but at the moment the only one I want is the iPad and I'm reticent to get it because of price and lack of flash.

I was expecting some cheaper alternatives that looked properly viable. I've been sadly let down.

Windows 7 Phone on a netbook would be great from the very limited play I've had on a Windows 7 Phone (very hard to find in my town?!). If MS wake up and realise this very soon they could corner the market with their cloud integration, office and exchange synching. Oh...and getting flash on their OS.

Hmm, I'll go back to playing on my iMac and iPhone until someone brings out something that rivels or beats the iPad....or maybe I'll just get one of those ;)
Saivert 10th January 2011, 21:59 Quote
So what you say is that there is no way to make a tablet version of Windows without changing everything that we come to like about Windows.

A tablet Windows must be completely different from desktop windows and you can't run the same applications. Basically there is no point to even call it Windows anymore. Just call it "Microsoft Tablet".

The problem is that you guys seem to equate tablet with touch screen device.

The older tablets were merely a screen only computer with a digitizer surface which you used a stylus to draw on. That is what tablet was all about before Apple came along and said you should use your thick imprecise fingers instead.
On the desktop you buy a standalone Wacom digitizer. On a portable device it makes sense to merge that with the screen so that you can actually draw or write on the screen itself.
This makes working with applications like Photoshop a dream. And I would to use other applications in the same way on Windows except I can't afford a Wacom digitizer yet (they cost too much because of the quality and features and because they are mostly used by professionals so not mass manufactured).

Tablet to me is not touch screen. It is Wacom.
eddtox 10th January 2011, 23:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saivert
So what you say is that there is no way to make a tablet version of Windows without changing everything that we come to like about Windows.

A tablet Windows must be completely different from desktop windows and you can't run the same applications. Basically there is no point to even call it Windows anymore. Just call it "Microsoft Tablet".

The problem is that you guys seem to equate tablet with touch screen device.

The older tablets were merely a screen only computer with a digitizer surface which you used a stylus to draw on. That is what tablet was all about before Apple came along and said you should use your thick imprecise fingers instead.
On the desktop you buy a standalone Wacom digitizer. On a portable device it makes sense to merge that with the screen so that you can actually draw or write on the screen itself.
This makes working with applications like Photoshop a dream. And I would to use other applications in the same way on Windows except I can't afford a Wacom digitizer yet (they cost too much because of the quality and features and because they are mostly used by professionals so not mass manufactured).

Tablet to me is not touch screen. It is Wacom.

Once again, to you, because you have specific needs, such as photoshop. For the people who make up the iPad's core market, a touch input method coupled with a suitable ui (big buttons etc) is more than enough, and in fact is better as they don't have to worry about a stylus. I agree that digitizers are awesome, but if I asked my mum whether she would rather use a pen or her finger on the screen, I'm fairly certain she would prefer the finger;

(In fact, whenever I handed her my pen-based M200 tablet, she would always go to use her finger on the screen)
Nexxo 11th January 2011, 00:12 Quote
Actually, it should do both. I have a PC Tablet running Windows XP Tablet Edition. Great if you want to use a laptop in notepad mode (OneNote is cheesecake) and if you want to use email, calendar and web browser without having to be hunched over a keyboard.

However brilliant as handwriting recognition is (and it really is uncannily good), it is poorly integrated into MS Office --because it is a suite not really adapted to Tablets, despite the significant improvement of a Ribbon interface. You cannot write longhand on a page in Word and see that change to print; you have to write in a special floating (small) bar which shows the recognised words under your scrawl as you go along (which allows you to make corrections) and tap enter to have the result transferred to the page. You can use a keyboard instead --which appears in the same floating bar, where you have to peck tiny keys with your stylus. It is bloody awkward, and not a patch on the big, almost half-screen sized full keyboard of the iPad on which I can type almost as fast as a physical keyboard, using ten fingers (I don't even need to look much once I have positioned my hands correctly).

