Print 13 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Jan 7 at 1:54 AM

Microsoft Courier concept  (Source: Gizmodo)
Microsoft and HP offering better be good

The tablet market isn't very robust today with relatively few offerings available for consumers to choose from. Windows 7 is optimized for touch so the OS is ready for tablets in the event that manufacturers and consumers lineup behind the devices. The most rumored and anticipated tablet won't need Windows though with Apple reportedly readying a tablet.

Of all the tablet rumors circulating, Apple is easily the most talked about entry into the tablet market, and the company hasn't even said officially it is working on a tablet. In December 2009, analysts said that a tablet was coming from Apple in March or April. The mere rumor of a launch date for the Apple tablet sent its stock price up in late December.

Apple has an event planned for later this month that many believe will be the official unveiling of the Apple tablet. Before Apple has a chance to pull the tablet out of the closet, Microsoft and HP are expected to reveal their own tablet computer.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil a slate computer during his keynote at CES 2010 in Las Vegas reports the New York Times. The worst thing that Microsoft and HP could do is pull out a device that is a halfhearted attempt to get to market first. Being first is no guarantee of success in this market, especially considering Apple's history of innovation.

Windows Mobile smartphones were on the market long before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket and the iPhone is now more popular than Windows Mobile Devices according to some statistics. Sources cited by the NYT claim that the HP tablet will be pushed as a multimedia gadget and will have an eReader and multi touch functions built-in.

Most tech fanatics out there, however, are probably expecting the device to look similar to the Courier concepts that were floating around the web last Fall. That concept featured dual multi-touch screens and was capable of accepting pen input. If the device that Ballmer is expected to unveil tonight looks and operates anywhere close to the Courier concept, Microsoft and HP could have a hit on their hands.

DailyTech will be there to get first hand footage of the device.

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Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By VooDooAddict on 1/6/2010 12:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm looking forward to the possibility of replacing a paper notebook/binder with a lightweight pen input "slate", "tablet", whatever.

For me it's going to come down to how well it can replace a paper notebook for convenience and jotting down thoughts. I'm not interested in a finger touch only device, that doesn't help jotting down notes.

In this race whomever makes the better product will get my $$. No Vendor loyalties here.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By rudy on 1/6/2010 12:54:19 PM , Rating: 5
What is wrong with M$ OneNote and any tablet currently out? I Fail to see what these new tablets will offer besides no keyboard, and likely smaller crappier displays. I use a laptop not even a tablet and my phone to do everything you are talking about have been doing it for a while with no problems, I can draw or type and take notes, take screen shots whatever you could possibly need to do.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By ChugokuOtaku on 1/6/2010 1:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
the lack of multitouch can be somewhat crippling for users with older tablets running Win7.

if you wanna do a standard laptop vs. tablet comparison, I can argue that with a tablet, you can easily draw out diagrams during lectures, which is a bit more difficult to do with a standard keyboard and mouse. if you're in an art class, then there will be plenty of things you couldn't do on your standard laptop that a tablet otherwise would.

I use a Thinkpad x60 Tablet as my road warrior laptop, and I'll be frank that the tablet features have indeed been under utilized compared to what I had in mind, probably something I could give up, but still handy to have... kinda like having 4 wheel drive, only comes in handy in a single season(assuming you don't live too far north or too far south), but can really help you out when you you need it.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By rudy on 1/6/2010 2:05:07 PM , Rating: 3
I am not trying to argue that laptops are better just pointing out that I can do it all on a laptop with a mouse. Which means if you have a real tablet, Dell XT, HP, or Lenovo you are in even better shape. And those ones offer the whole gamut of input types, resistive capactivtive and I think even perimeter light sensing. They are light weight and long lasting on batteries. Why does everyone want a stupid trimmed down tablet? Its not like you can fit these new ones in your pocket so I don't see why you would have them any more then your laptop or tablet.
Be honest how many people do you see who always have a 8x10 pad of note taking paper on them? You cant get any lighter than that. What we all do have is a phone or anything that can fit in your pocket. So putting all the functions on phones or making bigger phones that still fit in the pocket makes sense. I even could be impressed by this M$ style tablet. But the little display only apple and netbook tablets I just dont get. They are too big to be carried around so why not just have a real computer.

