Do We Really Need a Tablet? No.
One of the major questions that a lot of people are asking is whether or not they will need a tablet computer and what function it will serve on a day-to-day basis. As consumers, we don’t need another portable computer in our lives in addition to the many that we already have.
Step back and think about it. Here is my personal experience, which is increasingly common amongst the “connected” population.
Many of us have a laptop, a smartphone or cell phone that can handle e-mail and messaging, a netbook for on-the-go activities, and a home desktop for “real work”. On a regular day, I have a cell phone, an iPod touch and a netbook or laptop handy. That’s three devices and all are internet ready. The iPod Touch is used to check my five e-mail accounts, read news on Google Reader, browse Facebook, write some posts on WordPress, listen to music, watch a movie once in a while (if I feel like encoding the video) and for playing some games. As you can already tell, the iPod serves as a necessary part of my daily routine. In fact, the only justification for buying it at its sky high debut price (I bought the 16GB model roughly five months after it was released) was that it would improve my workflow and life. I made the decision that it would. I’ve never looked back.
I bought a netbook last April, right before my leave for Paris, and it proved to be a very useful tool. Carried together with my Nikon D40 and an 8GB SD card along with a Canon SD400 point and shoot, I shot a lot of photos and video. I can’t stress enough how handy my netbook was for use as a receptacle for all of my media footage. It was also great for surfing the web and writing a paper on the flight back to New York. It was a lifesaver and has also become a great device for note taking in class.
So, on the go, I have my iPod touch and netbook to hold me up. When I get home, I jump right onto my MacBook, and that becomes my main workstation. When the work requires, I will hop over to the iMac with the 20″ screen and utilize the larger screen estate.
My cell phone, of course, handles all of my text messaging and phone calls. So, as you can see, I’m device hopping all the time and am almost always plugged in. Jumping between four devices in 24 hours is no easy job. Those who have the privilege of owning a Kindle for reading their newspapers, magazines, and books during their commute will have even less time for a tablet device.
Do we need a tablet? Computer manufacturers seem to think so. With seemingly every single company ready to dish tablets out, from the JooJoo to the prophetic “iSlate/iPad/iTablet” whatever, we’d be inclined to think so as well. I personally don’t think I have enough time for another device and many would agree with me.
On January 27th, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will reportedly reveal the Apple iTakeaWildGuess tablet. He will have to justify why consumers will “need” yet another device to browse the internet. The justification for the purchase will have to be more substantial than simple couch-net surfing or basic internet search. The mystery product will also have to be more than just a larger iPhone. It will need a true purpose in order for us to turn over our hard earned bucks, especially in this economy.
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