Tablets, aka ‘CrapTops’

This article is not really about online marketing.  Instead, it’s admittedly little more than a rant that I’ve wanted to get off my chest for some time.

That said, here goes …

Why did it become so cool to buy one-tenth the power, size, flexibility and software capacity just so you could have a nifty gyroscope-enabled turntable that barely functions as a business tool?

Tablets – a new market of hardware inspired by Apple’s iPad – have permanently sent the portable computing device business into the dark ages and I can’t really figure out why.

I know this sounds harsh, but here are just a few reasons why I’m bewildered by the changes taking place:

  • Core components:  most tablets come with just 8GB of hard drive space.  I was closer to that with my Vic 20 than I am with newer laptops.  Speed, size and RAM are all taking a hit with these mediocre devices.
  • Platforms:  we now have close to a dozen new platforms materializing in the marketplace with every major manufacturer launching their own version of a tablet with its own operating system.  It’s like the early 1980s all over again.  I hate Microsoft as much as everyone else, but do we have to throw away universality?
  • Software:  it’s good news that the the app economy is about to replace the operating system economy that Microsoft monopolized for the last 3 decades.  However, be prepared for some major inconsistencies in terms of performance and reliability.  Expect your tablet to crash often.
  • Access:  some new tablets don’t even come with modems.  For example, the RIM Playbook needs a RIM phone to tandem with and connect to the net.

What’s the deal?  Why did consumers sell out to function in favour of fad?