Sunday, January 24, 2010

troubles with tablets (or tribbles?)

If you have not heard about the expected product announcement coming from Apple in three days where many expect to hear about the introduction of a tablet-like computing device, then this post is not for you. Frankly, this post is really just for me. I'm not going to link to news articles about what may or may not happen on Wednesday, but I do know that whatever happens, the Apple fanboys will be simultaneously torn between how awesome and how disappointing the product is.

I suppose I have a certain dispassion about the whole hullabaloo because while I may appear to be the ultimate target demographic for such a product, I have no desire for said product or any of the PC-based variants that have already come out and will continue to come. Part of me wants to be surprised and amazed and totally blown away by the announcement and the hardware, software, interface, shininess, and whatever other developmental breakthroughs they have come up with and I know over time many of these features will trickle into ubiquitous and mainstream use. But this larger part of me just does not care.

Perhaps it's a lack of imagination, but I have a litany of questions that I am reasonably sure will not be answered in a satisfactory way.

How do I interface and type with the device? Is it meant for media so as to have a minimal amount of expected typing? I can totally sign off on a virtual keyboard concept, but how do I hold the over-sized smart phone and type with two hands at the same time? Or will the keys be in the bottom corners so I can do some bizarre thumb-typing? Is voice recognition up to speed? Will I not look like a crazy person when I am talking to my metal book?

How do I watch anything on it at a table? Do I have to hold it the whole time? Do I place it on the table and lean over the screen? Perhaps it will have mini-legs that will unfurl from its edges and prop up the tablet.

How do I hold it and how will that dictate the interface method? Two hands with thumb typing or voice recognition. One hand with one-handed semi-full typing? Will it slip from one hand? Will it have a semi-soft rubberized rear surface to help with grip? How hot will it get in my hands? What happens when someone inevitably drops it?

What will this do to improve the quality of my life? Of anyone's life? Of the world? And most importantly, will the back surface by curved oh so slightly such that ti will allow me to spin the tablet for hours of countless entertainment?


buickguy said...

Spinning it sounds like fun. But I think the shininess will outweigh all other attributes. Go for the shiny.

No tribbles said...

It should be hung around the neck with a nice cord that is adjustable to a proper length. It also can include a little device that can help it to prop up against your chest so that you can read it comfortably. It will keep both of your hand freed from holding it just in case you need both hand to type or key in any words. if it slips off your hand, it won't smash on to the ground. It won't burn your hands if it is too hot to handle.