Tablet PCs: It's All About Device Reduction
Let's just throw this out there: the fact that tablets are enjoying as much success as they are still surprises us. Playing with touchscreens is fun. But, for all of their entertainment value, tablets just can't provide the same functionality you'd expect from a device able to replace more powerful notebooks. The only explanation, then, is that most folks are buying them in addition to, rather than as substitutes for, other technology.
If you're a road warrior, packing one more device certainly isn't an attractive proposition. The whole point of mobility is supposed to be consolidating down to keep you faster, lighter, and more free. But every type of device seems to perform certain tasks sort-of-well, so you might instead end up with a notebook, an e-book reader, a cell phone of course, and perhaps even a point-and-shoot camera. Then you have chargers and interface cables. Tossing a tablet on top of that stack just doesn't sound appealing.
Tablet PCs, on the other hand, really do make it possible to scale back on the number of devices you lug around in a more realistic way. While tablets are small, sexy, and fast enough for basic content consumption, their lightweight operating systems and sometimes-limited app selection continues to be a source of frustration. Tablet PCs support desktop operating systems and rely on a digital pen instead of a mouse. That's an important distinction that enables any OS X-based program on a Modbook, whereas the iPad is constrained to apps from the Apple App Store.
Unfortunately, tablet PCs are pretty gosh-darned rare, which is somewhat surprising given their simultaneous portability and interoperability with Windows-based programs. Moreover, the performance of a tablet PC is only limited by the hardware a vendor can cram inside.
The latest Windows-based tablet comes from Samsung. Dubbed the Series 7 11.6" Slate, it breathes much-needed life into this critically endangered form factor, beating out Asus' Eee Slate as our favorite tablet PC.
|Specifications||Samsung Series 7 11.6" Slate|
|CPU||Core i5-2467M (Sandy Bridge), 1.6 GHz, 3 MB Smart Cache, 2C/4T, 17 W TDP, 32 nm|
|Screen||11.6" WSVGA (1366x768), Superbright Plus Technology|
|Memory||4 GB DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM|
|System Drive||Samsung SSD 64 GB, SATA 3Gb/s|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 3000, 350 MHz Base Frequency, 1.15 GHz Max. Dynamic Frequency|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium|