Comments

  1. I dont think anybody is a tablet naysayer – more so a tablet naysayer in its current guise. You must admit Robert, hardly anybody uses the Tablet features at Microsoft. Its essentially XP with touch screen implementation. Not enough done to tailor the OS to the specific form factor.

    What I want is a modern day Newton.

  2. I dont think anybody is a tablet naysayer – more so a tablet naysayer in its current guise. You must admit Robert, hardly anybody uses the Tablet features at Microsoft. Its essentially XP with touch screen implementation. Not enough done to tailor the OS to the specific form factor.

    What I want is a modern day Newton.

  3. Justin: most Microsoft workers sit at a desk all day long and have multiple monitors. That doesn’t match the real world most of us work in.

    As soon as you’re stuck in coach on an airplane or work while standing up the Tablet PC features become a lot more useful. They also rock for showing pictures to people. Handing around a Tablet in Tablet mode with photos on it is a lot nicer than handing around a laptop.

    But, I agree that Microsoft hasn’t done enough to get the Tablet technology on high-end PCs. I’ve been loaned a Sony Vaio and the screen resolution, weight, battery, and performance are all better than the Tablet PC I’m using.

  4. Justin: most Microsoft workers sit at a desk all day long and have multiple monitors. That doesn’t match the real world most of us work in.

    As soon as you’re stuck in coach on an airplane or work while standing up the Tablet PC features become a lot more useful. They also rock for showing pictures to people. Handing around a Tablet in Tablet mode with photos on it is a lot nicer than handing around a laptop.

    But, I agree that Microsoft hasn’t done enough to get the Tablet technology on high-end PCs. I’ve been loaned a Sony Vaio and the screen resolution, weight, battery, and performance are all better than the Tablet PC I’m using.

  5. People would want an Apple Tablet the same way they prefer the iPod over Zune. Just that simple.

    Six years ago they asked people if they wanted an MP3 player, using the then leading MP3 players. The results were at best tepid. Then they asked the same people if they’d want the (then first-gen) iPod. Sixty million iPods later you can guess what the answer was.

    So just because people don’t buy Tablet PC/Win or Media Center/Win doesn’t mean tablets or PC-media player combos in another form to be designed by Apple are also not viable. It simply means Microsoft cannot sell a *new* product category by itself, unless and until it copies a market leader like Apple. In the case of the iPod, they couldn’t even pull that off. Sad.

  6. People would want an Apple Tablet the same way they prefer the iPod over Zune. Just that simple.

    Six years ago they asked people if they wanted an MP3 player, using the then leading MP3 players. The results were at best tepid. Then they asked the same people if they’d want the (then first-gen) iPod. Sixty million iPods later you can guess what the answer was.

    So just because people don’t buy Tablet PC/Win or Media Center/Win doesn’t mean tablets or PC-media player combos in another form to be designed by Apple are also not viable. It simply means Microsoft cannot sell a *new* product category by itself, unless and until it copies a market leader like Apple. In the case of the iPod, they couldn’t even pull that off. Sad.

  7. All I can say is “Newton” Once again MS are going where Apple has been before. To say that MS Tablet PC was the first is rediculous.

  8. All I can say is “Newton” Once again MS are going where Apple has been before. To say that MS Tablet PC was the first is rediculous.

  9. “Newton didn’t have a mainstream OS.”

    That was the whole point of Newton!

    Just as the iPod doesn’t run on a “mainstream” OS. Sticking Windows on anything and everything is pure MSFT insanity. Hey, even your heros at the XBox team realized that, before it was too late.

    So, again, tablet form factor doesn’t have to run on a bastardized or emasculated “mainstream” OS.

  10. “Newton didn’t have a mainstream OS.”

    That was the whole point of Newton!

    Just as the iPod doesn’t run on a “mainstream” OS. Sticking Windows on anything and everything is pure MSFT insanity. Hey, even your heros at the XBox team realized that, before it was too late.

    So, again, tablet form factor doesn’t have to run on a bastardized or emasculated “mainstream” OS.

  11. “My Tablet can use Adobe Photoshop, which makes it infinitely more valuable to me than the Newton was.”

    And that’s precisely the point: Tablet PCs are a (small) niche product for those who want to run Photoshop on it. That’s why they are not selling. That’s why if Apple were to make one, it wouldn’t be optimized to run your fat clients. Just as the iPod doesn’t run Excel or Photoshop. I hope you’re not missing this crucial design driver here.

  12. “My Tablet can use Adobe Photoshop, which makes it infinitely more valuable to me than the Newton was.”

    And that’s precisely the point: Tablet PCs are a (small) niche product for those who want to run Photoshop on it. That’s why they are not selling. That’s why if Apple were to make one, it wouldn’t be optimized to run your fat clients. Just as the iPod doesn’t run Excel or Photoshop. I hope you’re not missing this crucial design driver here.

  13. Anona: you are drinking some good Merlot or something.

    But, if Apple can bring back Newton 2.0 and make it a success, my hat is off to them.

    The reason Tablet PCs aren’t selling is they are more expensive, are underpowered, have lower screen resolution, use batteries faster than other laptops, and their benefits haven’t been clearly explained (or marketed well).

    Of course, that also explains why Apple only has about 6% of the market right now too.

    Either way, though, next year should be interesting for Tablet fans.

  14. Anona: you are drinking some good Merlot or something.

    But, if Apple can bring back Newton 2.0 and make it a success, my hat is off to them.

    The reason Tablet PCs aren’t selling is they are more expensive, are underpowered, have lower screen resolution, use batteries faster than other laptops, and their benefits haven’t been clearly explained (or marketed well).

    Of course, that also explains why Apple only has about 6% of the market right now too.

    Either way, though, next year should be interesting for Tablet fans.

  15. You are missing the point Robert.

    When people say they want Newton 2, they dont mean a PDA. What they mean is a fully fledged version of OSX in that it can run apps as normal, but with the UI and form factor tailored to the use. The Newton was great because it took advantage of exactly why it was different to a laptop.

    IMO, Tablet PC’s right now act as a laptop first, scribing tool a distant second.

