NEWS ANALYSIS: The more the rumors surrounding the Apple Tablet swirl, the more users get excited to see it. But once that excitement wears off, it comes time to evaluate whether it's really worth buying. And in the end, users might find out that it isn't.
Whenever there is a discussion
about Apple lately, the discourse has turned to
When will it
be released? How much will it cost? What size screen will it have? Will it be
like a big iPhone? All of these questions have, so far, been left unanswered
. And there's little likelihood that they can
be answered until Apple makes
its official announcement
Regardless, some folks are still
making broad predictions. One of the more prevalent
predictions is that the Apple Tablet will be a solid, worthwhile device that
just about anyone would want
I'm not so
quick to agree.
Will the product be nice looking? Of course. Will it have neat
features? Sure. But it's still a tablet. And by their very nature, tablets just
aren't ideal for many users, especially more sophisticated users. Realizing
that, it might be time to take a step back, consider for a moment the impact a
tablet computer can really have on the marketplace, and take a look at why, for
many people, an Apple Tablet won't be a worthwhile purchase.
Let's do it.
Tablets aren't replacements
Tablets are by no means a viable
replacement for a notebook or a desktop. And although we have no idea what the
Apple Tablet will look like, there's little indication that it can replace
those more powerful devices. Realizing that, the Apple Tablet could become yet
another computer that people lug around when they don't want to use other
computers. It's an add-on, not a replacement.
They tend to be expensive
Apple Tablet pricing speculation
has run the gamut. Some folks have said that
they expect Apple to price the machine in the sub-$1,000 range
, while others have said that it could be even
pricier. Since we only have history to reference, it's safe to say that an
Apple tablet will be expensive. Screens aren't cheap. Hardware is pricey, too.
If the iPhone went for $600 on its original launch day, is there any doubt that
the Apple Tablet will be more expensive than that?
Touchscreens aren't so wonderful
Touchscreens might be all the
rage today, but they're really not the best way to work on a computer. Typing
is extremely difficult. And moving around the screen with a finger is not
nearly as easy as using a mouse. Touchscreens are cool and all, but they just
don't provide the kind of usability most users are looking for.
What about productivity?
Following that, we need to
consider productivity when buying the Apple Tablet. If it's just a big iPhone
with a few extra capabilities, there's no way corporate users will be more
productive using the Apple Tablet. We can point to the touchscreen for
productivity loss. Plus, users will have a difficult time editing and producing
documents with the virtual keyboard. If productivity is desired, the Apple
Tablet won't be the right product.
The bigger the screen size, the more difficult the experience
The iPhone is great because its
screen size is small. Users don't need to exert too much energy to zoom in on
portions of a page, type out a message, or play around with apps. But an Apple
Tablet will feature a much larger screen. That means more fingers will need to
be used, responsiveness might be reduced, and worst of all, typing will require
every finger, rather than a few. A larger touchscreen might look nice, but it
won't improve the experience.