Tablet Design Specs: 10 Weak Features to Avoid

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Tablet Design Specs: 10 Weak Features to Avoid

by Don Reisinger

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Small Displays

When Dell released the Streak, it unveiled a 5-inch display. The company contends that it's the perfect size for road warriors. But with the iPad, the gold standard in today's tablet space, sitting on store shelves with a 9.7-inch display, it's clear that such smaller screens don't cut it. A simply 7-inch display would still work, but any future tablet that has a smaller screen size than that will undoubtedly fail.

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Android 2.1 or Earlier

Google's Android platform might be highly coveted in today's marketplace, but going forward, every Android-based device should be running Android 2.2 or higher. After all, Android 2.2 offers Flash support, better enterprise options and much more. If a device runs Android 2.1, it will be bad news for that tablet maker.

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No Multitouch

This might seem like an obvious feature, but any future tablet that doesn't offer a multitouch interface will fail. Apple's iPad must be the guide by which all future tablet decisions are made. And that product has a multitouch display. Any competition must boast that, as well.

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Few Apps

Part of the value of tablets is that they allow customers to extend their functionality through mobile applications. Future tablet makers must keep that in mind and go with the operating system that boasts a slew of apps (like Android) and stay away from those products that don't. A rich apps library is a decisive feature in mobile device sales. Tablet makers can't forget that.

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Standard Displays

When Apple unveiled the Retina Display for the iPhone 4, it set a new standard in the touch-screen space. Going forward, it's highly likely that the company will offer the same display on its iPad. Realizing that, all tablets that compete with that product can't be running a standard LCD display any longer. Customers will want high-fidelity screens. And if a tablet doesn't offer that, it won't survive in today's marketplace.

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HP's acquisition of Palm was partly due to its desire to get WebOS. And some folks, especially Palm fanatics, believe WebOS is a great platform. But it won't work on a tablet. The software lacks third-party apps, it hasn't been proven to work in the smartphone market, and it wouldn't be able to successfully compete against iOS in the tablet space. WebOS might be fine for smartphones, but for tablets, it would be a failure.

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iOS 3

The biggest issue with Apple's iPad is that it doesn't run iOS 4 yet. Because of that, users don't have multitasking available to them. Going forward, Apple needs to deliver iOS 4 as quickly as possible. And all future versions of its iPad must include iOS 4 or later. iOS 3 was fine while it lasted, but those days are over.

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Arbitrary Storage Restrictions

The tablet space is unique. Currently, computing customers can get hundreds of gigabytes of storage space in their computers. But in tablets, they're lucky to get 64GB. That needs to stop. Storage costs are going down by the day, and user needs are only increasing. All future tablet makers need to stop delivering such little capacity.

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Anything but the Amazon Store or iTunes

Entertainment means everything to today's tablet user. Realizing that, all future iPads must feature iTunes, and all other devices must offer Amazon's online music store. There are certainly other options out there that some folks might like, but they're few and far between. Plus, they don't deliver the same library as iTunes or Amazon's marketplace.

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No-Name Maker

Success in the tablet market requires a well-known brand. Apple is well-known and respected by customers. HP is too. But a small, unknown company is not. And the chances of that company making a splash in the tablet space are extremely slim. So, perhaps the tablet market is a big-player's game. It might not be fair, but that's reality.

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