Tablets optimize

Poll results: Do you really want a slate or tablet PC?

In January 2010, Mark Kaelin polled TechRepublic members about their thoughts on tablet or slate PCs, here are the results.

In early January, right after the Consumer Electronics Show but before the announcement of the Apple iPad, I asked TechRepublic members if they were interested in purchasing one of the new and improved tablet PCs on display at CES -- "Do You Really Want a Slate or Tablet PC? Really?" My thinking at the time was that the marketplace had pretty much rejected the whole concept of tablet PCs, except for certain niche applications.

Of course, now that Apple has hit the scene with their marketing machine for the iPad, there seems to be more interest than just a mere month ago.

Not surprisingly, what people would like to use their tablet PC for is, well, everything. It will be interesting to see if any manufacturer can actually deliver a device that the marketplace will embrace.

Results

What would/do you use a slate PC for?

Total Votes: 840

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

17 comments
pjboyles
pjboyles

The problem with Tablet PCs is the significant cost plus a performance hit. If you have a need for a Tablet PC it is a great invention, otherwise most people save the money. As to convertable or slate? That depends on usage. Each format is aimed at specific audiences. If the cost of a convertable was within $50 of a comparible laptop, the uptake would be much higher.

rclark
rclark

There is a large cost hit, but what I run into most is the performance hit. Cost only happens once, performance happens everytime you do something. I know M$ always pushes it's performance numbers, but laptops just plain out run tablets on everything from boot to IDE initialize. For most things, it doesn't matter that much, but occasionally, I wonder what a high powered tablet would be like.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've seen major performance improvements on three-year-old Toshiba Portege M400 tablets by installing Windows 7. Obviously this is a single make and model, and those improvements may not transfer to other, newer hardware.

fjpoblam
fjpoblam

"proprietary software market" says it all for me. NO. With all the buzz going around recently, AAPL's censorship of iPhone/iPod Touch apps, I fear I don't want to tie myself to a victimized iPad world. What a loser that would be. Until AAPL develops a sane and logical attitude toward software placement on its mobile devices, I'm out.

fgcroswait
fgcroswait

Slate? No. It doesn't have the versatility of a tablet. I would have said no to a tablet also, but sometimes I find the need to physically affix my signature or initial to a document. Also, simply turning the screen from pc to tablet mode allows me to have an excellent e-reader.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Has the Apple iPad caused you to reconsider the Tablet/Slate PC form factor?

rclark
rclark

Just got it. State of the art. There are a few things wrong with it. But surfing and email are killer on it. The things wrong with it are no function keys, no arrow keys, and the scroll is sometimes too smart for it's own good. As always apple is heavy handed in deciding what the user wants and should be able to do. On the other hand, the new user interface will change forever how people interact with control systems. I'm sure that in five years we will look back at the iPad as a pivitol technology that changed how everything from the net to media, to vehicles, gps, navigation, communications and even HIVAC, security and appliances are controlled. While the iPad itself is a great leap in THEC for it's own sake, the real question is how long until manufacturing can get the equivalent functionality in everything from refrigerators to washing machines. With a very little additional effort, we could be on the cusp of the third industrial revolution. And yes, I miss scroll bars that actually scroll within a text box, and I would like function keys to contol programs not written for the iAnything. Arrow keys for unaware programs would also be nice. Until the revolution is over we will still have to interface with older less evolved systems. Sent from my iPad.

dnox1978
dnox1978

Has the Apple iPad caused you to reconsider the Tablet/Slate PC form factor? No becose apple iPas it's nothing new only shinier and a flashier company that has releas this prod,

rclark
rclark

I've had one for about 30 months now. It is my main development machine. When I bought it, I also bought the attendant docking station and a matching full size monitor. So for all intents and purposes, I have a development desktop with so/so graphics, but for business applications, enough horsepower to do the job. It allows me to press a button, undock and take my tablet into mobile mode with full wi/fi etc..., spin the monitor around and I'm in full tablet mode. At the time I bought it, it was the lightest tablet out there. It is a fully capable machine running Vista. (I know, but that was what came on it and I recommend always letting the factory deal with getting the driver mix correct on exotic hardware, at least on the base install). If it suddenly died today, I would buy the equivalent device again. Last June, I was one of the first to buy the Amazon Kindle DX. I think I got number 602. Doesn't matter except to know I use this device more than anything except my HP5555 and my HTC. I have about 300 or so books on it so far, and it has performed excellently. I am extremely happy with the DX, and bought my daughter another one for Christmas. So having said all that, would I trade it all for a Slate? Absolutely in a heartbeat. All of my devices go with me everywhere. I would love to trade them all in for one device, but it has to truely be a Slate and not a wannabe. I want a fully capable PC with the horsepower to run Visual Studio and Sql Server, MS Office 2010, and IIS. It doesn't have to be fast doing that stuff, but it does have to be able to do it. Testing is a bear if your primary PC can't do the test. It has to be able to drive dual monitors, and while we are talking monitors, I want my second monitor to be a touch screen too. In other words, give me a true Slate, that weighs about a pound but can double as a PC and I'll go for it. But if you really want to ring my bell, double it. Have two screens connected in the middle. When in book mode, it acts like a dual monitor slate. Turn it 90 degrees and the bottom slate turns into a touch keyboard. What I would really like is to have invisible edges on the slate. So that if you connected two together, you would double the size of your slate surface. But the networking would have to be special to take advantage of double the horsepower, dual drives, dual monitors, etc...

ITsteve13
ITsteve13

Yes, it definitely has. Call it supreme marketing, but I will be first in line to get the iPad upon its re-release.

jfuller05
jfuller05

This discussion is getting to the point where it's like we're trudging waist-deep in mud. The only time we'll know for sure about considering the tablet/slate is when our hand can reach the tree branch to pull us out of the mud (when users can actually use/test the iPad).

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Please remember this poll was about the plethora of slate PCs introduced at CES - there was no iPad at the time. So in reality, the poll results have absolutely nothing to do with the iPad.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

When I disagree with me, it's rarely respectful. I see no reason you should treat me any better. My wife certainly doesn't. :-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

when you keep beating a dead horse. Until iPads are actually in users' hands, all anyone can do is speculate. We've had a solid month of that already; what's left to say at this point?