Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Uncertain Future of Tablet PCs

What type of future lies ahead for slate and convertible Tablet PCs? Will Apple revive the Tablet computer in 2009? Will pen-based computing be more than just a niche market where healthcare professionals dominate with the pen and point-and-click EHRs? As more smartphones, MP3 players, MIDs, video players, and other devices rely on touch-based input, will this naturally transition over to notebooks and netbooks? At one point, I remember thinking that we'd be seeing many more convertible laptops by now. Instead, I feel like that pie is shrinking.

There seems to be fewer convertible tablet PCs on the market from major manufacturers. For instance, Sony still hasn't released a convertible tablet PC. Also, Apple also hasn't jumped on this wagon quite yet. And, we hardly see a dedicated slate tablet PC these days. Fujitsu and Motion may be the only two companies making these (I realize there are others, but I wanted to pick on my favorites since I had/have a Fujitsu).

I'm still very happy with my Thinkpad X200 tablet and I wouldn't trade it for any standard notebook that's out there on the market. This computer has an active digitizer plus a passive touch screen. You really can't ask for more (well, maybe capacitive touch and multi-finger touch gestures).

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