I guess I just do not get it, the functions already exists why is everyone so excited all the time about these single or limited use devices. Why is everyone jumping out of their pants to load themself down with hundreds of electronic devices when everything they want already exists in the market and probaly already exists in the computer they already have.

If people want tablets so bad then why arent thinkpads tablets flying off the shelfs?

By damianrobertjones on 1/6/2010 4:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
'Is'... Multi-touch that amazing that we must have the features? A friend recently swore at his multi-touch trackpad as he absolutely hated the fact that things would fly about.. quickly disabled.

Sometimes we don't need more, simply better.

By Penti on 1/6/2010 9:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
Battery life?

Good tablets are also very expensive. Perhaps some think they want a cheaper consumer device. But most is just bull about those devices. Screens are very hard as currently there is no good ones being manufactured, and the media touts the rumored Apple tablet to be some kind of e-reader, or magazine reader (well there's already the standard web with HTML/CSS/JavaScript together with Flash for that. Walled gardens and new formats wouldn't be a good thing). An e-reader really needs an e-ink screen. Either make a web/laptop device or make a ebook reader there's no middle ground with todays tech. Media rich magazine-type stuff would drain the battery before you could get a chance to recharge it any way. Ebook readers will eventually be multimedia devices but it's many years before that.

However it's the age of netbook and smartbook designs flooding out to nowhere. We will see a lot of touch screen stuff, but most will be useless. You can't really replace the keyboard and it complements it poorly if not for to write directly on. Which most is not really for. Besides you can just use one of those 100 dollar pens and write on ordinary paper and transfer the notes to your computer, not that consumers really do take notes with their computers. It's probably multimedia devices those are after, but right now they would fit poorly. Netbook-class hardware can do very much. But the screens are horrible. And it's hard to see what's gained with touch screen. Let's hope we don't see the rumored Apple tablet/slate/pad. But something else. And that Flash 10.1 really do the trick.

By damianrobertjones on 1/6/2010 4:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
".. relatively few offerings available for consumers to choose from"

? There's lots, or at least there was, before most people decided that they weren't that bothered. UMPC/Mids? Many designs, not a lot of buyers. The M400's of the world were that bit too expensive and there's always the HP TC1100.

Either way, I only see the Mac tablet doing well as people really, really are that stupid.

RE: Huh?
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/7/2010 1:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the reason a Mac tablet has a shot at doing well is because it will be an all in one product that was designed from the bottom up to function correctly for the purpose it was built for.

You would think that Microsoft would have learned from their own success with the XBox 360 that bottom-up engineering of a complete and integrated product would be the way to go. Instead they are willing to let the desktop version of Windows be on every hardware platform out there even when it is the worst possible decision. Windows 7 is a great desktop and laptop operating system, but it is not a tablet OS, not even close.

Apple gets it, they get it in the same way that Blackberry and Palm (and Microsoft entertainment division) gets it. The iPhone runs a version of OS X, but it isn't the full version of OS X running on the device where the user has full access to the file system and a UI that isn't optimized for a 3.5" screen. A UI that abstracts the guts of the operating system from the user and is tailor-made specifically for the hardware and the purpose of that one specific device, that's the key. Compare this with Windows Mobile which for years has used desktop UI paradigms on a mobile device (dumb) and has a frigging task manager for chrissakes.

Slapping a desktop OS onto a tablet shows that Microsoft put no logical or practical thought into this product. It will be clear to the consumer and it will not succeed. Instead of trying to beat Apple to market, they should have just done what they did with media players and game consoles and waited to see what everyone else did, then follow in their footsteps with their own version and let their colossal marketing budget carry the day.

By ksherman on 1/6/2010 10:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
When is 'tonight'?! Already 10pm in CST!!

RE: So....
By ksherman on 1/6/2010 11:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
Never mind, just found the live feed from CES.

To say that Ballmer was unveiling a tablet tonight is a HUGE stretch. He picked it up, touched it, and that was it.

Having watched most of this keynote, Apple is still way better at this type of venue...

Business product
By mkrech on 1/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: Business product
By rudy on 1/6/2010 2:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean by complement you want to own both?

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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