  16. You are missing the point Robert.

    When people say they want Newton 2, they dont mean a PDA. What they mean is a fully fledged version of OSX in that it can run apps as normal, but with the UI and form factor tailored to the use. The Newton was great because it took advantage of exactly why it was different to a laptop.

    IMO, Tablet PC’s right now act as a laptop first, scribing tool a distant second.

  17. Justin: you can’t have it both ways.

    OSX was written for keyboard users. So was Windows XP. Newton was designed from the start for pen users.

    Microsoft recognized that there was a market for people who wanted to run a mainstream operating system, but use a pen. So far the Tablet PC has been a whole lot more successful than any of its previous pen-based efforts (and a lot more successful than the Newton).

    Now, which way is Apple going to go? Newton 2.0? Which won’t run Photoshop or other OSX apps? Or, OSX/Pen? Which will have shortcomings, just like XP does? (Vista has fewer, Microsoft has added a lot of cool stuff for pen users).

    Or, are you saying that the first Apple Tablet PC will be perfect? Ahh, yes, Apple always is perfect at everything it does. I forgot that I needed to have religion. ;-)

  18. Justin: you can’t have it both ways.

    OSX was written for keyboard users. So was Windows XP. Newton was designed from the start for pen users.

    Microsoft recognized that there was a market for people who wanted to run a mainstream operating system, but use a pen. So far the Tablet PC has been a whole lot more successful than any of its previous pen-based efforts (and a lot more successful than the Newton).

    Now, which way is Apple going to go? Newton 2.0? Which won’t run Photoshop or other OSX apps? Or, OSX/Pen? Which will have shortcomings, just like XP does? (Vista has fewer, Microsoft has added a lot of cool stuff for pen users).

    Or, are you saying that the first Apple Tablet PC will be perfect? Ahh, yes, Apple always is perfect at everything it does. I forgot that I needed to have religion. ;-)

  19. The reasons why Tablet PCs are not selling that you cite are not correct. Again, look at MP3 players. There lots of players out there that, feature by feature, do more than the iPods. Yet they have miniscule market share. Why? Because the iPod is a music player. It’s not a small PC. Therefore its design can make focused compromises commensurate with its primary focus.

    The reason why Apple has 6% market share is because Apple doesn’t sell into a million markets like MSFT. It doesn’t do enterprise, POS, factory floor controllers, and a gazillion other markets known to mankind. OS X is not Vista that comes in eighty thousand configurations. Focus, simplicity, purposefulness, Roberto.

    Zune team has at least tried to grok this, You should too.

  20. The reasons why Tablet PCs are not selling that you cite are not correct. Again, look at MP3 players. There lots of players out there that, feature by feature, do more than the iPods. Yet they have miniscule market share. Why? Because the iPod is a music player. It’s not a small PC. Therefore its design can make focused compromises commensurate with its primary focus.

    The reason why Apple has 6% market share is because Apple doesn’t sell into a million markets like MSFT. It doesn’t do enterprise, POS, factory floor controllers, and a gazillion other markets known to mankind. OS X is not Vista that comes in eighty thousand configurations. Focus, simplicity, purposefulness, Roberto.

    Zune team has at least tried to grok this, You should too.

  21. “Microsoft recognized that there was a market for people who wanted to run a mainstream operating system, but use a pen.”

    And found out that that market was tiny. End of story.

  22. “Microsoft recognized that there was a market for people who wanted to run a mainstream operating system, but use a pen.”

    And found out that that market was tiny. End of story.

  23. Anona: oh, I forgot, you are an expert industry participant.

    You forget that I worked with the Tablet PC team. You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?

    Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0. Got it. It’ll be interesting to see what they do do.

    Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?

    Let’s compare.

    1) Marketing. Does any other player come close to the marketing that Apple has done? No. Not even in the same universe. In SF alone there are dozens of iPod billboards. Only one for Creative than I know about, and it’s lame in comparison (and doesn’t have Apple’s “coolness” to call upon). Can Zune crack this? No. It’ll get Microsoft closer than the others, though.

    2) Stores. Apple has cool, clean, and well staffed stores. Do the other folks? No. They sell their wares in big box retailers where the help has no clue what they are talking about. Again, massive win goes to Apple.

    3) Box. Look at an iPod box. Now look at any other MP3 player’s box. Which one would you rather have? Zune actually matches iPod on this score. But it’s the first time. Apple is winning all three, so don’t lecture me about why any other MP3 player isn’t selling.

    4) OOBE. What happens when you first open the box? My family has both a brand new iPod and a new Zune (and we’ve had tons of other gadgets through here too). iPod wins hands down here. Far easier to setup and learn. Zune, for instance, presents a circular control that doesn’t work with the affordance it presents. Lame. iPOd is massive winner here again.

    5) Features. This is the only place iPod loses. But there isn’t a “killer feature” that pulls people away from iPod. Zune, for instance, has an FM Tuner. So what. Have you listened to FM radio lately? It’s crap. How about subscriptions? Zune has that too. Apple doesn’t. But, again, so what? My son has something like 30 gigs of music and content to listen to. Why again does he need a subscription when he already has more music than he can listen to in a month of near constant playing?

    iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.

    But if you think that Apple’s Tablet is going to win cause it will only do one thing (say, control your media center) then fine. I disagree with that theory. I guess we’ll find out when (er, if) Apple comes out with a Tablet PC and we see how it does in the marketplace.

    I know I want a Tablet PC with a high screen resolution, with the ability to use Adobe Photoshop (and other common, popular, applications that already exist in the marketplace), that has bleeding edge power/performance, and has a battery that lasts more than four hours, for a price that’s close to what a high-end laptop sells for.

    If Apple brings such a Tablet PC to market I’ll be standing in line at an Apple store for one.

  24. Anona: oh, I forgot, you are an expert industry participant.

    You forget that I worked with the Tablet PC team. You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?

    Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0. Got it. It’ll be interesting to see what they do do.

    Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?

    Let’s compare.

    1) Marketing. Does any other player come close to the marketing that Apple has done? No. Not even in the same universe. In SF alone there are dozens of iPod billboards. Only one for Creative than I know about, and it’s lame in comparison (and doesn’t have Apple’s “coolness” to call upon). Can Zune crack this? No. It’ll get Microsoft closer than the others, though.

