Internet Tablet * Internet appliance * Mobile Internet device * Tablet computer * Tablet Personal Computer - Whatever you call it, its the new battle frontier. Actually, like the smart phone battlefield, was once cornered by someone who didn't take it seriously, and due to one issue [customer service] Apple may run in, with a below-super standards device, but still win because of their customer service.
I first bought a Nokia tablet (N800) in 2006 because I found the ebook version of all my books in college, and I needed something smaller and cheaper than a laptop to read it on. Sadly enough, this $145 device was cheaper than the $350 a semester books I had.
But before we look at the state of the runners, let me give you a small history:
The purpose of these devices:
Larger than a cellphone - but smaller than a laptop
Internet radio, Mobile Skype, Web cam
Allows for ebooks to be written or read [2006 beyond]
Slider design: Touch screen, with a slider keyboard.
This was standard for my 2006 Nokia Tablet, now in 2010, once again there is a "king" that will be de-throned due to Apple's custom service - Archos. Now to give a brief history of Archos:
French company (lol no offense but its neither U.S. or Asia)
Been around since late 80's/ Early 90's.
They specialize in all devices of this range, [Personal, Netbooks, Laptops, internet tablet]
Lets talk about the standards: (Which was started by Acrchos)
Large [20gb or more] storage [biggest is 320gb for Archos]
TV tuner, [allows internet viewing, and regular-recording]
Oh, if you were wondering the flaws of Archos, they have weak non-exchangeable batteries. They will burn out, and then you'll be shipping to France. Even though its free under warranty, it's still about 6-8 weeks on average, but I've read some horror triple-ship stories. That's what kept me away as I'm a warranty shopper.
(Don't label me as a fan boy, I just feel that if you had those abilities since 2006, and the Ipad can't meet over half of those standard devices, you earned the King title.)
But the ultimate purpose is to allow you to do the most productive things with the smallest space, because carrying a laptop is cumbersome, and also the battery life is always weak until the recent years.
The major flaws of these devices is battery life. Even I, a iphone owner, carry a pocket charger and I have now accepted a second battery or portable charger as mandatory for any and all portable devices I carry.
Now to bring it closer, there was a netbook boom a couple of years ago, which caused a threat to the smaller devices, till they bumped their prices up to about $50 cheaper than a laptop.
The Ipad, which rivals most mid to high priced laptops, has a few things going for it.
Besides being a "large" ipod,
Better resolution of movies
there are the apps [which pricing is a heavy issue.]
The most attractive (well to me) feature, which also allows you to make money with the device, is the ability to wirelessly sync to DSLR Cameras. Now, how does that help? Well as a photographer, its annoying to go take photos and not have a large screen to preview it on when you leave home. You can now do a photo shoot, and show your client your shots on the Ipad right after each shot in a less painful way vs a laptop.
Now, like every company that has a mega powerhouse, they have 0 customer service. Almost everyone will agree, the ability to go to a store and get a new device after yours malfunctions is almost a win/win cause its painless. But yet, no one invests in this idea except Apple.
Rim, HTC and a few others are looking to rush into this frontier, to stop apple from cornering the market. If they take a hint from Archos, allow for exchangeable batteries, and better customer service they'll do fine, if not then nothing will stop the apple machine.