Only on OneNote can you scrawl on a page and afterwards get it to convert the whole page to print. Formatting is of course a mess, but you can tidy it up or export the result to Word for formatting. It does not recognise drawings as such however and will try to convert those to text also.

OneNote however drops the ball by not allowing you to paste hyperlinks in the notes to other notes (whether OneNote or Outlook Notes) documents or downloaded web pages. It is surprisingly, well, like an ordinary note pad.

You can annotate Word Documents, but this scrawl will not be recognised and converted to print. You can draw but this is not tidied up as in the Apple Newton. Adobe Acrobat Reader has no integrated annotation function at all --you need third-party software for that and none of it is very elegant.

Basically, as a Tablet GUI it feels cludged. It is exactly like desktop Windows with a Wacom input device bolted on. It offers additional ways of inputting text and drawings, but does not substitute a mouse and keyboard well at all. There is no benefit to the touch screen, and you cannot use fingers. Which makes you wonder what the whole point of a touch screen is.
jrs77 11th January 2011, 00:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saivert
So what you say is that there is no way to make a tablet version of Windows without changing everything that we come to like about Windows.

A tablet Windows must be completely different from desktop windows and you can't run the same applications. Basically there is no point to even call it Windows anymore. Just call it "Microsoft Tablet".

The problem is that you guys seem to equate tablet with touch screen device.

The older tablets were merely a screen only computer with a digitizer surface which you used a stylus to draw on. That is what tablet was all about before Apple came along and said you should use your thick imprecise fingers instead.
On the desktop you buy a standalone Wacom digitizer. On a portable device it makes sense to merge that with the screen so that you can actually draw or write on the screen itself.
This makes working with applications like Photoshop a dream. And I would to use other applications in the same way on Windows except I can't afford a Wacom digitizer yet (they cost too much because of the quality and features and because they are mostly used by professionals so not mass manufactured).

Tablet to me is not touch screen. It is Wacom.

I'm a graphics designer and work professional with Photoshop every day basically for the last 15 years. I also own a Wacom-tablet.
BUT... for 75% of the work you usually do in Photoshop it's better to use a mouse and a keyboard instead of the Wacom-tablet, as the mouse is so much more precise when you do stuff like drawing a path, slicing an image, etc. A Wacom-tablet only really shines when you're sketching or colouring stuff. And now look at the iPad + Brushes or ArtStudio... it's even better for sketching and colouring as you draw directly on the screen as you would do on paper.
The only thing even better is the Wacom Interactive Pen Display, but it costs $1200 for the 17" and $2300 for the 21" version.
memeroot 11th January 2011, 10:00 Quote
also have Kindle 3 which is perfect for what it does, however wife is in the market for a small form factor...

tigra2 + pixel qi please :-)
eddtox 11th January 2011, 11:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Actually, it should do both. I have a PC Tablet running Windows XP Tablet Edition. Great if you want to use a laptop in notepad mode (OneNote is cheesecake) and if you want to use email, calendar and web browser without having to be hunched over a keyboard.

However brilliant as handwriting recognition is (and it really is uncannily good), it is poorly integrated into MS Office --because it is a suite not really adapted to Tablets, despite the significant improvement of a Ribbon interface. You cannot write longhand on a page in Word and see that change to print; you have to write in a special floating (small) bar which shows the recognised words under your scrawl as you go along (which allows you to make corrections) and tap enter to have the result transferred to the page. You can use a keyboard instead --which appears in the same floating bar, where you have to peck tiny keys with your stylus. It is bloody awkward, and not a patch on the big, almost half-screen sized full keyboard of the iPad on which I can type almost as fast as a physical keyboard, using ten fingers (I don't even need to look much once I have positioned my hands correctly).

Only on OneNote can you scrawl on a page and afterwards get it to convert the whole page to print. Formatting is of course a mess, but you can tidy it up or export the result to Word for formatting. It does not recognise drawings as such however and will try to convert those to text also.

OneNote however drops the ball by not allowing you to paste hyperlinks in the notes to other notes (whether OneNote or Outlook Notes) documents or downloaded web pages. It is surprisingly, well, like an ordinary note pad.

