Saturday, October 26, 2013

The search for that elusive single device - Tablet and/or Laptop

A lot of people own multiple devices - a desktop, a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone. They carry the latter 3 around when they travel. While the smart phone is not a big issue, I have often wondered about eliminating either the laptop or the tablet when traveling.

Is it possible to get rid of one or the other? Laptops have traditionally been heavier, take longer to boot up, generally have not had a touchscreen human computer interface. Tablets while being great consumption devices are often a compromise when creating content.

Recently I blogged about the HP Revolve. I took it, along with an iPad and an Android tablet to course that is was giving for medical educators. On the last day of the 5 day course I realized that I had not taken out the tablets out of my bag during the entire course except to do a couple of demos. I also used one of them to read in bed and one to play a game on the plane trip back.
The laptop is light, boots up in a few seconds, is rock stable, has a touchscreen so I can draw and write with my finger, runs full versions of all the creative software, has an excellent keyboard and is thus becoming my go to device. What drove the point home was that I was able to do a demo of Educreations on it - normally I have to use an iPad for this to draw on the screen as I speak.

We keep talking about the tablets replacing the laptop but it is very possible that with the right form factor and features, the reverse could be the truth. Imagine if the MacBook air had a touchscreen and all the iPad apps? Or if the Chromebooks had touchscreens and android apps? Or if the windows apps store got all the key apps you used? If Apple made the move, it might cannibalize the sale of its iPads, Google might very well be poised to do this, and Windows is clearly well on the way with Surface Pro.