    2) Stores. Apple has cool, clean, and well staffed stores. Do the other folks? No. They sell their wares in big box retailers where the help has no clue what they are talking about. Again, massive win goes to Apple.

    3) Box. Look at an iPod box. Now look at any other MP3 player’s box. Which one would you rather have? Zune actually matches iPod on this score. But it’s the first time. Apple is winning all three, so don’t lecture me about why any other MP3 player isn’t selling.

    4) OOBE. What happens when you first open the box? My family has both a brand new iPod and a new Zune (and we’ve had tons of other gadgets through here too). iPod wins hands down here. Far easier to setup and learn. Zune, for instance, presents a circular control that doesn’t work with the affordance it presents. Lame. iPOd is massive winner here again.

    5) Features. This is the only place iPod loses. But there isn’t a “killer feature” that pulls people away from iPod. Zune, for instance, has an FM Tuner. So what. Have you listened to FM radio lately? It’s crap. How about subscriptions? Zune has that too. Apple doesn’t. But, again, so what? My son has something like 30 gigs of music and content to listen to. Why again does he need a subscription when he already has more music than he can listen to in a month of near constant playing?

    iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.

    But if you think that Apple’s Tablet is going to win cause it will only do one thing (say, control your media center) then fine. I disagree with that theory. I guess we’ll find out when (er, if) Apple comes out with a Tablet PC and we see how it does in the marketplace.

    I know I want a Tablet PC with a high screen resolution, with the ability to use Adobe Photoshop (and other common, popular, applications that already exist in the marketplace), that has bleeding edge power/performance, and has a battery that lasts more than four hours, for a price that’s close to what a high-end laptop sells for.

    If Apple brings such a Tablet PC to market I’ll be standing in line at an Apple store for one.

  25. Come on man. Nobody is saying the thing will be perfect if Apple did it. What we are saying is that the current iterations fall far of the mark. The whole point is Tablet computer in concept could be huge, particularly in education. The thing is, as a whole the experience just isnt great. I use one everyday and it is essentially XP with touch screen. The Newton references are there to highlight where Tablet computing needs to go. Not necessarily all the way to a pen based device, but enoug of a deviation away from the standard Windows interface to deem it more than a glorified touch screen interface. You say yourself that Windows is a keyboard based interface – so why are Microsoft trying to make the same thing work with a pen? I would say the same thing if Apple was to make OSX workable with a pen. The public dont want that – its a clumsy solution. What I want is “windows” and the ability to run my normal programs, but with very specific window management UI that works naturally with a pen. I want better programs specifically for a tablet experience. OneNote goes someway to this but I want something that is System wide.

  26. Come on man. Nobody is saying the thing will be perfect if Apple did it. What we are saying is that the current iterations fall far of the mark. The whole point is Tablet computer in concept could be huge, particularly in education. The thing is, as a whole the experience just isnt great. I use one everyday and it is essentially XP with touch screen. The Newton references are there to highlight where Tablet computing needs to go. Not necessarily all the way to a pen based device, but enoug of a deviation away from the standard Windows interface to deem it more than a glorified touch screen interface. You say yourself that Windows is a keyboard based interface – so why are Microsoft trying to make the same thing work with a pen? I would say the same thing if Apple was to make OSX workable with a pen. The public dont want that – its a clumsy solution. What I want is “windows” and the ability to run my normal programs, but with very specific window management UI that works naturally with a pen. I want better programs specifically for a tablet experience. OneNote goes someway to this but I want something that is System wide.

  27. >And found out that that market was tiny. End of story.

    Actually that’s not true.

    The market is quite large. Every student in the world would like one, but today’s offerings just ain’t comparing to laptops.

    Why? Try running Physics Illustrator on a Tablet PC and you’ll see why having pen input makes sense for a large set of users: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=56347faf-a639-4f3b-9b87-1487fd4b5a53&displaylang=en

  28. Justin: >>What we are saying is that the current iterations fall far of the mark.

    Oh, I agree with that.

    Have you seen Vista’s Tablet PC stuff? It’s a lot nicer than XP.

    I just don’t think you’re going to get what you want.

    If you change a mainstream OS too much to have pen stuff built into it you’ll break applications and increase support costs, which will keep it from being adopted too.

    Will Apple push the state of the art? We’ll see. Apple hasn’t been investing in pen-based stuff lately, so they have some catching up to do.

  29. Justin: >>What we are saying is that the current iterations fall far of the mark.

    Oh, I agree with that.

    Have you seen Vista’s Tablet PC stuff? It’s a lot nicer than XP.

    I just don’t think you’re going to get what you want.

    If you change a mainstream OS too much to have pen stuff built into it you’ll break applications and increase support costs, which will keep it from being adopted too.

    Will Apple push the state of the art? We’ll see. Apple hasn’t been investing in pen-based stuff lately, so they have some catching up to do.

  30. “You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?”

    Whatever they did wasn’t very illuminating, was it?

    “Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0.”

    I’m not saying Apple will even do a Tablet PC. I have no idea. But if it did, it wouldn’t be just a small PC that runs with a pen. I’m sure of that, because it makes no sense, as the MSFT evidence shows.

    “Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?”

    Oh, they all *compete* with the iPod. They just fail miserably.

    “iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.”

    What you’re missing here is that if it didn’t do that thing very well, the other stuff you cite wouldn’t matter.

  31. “You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?”

    Whatever they did wasn’t very illuminating, was it?

    “Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0.”

    I’m not saying Apple will even do a Tablet PC. I have no idea. But if it did, it wouldn’t be just a small PC that runs with a pen. I’m sure of that, because it makes no sense, as the MSFT evidence shows.

    “Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?”

    Oh, they all *compete* with the iPod. They just fail miserably.

    “iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.”

    What you’re missing here is that if it didn’t do that thing very well, the other stuff you cite wouldn’t matter.

  32. “The market is quite large. Every student in the world would like one, but today’s offerings just ain’t comparing to laptops”

    Confusing. If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell? The market isn’t so large because laptops service it reasonably well. What Tablet PC offers *in its MSFT form* just isn’t compelling enough.