You can annotate Word Documents, but this scrawl will not be recognised and converted to print. You can draw but this is not tidied up as in the Apple Newton. Adobe Acrobat Reader has no integrated annotation function at all --you need third-party software for that and none of it is very elegant.

Basically, as a Tablet GUI it feels cludged. It is exactly like desktop Windows with a Wacom input device bolted on. It offers additional ways of inputting text and drawings, but does not substitute a mouse and keyboard well at all. There is no benefit to the touch screen, and you cannot use fingers. Which makes you wonder what the whole point of a touch screen is.

+1. I really like wacom's pen input, but what you have said is absolutely spot on. It would be nice to have the option alongside the standard finger-based touch, but only if it is properly implemented in the OS (and if it doesn't add £300 to the price)
Nexxo 11th January 2011, 12:12 Quote
Quote:

Oh, look: it's a netbook. Not sure how the customisable keyboard and touch screen is going to be an added bonus because Windows, as it is, cannot make good use of either. Paradoxically Windows Mobile could; the Metro tiles make good sense on a touch screen and the customisable keys could function as dynamic extentions of Metro tiles in some way. It all comes down to the OS whether this will make a useful netbook/tablet hybrid.
Cthippo 11th January 2011, 18:17 Quote
Has anyone succeeded in hacking Windows 7 mobile onto another device?
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 11th January 2011, 19:50 Quote
I'm willing to pay $1000 for a proper high powered tablet and I thought the Asus e121 was it but it seems they have really screwed it up. Maybe Sony will have a Proper Vaio tablet if not then I want be getting one.

18 inch High resolution screen, 4G or 3G, wifi usb ports, HDMI port, sandy bridge or core i5, high end AMD GPU, 4 gb ram, 150gb SSD, Windows 7 but modified to work snappy with touch screen, headphone jack, GSM Cellular, Keyboard dock station that turns tablet into notebook and acts as a charger and has extra Storage and ports 6 hour battery life in tablet form plus another 6 hours in notebook form with screen constructed out of glass like the iphone.
eddtox 11th January 2011, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
I'm willing to pay $1000 for a proper high powered tablet and I thought the Asus e121 was it but it seems they have really screwed it up. Maybe Sony will have a Proper Vaio tablet if not then I want be getting one.

18 inch High resolution screen, 4G or 3G, wifi usb ports, HDMI port, sandy bridge or core i5, high end AMD GPU, 4 gb ram, 150gb SSD, Windows 7 but modified to work snappy with touch screen, headphone jack, GSM Cellular, Keyboard dock station that turns tablet into notebook and acts as a charger and has extra Storage and ports 6 hour battery life in tablet form plus another 6 hours in notebook form with screen constructed out of glass like the iphone.

LOL. £2000+ and 5kg+. Why would you want an 18 inch tablet anyway? It's hardly portable.
Niftyrat 12th January 2011, 18:01 Quote
Ipads work for users who want to consume media, I let my 3 yr old play games/watch his cartoons etc. (which he does without anyone having to do it for him) would I let him play with my gaming rig heck no, too much can be altered by over eager mouse clicking.

It really is horses for courses, the iPad is great at what it does, is it any use for power users who want to do everything no but they can buy something else like a tractional tablet pc, my work tablet has windows xp and is great for all my teaching and presenting needs especially as it is pen input, don't be fooled by the windows won't work in that form factor it absolutely does as long as you remember that it will not be the same as having a keyboard and mouse.
naf456 19th January 2011, 20:10 Quote
I never get tablets... the decent ones are more expensive then a good laptop (Lets say 2.7GHz i3, 4GB RAM), yet there extremely under powered in comparison (1Ghz, 512MB RAM). WHICH leads to running crap applications, or Being unpractically low in productivity (Because of lack of multi-tasking).
The lappy will always be warm in the hands of businessmen. The Tablet... All because people are bored with mice.
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