The big talk about tablets began with the announcement of the Apple iPad in January. Since then tablets have gotten more and more popular with many new and not so new designs popping up with increasing frequency, the newest being the Samsung Galaxy Tab. According to analysts this is just the start of great things to come, tablets are expected to boom both in popularity and in numbers in the middle of next year.
The tablet in itself is a unique device with a unique niche where it will dominate for some time to come, but how useful is it? My ideal tablet would be one with a 7 inch screen, at least 16Gb of internal memory plus expandability and a wide range of connectivity options that should allow me to plug whatever I want to plug into it; from usb keyboards to my own personal USB wimax dongle. This is a geek’s wish and I don’t expect it to suite any and everyone but these are what I think the ideal properties are; anything more is an overkill and anything less is not good enough. A tablet’s philosophy is to provide the missing link to smartphones and mobile computers a niche that was thought to be held by an entrenched netbook category. The truth though is that netbooks are ideally smaller less functional laptops, not a new category per se but more of a slimming down of a line to gain a broader audience by the reduction of price.
The newest crops of netbooks and laptops are clear evidence of this with laptops shrinking in size(screen) and netbooks gaining much more powerful hardware. Tablets on the other hand descended from nothing, they are a new category of devices first conceptualized by Nokia with the maemo tablet line.
The tablet category will most definitely boom as more persons get more and more interested into these all touchscreen panel systems. Tablet gaming will probably not replace your typical PSP/NDS or even your typical smartphone gaming on a crowded bus, but this sort of gaming has huge potential, huge meaning a multi-million dollar potential that game companies can and should aim towards tapping sooner or later. The newest tablet OS on the scene is the Meego tablet OS, an OS which in my opinion is the slickest and most functional looking tablet OS I have seen so far, thats my opinion from the videos and contacts I have had with persons working on the project. The Meego OS’ adaptation to a new form factor is EXACTLY what I want to see, not a blown up phone OS on a tablet nor a shrunken computer OS, we must innovate to make use of the unique screen size and hardware capabilities. Once we make these innovations the possibilities of the tablet is endless; from medical applications to a new replacement for paper based books. Our capabilities are limited by our imagination and the tablet is limited by our capabilities.
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