  33. “The market is quite large. Every student in the world would like one, but today’s offerings just ain’t comparing to laptops”

    Confusing. If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell? The market isn’t so large because laptops service it reasonably well. What Tablet PC offers *in its MSFT form* just isn’t compelling enough.

  34. Or, are you saying that the first Apple Tablet PC will be perfect? Ahh, yes, Apple always is perfect at everything it does. I forgot that I needed to have religion.

    BAAAHAHAHAHA. Oh Robert, you are NOT cracking on anyone about “religion”. Please, you’re the biggest follower on the Web.

    Now, which way is Apple going to go? Newton 2.0? Which won’t run Photoshop or other OSX apps? Or, OSX/Pen? Which will have shortcomings, just like XP does? (Vista has fewer, Microsoft has added a lot of cool stuff for pen users).

    Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    As well, Vista’s still not yet available for general purchase, so doesn’t really count. When you can buy it in a box, then it counts.

    You forget that I worked with the Tablet PC team. You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?

    If they did, based on Tablet PC sales, they burned it and shot the researchers.

    I know I want a Tablet PC with a high screen resolution, with the ability to use Adobe Photoshop (and other common, popular, applications that already exist in the marketplace), that has bleeding edge power/performance, and has a battery that lasts more than four hours, for a price that’s close to what a high-end laptop sells for.

    What I want to know is why can’t Tablets do this now? What is the friggin’ point in Tablets being crippled in comparison to “real” PCs? Again, these aren’t some oh-la-la new tech that only 6 people have ever seen before. It’s a laptop with a touch screen, handwriting recognition and some different drivers. Gimme a break, after all this time, Microsoft still can’t cajole/coerce the hardware manufacturers into making a Tablet that’s a “real” computer?

    Lame man.

    Will Apple push the state of the art? We’ll see. Apple hasn’t been investing in pen-based stuff lately, so they have some catching up to do.

    How do you know? Have you even hooked a Wacom tablet up to your MacBook to see what the OS does with a tablet device *now*? What do you base your statement on. Wait, I know, I know, your SOOPER SEEKRET KNOWLEDGE again, right? Pffft. Stop talking out of your ass about what Apple’s going to do, your record’s about the same as flipping a coin.

    Confusing. If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell? The market isn’t so large because laptops service it reasonably well. What Tablet PC offers *in its MSFT form* just isn’t compelling enough.

    Because when it comes down to it, Microsoft sucks ass at actually selling to people. If you look at the segments where they can’t win with OEM deals and licensing deals, they don’t dominate worth a crap at all. If they did, the Xbox 360 wouldn’t have been outsold by the PS 2, Plays4Sure would have drove the iPod out of the market, and they’d own the smartphone world.

    In real competition, Microsoft’s pretty damned feeble.

  35. Or, are you saying that the first Apple Tablet PC will be perfect? Ahh, yes, Apple always is perfect at everything it does. I forgot that I needed to have religion.

    BAAAHAHAHAHA. Oh Robert, you are NOT cracking on anyone about “religion”. Please, you’re the biggest follower on the Web.

    Now, which way is Apple going to go? Newton 2.0? Which won’t run Photoshop or other OSX apps? Or, OSX/Pen? Which will have shortcomings, just like XP does? (Vista has fewer, Microsoft has added a lot of cool stuff for pen users).

    Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    As well, Vista’s still not yet available for general purchase, so doesn’t really count. When you can buy it in a box, then it counts.

    You forget that I worked with the Tablet PC team. You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?

    If they did, based on Tablet PC sales, they burned it and shot the researchers.

    I know I want a Tablet PC with a high screen resolution, with the ability to use Adobe Photoshop (and other common, popular, applications that already exist in the marketplace), that has bleeding edge power/performance, and has a battery that lasts more than four hours, for a price that’s close to what a high-end laptop sells for.

    What I want to know is why can’t Tablets do this now? What is the friggin’ point in Tablets being crippled in comparison to “real” PCs? Again, these aren’t some oh-la-la new tech that only 6 people have ever seen before. It’s a laptop with a touch screen, handwriting recognition and some different drivers. Gimme a break, after all this time, Microsoft still can’t cajole/coerce the hardware manufacturers into making a Tablet that’s a “real” computer?

    Lame man.

    Will Apple push the state of the art? We’ll see. Apple hasn’t been investing in pen-based stuff lately, so they have some catching up to do.

    How do you know? Have you even hooked a Wacom tablet up to your MacBook to see what the OS does with a tablet device *now*? What do you base your statement on. Wait, I know, I know, your SOOPER SEEKRET KNOWLEDGE again, right? Pffft. Stop talking out of your ass about what Apple’s going to do, your record’s about the same as flipping a coin.

    Confusing. If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell? The market isn’t so large because laptops service it reasonably well. What Tablet PC offers *in its MSFT form* just isn’t compelling enough.

    Because when it comes down to it, Microsoft sucks ass at actually selling to people. If you look at the segments where they can’t win with OEM deals and licensing deals, they don’t dominate worth a crap at all. If they did, the Xbox 360 wouldn’t have been outsold by the PS 2, Plays4Sure would have drove the iPod out of the market, and they’d own the smartphone world.

    In real competition, Microsoft’s pretty damned feeble.

  36. >If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell?

    Actually the Tablet PC has sold millions. Not exactly a total failure. Apple would LOVE to increase its market by millions. If it did, it would be seen as a total success. I already covered why it isn’t selling as well as laptops. Read previous comments.

    >“You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?” Whatever they did wasn’t very illuminating, was it?

    Actually the research was very illuminating. The problem is that Microsoft doesn’t build the hardware, OEMs do, so they can’t fix all the problems alone.

    >>“Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0.”
    I’m not saying Apple will even do a Tablet PC. I have no idea. But if it did, it wouldn’t be just a small PC that runs with a pen. I’m sure of that, because it makes no sense, as the MSFT evidence shows.

    You should read the rumors. They are talking about a Mac Tablet PC.

    >“Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?”
    Oh, they all *compete* with the iPod. They just fail miserably.

    On that we totally agree.

    >“iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.”
    What you’re missing here is that if it didn’t do that thing very well, the other stuff you cite wouldn’t matter.

    Well, that isn’t necessarily true. Beta played videos better than VHS. VHS still won because of the other factors involved (tape length, openness to porn industry, etc).

