Lack of a Keyboard Makes No Difference

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-11-22 Print this article Print


5. Will Windows 8 tablets be PCs?

Perhaps the biggest issue the naysayers will run into is how they're going to justify their argument when Microsoft launches Windows 8 next year, quickly followed by tablets that run this new Windows version. Windows is synonymous with PCs. Vendors, hoping to capitalize on the tablet craze, will bundle the operating system with their slates. However, if the iPad isn't a PC, those vendors will need to say that Windows 8-based tablets aren't either. They might not like the idea of admitting that.

6. The processing power argument makes no sense

I can't help but laugh when I hear that the iPad's lack of processing power is what disqualifies it from becoming a PC. Based on that logic, couldn't it be argued that PCs sold in the year 2000 are no longer PCs? After all, they didn't have the processing power of current computers, either. The relative processing power of various PC models means nothing, and it's about time people realize that.

7. An all-in-one is still a PC

What's the difference between an all-in-one PC and an iPad? Can't figure it out? Neither can I. Take the iMac. That device has all the components needed to operate it behind the screen. Even better, let's look at HP's TouchSmart line, which provides all-in-one functionality and a touch-enabled display. There isn't a difference between those products and the iPad. Sure, they require a separate mouse and keyboard. But iPad owners can buy a physical keyboard to go with that device. The mouse on the iPad just isn't necessary.

8. Consider the customer base

When evaluating products to see if they compete, it's a good idea to look at the customers they're targeting. As recent history has shown, the iPad is targeting the same customers that laptops and netbooks are. In fact, the iPad has hurt laptop sales somewhat since its launch last year. Customers are the trump cards in this case.

9. Email, Web surfing and word processing, oh my!

Looking at the iPad 2, the device does everything one would expect from a PC, including providing email support, surfing the Web and allowing users to type out Word documents. As noted earlier, it also can support video-editing tools. The simple things are what make a device a PC and in that case, the iPad holds up.

10. Haven't new devices joined the fray before?

Finally, let's consider a history lesson. Over the past 30 years since the IBM PC first hit the market, numerous new computer form factors have appeared. There was a time when laptops didn't exist. There was also a time when netbooks didn't exist. But over time, they were accepted as PCs. The iPad is no different; it's simply a new form factor that, for some reason, many people don't want to call a PC. It's about time they change their tune.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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