As of late, there’s been an undeniable increase in the use of tablet PCs. I’ve heard people say that tablets will be the end of the desktop PC, they will take over the entire market and everything else will slowly fade away into history. Laptops were going to do the same thing a few years ago, but I’m typing this article on my desktop PC.
If you’d ask me to define today’s average tablet PC, I would respond with:
Tablets are bulky smartphones with large screens to play low-end games on.
This may be a slight exaggeration, but in a way it’s hard to deny.
Smartphones are great. This is true because they increase your overall productivity. They allow you to do everything your typical “dumb-phone” or even feature-phone could do. They allow you to text, make calls, keep a calendar and play Snake. These are easily four of the most important tasks a cellphone has to deal with. This functionality was then expanded with e-mail, web-browsing, document editing and many more useful features (and some useless ones as well of course). So now you have a device that fits into your pocket and allows you to do, in a simplified fashion, what your desktop PC or laptop does.
Ten years ago I would have defined a tablet as a laptop without a screen. It’s logical to assume that a tablet PC would naturally evolve out of a laptop, by shedding it’s physical keyboard. But this was unfortunately not the case. After the smartphone was introduced, tablets evolved out of the smartphone. As a result, you now have a very large smartphone that doesn’t do the phone part, leaving you with a simplified experience of what a desktop PC or laptop does. So I conclude that a tablet is not a useful device if you’re looking for productivity. It is however great if your fingers are too large for that tiny catapult.
Now that we’ve established that tablets aren’t really that useful right now, the question that follows is: “How do we make these devices useful tools to increase productivity?” You need to be able to port the desktop PC/laptop experience to the tablet device. This is why I strongly believe that Windows 8 (not RT) will be a very successful OS. Microsoft made a bold move in making it more touch-oriented, but it has all of the features you’d expect from a Windows machine. By limiting that experience on Windows RT, they may have a hard time getting those devices of off the shelf, which is unfortunate, as ARM devices are very power efficient.