  37. >If the market is so large why hasn’t MSFT been able to sell?

    Actually the Tablet PC has sold millions. Not exactly a total failure. Apple would LOVE to increase its market by millions. If it did, it would be seen as a total success. I already covered why it isn’t selling as well as laptops. Read previous comments.

    >“You think they didn’t do any market research on why people weren’t buying Tablet PCs?” Whatever they did wasn’t very illuminating, was it?

    Actually the research was very illuminating. The problem is that Microsoft doesn’t build the hardware, OEMs do, so they can’t fix all the problems alone.

    >>“Ahh, so you’re saying Apple is going to come out with a Tablet PC that looks like Newton 2.0.”
    I’m not saying Apple will even do a Tablet PC. I have no idea. But if it did, it wouldn’t be just a small PC that runs with a pen. I’m sure of that, because it makes no sense, as the MSFT evidence shows.

    You should read the rumors. They are talking about a Mac Tablet PC.

    >“Why doesn’t anything compete with iPod?”
    Oh, they all *compete* with the iPod. They just fail miserably.

    On that we totally agree.

    >“iPod is winning for a whole lot of reasons. Not cause it does only one thing.”
    What you’re missing here is that if it didn’t do that thing very well, the other stuff you cite wouldn’t matter.

    Well, that isn’t necessarily true. Beta played videos better than VHS. VHS still won because of the other factors involved (tape length, openness to porn industry, etc).

  38. >Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    I have. It acts about the same as XP. Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom?

    >What I want to know is why can’t Tablets do this now?

    Because of hardware economics. It costs more to put a digitizer into the screen. It takes more battery life. And the hardware manufacturers don’t believe it’ll be a big enough selling point to recoup the price, so they don’t do it.

    >What is the friggin’ point in Tablets being crippled in comparison to “real” PCs?

    Personally, Apple laptops are crippled. They don’t have true HD screens like those from Dell and Acer. So why are you pushing “crippled” PCs in comparison to “real” PCs?

    >How do you know? Have you even hooked a Wacom tablet up to your MacBook to see what the OS does with a tablet device *now*?

    Yes. I have. I have a MacPro, by the way.

    >Microsoft sucks ass at actually selling to people.

    Everywhere I look I see Microsoft stuff and they still do have more than 90% of the desktop and laptop market. I guess if they suck ass, they must be sucking ass to a lot of people.

    Ahh, there goes that religion thing again.

  39. >Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    I have. It acts about the same as XP. Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom?

    >What I want to know is why can’t Tablets do this now?

    Because of hardware economics. It costs more to put a digitizer into the screen. It takes more battery life. And the hardware manufacturers don’t believe it’ll be a big enough selling point to recoup the price, so they don’t do it.

    >What is the friggin’ point in Tablets being crippled in comparison to “real” PCs?

    Personally, Apple laptops are crippled. They don’t have true HD screens like those from Dell and Acer. So why are you pushing “crippled” PCs in comparison to “real” PCs?

    >How do you know? Have you even hooked a Wacom tablet up to your MacBook to see what the OS does with a tablet device *now*?

    Yes. I have. I have a MacPro, by the way.

    >Microsoft sucks ass at actually selling to people.

    Everywhere I look I see Microsoft stuff and they still do have more than 90% of the desktop and laptop market. I guess if they suck ass, they must be sucking ass to a lot of people.

    Ahh, there goes that religion thing again.

  40. Personally, Apple laptops are crippled. They don’t have true HD screens like those from Dell and Acer. So why are you pushing “crippled” PCs in comparison to “real” PCs?

    Yes Robert, we know you’re on your knees in front of the HD gods, but we’ve already established that outside of you and Winer’s little HD handjob quartet, no one really gives a rat’s ass that much, otherwise no one would be buying a Wii, which lacks HD. But, since you spent an arseload on an HD TV and don’t want to look like a prat about it, I suppose you’ll be talking about HD like it’s the second coming for the next decade. I’m really not seeing the lack of functionality in no HD other than the porn may not look as good. But looking at the definitions for HD, (of which there are two), and my MBP screen is 1680×1050, well, technically that is HD. It’s not 1080, but it is HD. Perhaps you should define your terms better in the future.

    Everywhere I look I see Microsoft stuff and they still do have more than 90% of the desktop and laptop market. I guess if they suck ass, they must be sucking ass to a lot of people.

    Ahh, there goes that religion thing again.

    No, that would be your famous “Robert Scoble has all the critical analysis abilities of a myna bird in a jewelry store” coming to play.

    Again, and please, try to get it this time, because I don’t think I can use smaller words:

    When Microsoft cannot be the default choice as they are in the main PC market via OEM deals and licensing agreements, they suck at getting people to buy their stuff over the competition.

    The music player market. The console player market. The smartphone market. These are just three examples of places where Microsoft did not start off with a major player (IBM in the 80s) giving them a boost, and were unable to recreate the onerous OEM licensing deals that made them the default. They had to start out as an underdog and well, their performance has sucked in comparison.

    The desktop and laptop market marketshare would not be 90% by a long shot without their power in the OEM and other licensing deals. Of course, they’re starting to take it in the shorts overseas, especially in the server market.

    Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    I have. It acts about the same as XP. Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom?

    Just tested it on my MacBook Pro with a Wacom Graphire 3 and the 4.95 drivers. Yep. Let me handwrite file names for files and folders. Did you actually attempt to USE the tablet, or did you just plug it in and stare at it? (Oh CRAP, Welch has access to hardware TOO! DAMN!)

  41. Personally, Apple laptops are crippled. They don’t have true HD screens like those from Dell and Acer. So why are you pushing “crippled” PCs in comparison to “real” PCs?

    Yes Robert, we know you’re on your knees in front of the HD gods, but we’ve already established that outside of you and Winer’s little HD handjob quartet, no one really gives a rat’s ass that much, otherwise no one would be buying a Wii, which lacks HD. But, since you spent an arseload on an HD TV and don’t want to look like a prat about it, I suppose you’ll be talking about HD like it’s the second coming for the next decade. I’m really not seeing the lack of functionality in no HD other than the porn may not look as good. But looking at the definitions for HD, (of which there are two), and my MBP screen is 1680×1050, well, technically that is HD. It’s not 1080, but it is HD. Perhaps you should define your terms better in the future.

