Do you really want a slate or tablet PC? Really?

Call it a slate or call it a tablet, but whatever you do don't price it as if it were a notebook. Do we really want a slate PC?

TechRepublic Editor in Chief, Jason Hiner, is at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show absorbing all the buzz around the latest, greatest gadgets. While most of the gadgets being announced don't specifically apply to Windows, Microsoft did have a press event in which they announced a series of what they call "slate PCs."

Now a slate PC is basically the tablet form factor we have been ignoring, for the most part, for the past few years. However, there is increased interest in this form factor now that we have witnessed the success of the Kindle and other readers and are anxiously awaiting Apple's announcement of its entrance into this space. It could be that the slate/tablet is coming into its own as a viable form factor.

But I remain skeptical. I think the new slate PCs Steve Ballmer is touting in the video look great, but I question where the market lies for these devices, especially if they are priced at notebook levels. An inexpensive device that I can keep on my coffee table with a few books loaded in it and with which I can do a quick Google search is one thing. An expensive notebook PC with no keyboard is another.

What do you think? Are you interested in the slate/tablet PC? Why or why not? What would you use it for?


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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