At first, the fact that Ryan (The Temp) on The Office had an iPad pretty much summed up the whole tablet trend for me. Whenever I saw a tablet, I thought of Ryan—a pretentious chach with the latest gadget.
What I don’t really get about tablets is how they aren’t phones but they’re not computers either. I’m of the mindset that our mobile devices should do everything, no matter their size—let’s just get there already.
I’m even more confused than ever after having seen the latest gadgets unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). I feel like we’re in a period of experimentation for mobile device manufacturers, but we’re still just postponing the inevitable.
Tablets aren’t phones or computers. Phones aren’t tablets or computers. Computers aren’t phones or tablets. But they all should be—everything in one, just with different-sized screens and tactile or touchscreen keyboards (or both).
Dell tried the smartphone/tablet combo with the Android-powered Streak, but it didn’t go so well. The Streak 5, released in June 2010, lasted until August 2011 when Dell stopped making them.
The Streak 5 was actually a step in the right direction, it just didn’t have the screen size to compete with real tablets (five inches versus iPad’s 9.7). CNET gave the Streak 3.5 stars out of 5 when it came out—not bad. But the Streak didn’t sell.
At this year’s CES, there were smartphones, tablets, notebooks, ultra books and laptops. There was even a laptop (?) from Lenova that folds back on itself so it can stand up like a tablet (the keyboard folds back and the screen acts as a tablet touchscreen).
How many variations of these things do we need? Four-inch smartphone, five-inch mini-tablet, seven-inch tablet, 10-inch tablet, 13-inch laptop…just make it one thing already—phone, tablet, computer all in one, in varying sizes.
Samsung actually made a splash at this year’s CES with a phone-tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note. However, it’s still in that weird space between huge phone (that doesn’t fit into your jeans pocket) and small tablet (that’s too small to watch movies), and it runs Android Gingerbread (Google’s smartphone OS) instead of Honeycomb (their tablet OS).
I don’t know. I kinda feel like we need Apple (whose iOS 5 runs all the company’s mobile devices) to figure this out for us. But without Steve Jobs, will they be able to?