    Everywhere I look I see Microsoft stuff and they still do have more than 90% of the desktop and laptop market. I guess if they suck ass, they must be sucking ass to a lot of people.

    Ahh, there goes that religion thing again.

    No, that would be your famous “Robert Scoble has all the critical analysis abilities of a myna bird in a jewelry store” coming to play.

    Again, and please, try to get it this time, because I don’t think I can use smaller words:

    When Microsoft cannot be the default choice as they are in the main PC market via OEM deals and licensing agreements, they suck at getting people to buy their stuff over the competition.

    The music player market. The console player market. The smartphone market. These are just three examples of places where Microsoft did not start off with a major player (IBM in the 80s) giving them a boost, and were unable to recreate the onerous OEM licensing deals that made them the default. They had to start out as an underdog and well, their performance has sucked in comparison.

    The desktop and laptop market marketshare would not be 90% by a long shot without their power in the OEM and other licensing deals. Of course, they’re starting to take it in the shorts overseas, especially in the server market.

    Robert, try adding a Wacom tablet to a Mac. There’s quite a few tablet features in that OS now. Yes, yes, I know, that would require some actual work on your part, but do give it a try.

    I have. It acts about the same as XP. Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom?

    Just tested it on my MacBook Pro with a Wacom Graphire 3 and the 4.95 drivers. Yep. Let me handwrite file names for files and folders. Did you actually attempt to USE the tablet, or did you just plug it in and stare at it? (Oh CRAP, Welch has access to hardware TOO! DAMN!)

  42. Oh, and also note that for me to use a Wacom tablet with OS X and use the tablet features, I didn’t need a “tablet version” of OS X, nor did I need to add any features. I plugged the tablet in, installed the drivers, (no reboot), and like the efficient little servant that an OS should be, the features were just there.

    Mmm…not having to get another OS version to use a new feature. If only Microsoft could manage that.

  43. Oh, and also note that for me to use a Wacom tablet with OS X and use the tablet features, I didn’t need a “tablet version” of OS X, nor did I need to add any features. I plugged the tablet in, installed the drivers, (no reboot), and like the efficient little servant that an OS should be, the features were just there.

    Mmm…not having to get another OS version to use a new feature. If only Microsoft could manage that.

  44. Robert, have you not heard of Inkwell (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/inkwell/), which is a technology in OS X that in it’s purest form came from that “non-mainstream” OS called Newton. Like John asked, did you actually try anything with the tablet in OSX?

    How can you call Tablet PC based XP a mainstream OS when you can’t even buy it as a seperate product? Correct me if I am wrong but I have not seen it on any shelves at the local PC shop? I wonder at what point there were more TabletPC’s sold than Newtons?

    A computer OS is somehow not validatedd by the fact it can run Photoshop, thaats alo rediculous. To somehow put the value of Tablet PC on that sort of argument when you had hospitals running on Newtons helping people lives is the ignorrant bit. I use Photoshop on a daily basis as my part of being a UX guy and even I could not imagine using the “Photoshop card” to justify an argument.

    I think you are very quick to jump down peoples throats for exactly ther same thing as you do with MS related topics. Seems I hit a sore point due to you somehow being directly related to the TabletPC team? Remember you were the first to slag off at other companies/individuals, maybe next time spend the time to look at the real timelines without your petty justifications.

  45. Robert, have you not heard of Inkwell (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/inkwell/), which is a technology in OS X that in it’s purest form came from that “non-mainstream” OS called Newton. Like John asked, did you actually try anything with the tablet in OSX?

    How can you call Tablet PC based XP a mainstream OS when you can’t even buy it as a seperate product? Correct me if I am wrong but I have not seen it on any shelves at the local PC shop? I wonder at what point there were more TabletPC’s sold than Newtons?

    A computer OS is somehow not validatedd by the fact it can run Photoshop, thaats alo rediculous. To somehow put the value of Tablet PC on that sort of argument when you had hospitals running on Newtons helping people lives is the ignorrant bit. I use Photoshop on a daily basis as my part of being a UX guy and even I could not imagine using the “Photoshop card” to justify an argument.

    I think you are very quick to jump down peoples throats for exactly ther same thing as you do with MS related topics. Seems I hit a sore point due to you somehow being directly related to the TabletPC team? Remember you were the first to slag off at other companies/individuals, maybe next time spend the time to look at the real timelines without your petty justifications.

  46. If you change a mainstream OS too much to have pen stuff built into it you’ll break applications …. Will Apple push the state of the art?

    I think that if Apple were to do a tablet, they would make enough changes to break applications – after all, they’ve never been shy about breaking compatibility in the past if they thought it would improve the overall experience.

    I’ve posted in your comments before Robert – as a TC1000 owner, I think the decision to stick a few stylus functions on top of WinXP has essentially made the Tablet PC (in tablet mode) useless for anything but a few niche uses. YMMV of course.

  47. If you change a mainstream OS too much to have pen stuff built into it you’ll break applications …. Will Apple push the state of the art?

    I think that if Apple were to do a tablet, they would make enough changes to break applications – after all, they’ve never been shy about breaking compatibility in the past if they thought it would improve the overall experience.

    I’ve posted in your comments before Robert – as a TC1000 owner, I think the decision to stick a few stylus functions on top of WinXP has essentially made the Tablet PC (in tablet mode) useless for anything but a few niche uses. YMMV of course.

  48. I’m a tablet naysayer (and apple fan) and I would eat my hat if Apple introduced a tablet. Why? Because nobody has created a tablet that is a functional PC for everyday use. You say millions have been sold… but have you ever seen anyone in coffee shop or an airplane or an office using a tablet? I live in New York and see scores if not hundreds of computers at day when I’m out and about and I have never seen a tablet in use.

    The main problem with the tablet: you need a keyboard to send email and a tablet + a keyboard essentially = a laptop. It’s that simple. Without a keyboard it’s not a full powered computer.

    I know you like tablets and wish and hope Apple would make one that solves some of the problems with the MS version but it’s not going to happen because apple has bigger fish to fry. What has more mass appeal, a tablet or a device that allows you to move all your music and video to any screen in the house, how about a tablet or an mp3 stereo component, or a tablet and a subnotebook… there are just too many other options before you get to tablet.

  49. I’m a tablet naysayer (and apple fan) and I would eat my hat if Apple introduced a tablet. Why? Because nobody has created a tablet that is a functional PC for everyday use. You say millions have been sold… but have you ever seen anyone in coffee shop or an airplane or an office using a tablet? I live in New York and see scores if not hundreds of computers at day when I’m out and about and I have never seen a tablet in use.

    The main problem with the tablet: you need a keyboard to send email and a tablet + a keyboard essentially = a laptop. It’s that simple. Without a keyboard it’s not a full powered computer.

    I know you like tablets and wish and hope Apple would make one that solves some of the problems with the MS version but it’s not going to happen because apple has bigger fish to fry. What has more mass appeal, a tablet or a device that allows you to move all your music and video to any screen in the house, how about a tablet or an mp3 stereo component, or a tablet and a subnotebook… there are just too many other options before you get to tablet.

  50. Justin and Anona,

    Don’t get discouraged. Robert uses a classic tactic of putting words in your mouth so he can fully flesh out his canned arguments.

    In his world, Tablet PC is a sucess. The only reason it hasn’t be sucessful is that it hasn’t been marketed right. That theory of course assumes consumers are stupid.

    The possibility that the Tablet PC in Microsoft’s incarnation isn’t that useful or compelling CAN’T BE POSSIBLE. Oh woe be Robert, consumers must be too dumb to understand it’s greatness.

  51. Justin and Anona,

    Don’t get discouraged. Robert uses a classic tactic of putting words in your mouth so he can fully flesh out his canned arguments.

    In his world, Tablet PC is a sucess. The only reason it hasn’t be sucessful is that it hasn’t been marketed right. That theory of course assumes consumers are stupid.

    The possibility that the Tablet PC in Microsoft’s incarnation isn’t that useful or compelling CAN’T BE POSSIBLE. Oh woe be Robert, consumers must be too dumb to understand it’s greatness.

  52. @31 Let’s not forget Scoble also put a camcorder in front of some folks on the Tablet team, so that makes him even more of an expert.Nevermind the fact he had no respsonsibility for designing, coding, marketing, or shipping the product.

    By any measure the TabletPC sales are dismal. Scoble, why don’t you simply admit the Tablet appeals to a niche market? Nothing wrong with that But to suggest it has potential beyond that is naive.

  53. @31 Let’s not forget Scoble also put a camcorder in front of some folks on the Tablet team, so that makes him even more of an expert.Nevermind the fact he had no respsonsibility for designing, coding, marketing, or shipping the product.

    By any measure the TabletPC sales are dismal. Scoble, why don’t you simply admit the Tablet appeals to a niche market? Nothing wrong with that But to suggest it has potential beyond that is naive.

  54. For what it’s worth, Tablet PCs numbers-wise are selling just as well as the MacBook.

    And I see a lot of them in my neck of the woods (Minneapolis) at coffee shops, etc. BTW–do check out the ThinkPad X41–the build quality is amazing (built like a tank), and the form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc. make it one of the best laptops I’ve seen.

  55. For what it’s worth, Tablet PCs numbers-wise are selling just as well as the MacBook.

    And I see a lot of them in my neck of the woods (Minneapolis) at coffee shops, etc. BTW–do check out the ThinkPad X41–the build quality is amazing (built like a tank), and the form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc. make it one of the best laptops I’ve seen.

  56. “The market is quite large. Every student in the world would like one, but today’s offerings just ain’t comparing to laptops”

    Please cite your sources on which this statement is based.

    Because my anecdotal research shows that “every student in the world” would prefer a MacBook. Just based on what my kids (who are high school and college students) are telling me.

    If you have actual data that supports your contention, I would love to see it.

  57. “The market is quite large. Every student in the world would like one, but today’s offerings just ain’t comparing to laptops”

    Please cite your sources on which this statement is based.

    Because my anecdotal research shows that “every student in the world” would prefer a MacBook. Just based on what my kids (who are high school and college students) are telling me.

    If you have actual data that supports your contention, I would love to see it.

  58. Tablet PC ideas have been around almost as long as the personal computer. There is nothing original in MS doing this.

  59. Tablet PC ideas have been around almost as long as the personal computer. There is nothing original in MS doing this.

  60. I think the problem with the TabletPC is that it is a product of considerable market research, and no doubt endless focus groups. The products that often emerge as compromises that really please no one. I think that what Apple does is just build what it considers to be a good device. This can lead to some spectacular failures (the Cube), but it can also result in some inspired products, like the first gen iPod (which I still have to this day).

    I think that Apple will put out a product “its way”, with an emphasis on style, utility, and integration between the OS and the hardware which will result in as seemless an experience as possible.

    Let’s face it. The model works, hence why the Zune is a Microsoft Product, as opposed to a specification for other hardware manufacturers/partners.

  61. I think the problem with the TabletPC is that it is a product of considerable market research, and no doubt endless focus groups. The products that often emerge as compromises that really please no one. I think that what Apple does is just build what it considers to be a good device. This can lead to some spectacular failures (the Cube), but it can also result in some inspired products, like the first gen iPod (which I still have to this day).

    I think that Apple will put out a product “its way”, with an emphasis on style, utility, and integration between the OS and the hardware which will result in as seemless an experience as possible.

    Let’s face it. The model works, hence why the Zune is a Microsoft Product, as opposed to a specification for other hardware manufacturers/partners.

  62. The question is not whether Apple could make a Tablet Mac, because obviously they could. The question is whether there’s a market outside the busy-exec niche.

    Having walked many a hall at Microsoft, I know that many a Microsoftie owns a Tablet PC, the only ones who actually *use* a tablet (aside from the Tablet PC team) are product managers and other executive-level people.

    The Tablet PC target market, as the internal MS Tablet PC literature makes quite clear, consists solely of people who have no time whatsoever to sit down to compose formal documents during a normal working day.

    Target Tablet PC users are primarily note-takers, review commenters, checklist checkers and/or form-fillers during some large portion of their day, and during the rest of their day, have no free time to transcribe notes and lists and/or forms from paper to computer.

    So. Busy managers, doctors and nurses, and maybe the inventory-control guy.

    Students, writers and journalists are the other groups often mentioned as potential Tableteers, but I don’t buy it.
    – Students don’t usually need to transcribe notes into electronic form.
    – Writers prefer faster input and more powerful editing.
    – Journalists need to think about what they’re hearing and interact with their interview subjects, and the Tablet is just going to distract everyone involved in the process.

    So, there you have it. If most of your day consists of composing simple pithy comments, doodling design changes, reviewing other peoples’ work, and signing off on contracts/work orders, you need a Tablet PC. The rest of us? Meh. Not so much.

    Which is precisely why so many Microsoft managerial types tout the Tablet, and the rest of us (minus the gadget-happy) really don’t give a damn either way — and incidentally also why the PDA market appears to have gone quite stagnant.

    Since Apple clearly has never really cared about the Tablet PC’s target users, we’re left with a few questions about an Apple tablet.

    1) Could Apple design a touch-screen-oriented overlay for its current OS design that would provide considerably more day-to-day functionality than the current Tablet PC does?

    I think the answer to this one is ‘yes’. Apple’s recent patents describing ‘multi-touch’ inputs for object manipulation and transient on-screen UI controls point to ways that an Apple tablet OS would operate, and they go well beyond standard Tablet Edition functionality.

    2) Could Apple *add* Tablet functionality to its current laptop lineup without compromising on cost, weight and current functionality?

    I’ll say up-front that I own a 15″ PowerBook, and like many Apple laptop owners, I expect to do absolutely everything with one 5.5-pound machine. I don’t want to carry a separate keyboard. I won’t plan on docking with a desktop machine.

    I want *at least* the same battery life. I don’t want tablet functionality if it pushes the weight up more than, say, half a pound or the cost by more than $200.

    Can Apple do that? Probably not, but then, neither has Microsoft.

  63. The question is not whether Apple could make a Tablet Mac, because obviously they could. The question is whether there’s a market outside the busy-exec niche.

    Having walked many a hall at Microsoft, I know that many a Microsoftie owns a Tablet PC, the only ones who actually *use* a tablet (aside from the Tablet PC team) are product managers and other executive-level people.

    The Tablet PC target market, as the internal MS Tablet PC literature makes quite clear, consists solely of people who have no time whatsoever to sit down to compose formal documents during a normal working day.

    Target Tablet PC users are primarily note-takers, review commenters, checklist checkers and/or form-fillers during some large portion of their day, and during the rest of their day, have no free time to transcribe notes and lists and/or forms from paper to computer.

    So. Busy managers, doctors and nurses, and maybe the inventory-control guy.

    Students, writers and journalists are the other groups often mentioned as potential Tableteers, but I don’t buy it.
    – Students don’t usually need to transcribe notes into electronic form.
    – Writers prefer faster input and more powerful editing.
    – Journalists need to think about what they’re hearing and interact with their interview subjects, and the Tablet is just going to distract everyone involved in the process.

    So, there you have it. If most of your day consists of composing simple pithy comments, doodling design changes, reviewing other peoples’ work, and signing off on contracts/work orders, you need a Tablet PC. The rest of us? Meh. Not so much.

    Which is precisely why so many Microsoft managerial types tout the Tablet, and the rest of us (minus the gadget-happy) really don’t give a damn either way — and incidentally also why the PDA market appears to have gone quite stagnant.

    Since Apple clearly has never really cared about the Tablet PC’s target users, we’re left with a few questions about an Apple tablet.

    1) Could Apple design a touch-screen-oriented overlay for its current OS design that would provide considerably more day-to-day functionality than the current Tablet PC does?

    I think the answer to this one is ‘yes’. Apple’s recent patents describing ‘multi-touch’ inputs for object manipulation and transient on-screen UI controls point to ways that an Apple tablet OS would operate, and they go well beyond standard Tablet Edition functionality.

    2) Could Apple *add* Tablet functionality to its current laptop lineup without compromising on cost, weight and current functionality?

    I’ll say up-front that I own a 15″ PowerBook, and like many Apple laptop owners, I expect to do absolutely everything with one 5.5-pound machine. I don’t want to carry a separate keyboard. I won’t plan on docking with a desktop machine.

    I want *at least* the same battery life. I don’t want tablet functionality if it pushes the weight up more than, say, half a pound or the cost by more than $200.

    Can Apple do that? Probably not, but then, neither has Microsoft.

  64. I’m a medical student, and a tablet pc user. And i’ve read through the comments and am going to share my two cents.

    I won’t dispute that the current iteration of the tablet pc isn’t perfect, but i will still admit its a hugely useful tool. Windows Vista, improves on the tablet functionality, and i can’t wait until there are more players in the market place.

    In my perspective one of the main reasons that the tablet pc isn’t more popular is marketing.
    I’ve been in love w/ the whole idea of being able to write on your pc, from the first days of grafitti. Honestly, i heard about the Newton after i heard about the tablet pc about 4 yrs ago.

    I think the reason why tablets aren’t more popular, honestly is marketing. i’ve found out about tablets, b/c i’m obsessed w/ technology, but i know before i got my own tablet, and i would rant to friends and classmates about it, noone knew what i was talking about.

    They are rare to find in general retail, and even when stores carry them, their sales associates are clueless, or they are missing vital parts (LIKE THE PEN!!!)

    When i finally got my tablet, and classmates, and teachers saw how i used it, they were in awe. Most people were like if they’d known about it when they were buying their notebooks, they’d have bought that instead of a conventional notebook.

    I think MS has a huge potential market, but honestly the marketing for the tablet pc sucks. The uses are endless from the artistic/creative perspective, engineers, architects…students, lawyers…anybody that uses paper and knows how to write can benefit from the integration of the most intuitive form of recording and the technology available in today’s modern computers.

    Other issues w/ the tablet pc right now..are price point. In terms of power, and screen resolution, i think those are less of an issue, tablet specifications are on par w/ those of other currently available notebooks. I hope now that tablet functionality has been included w/ the Windows Vista OS that more manufacturers will jump into the market place and help to lower the price point.

    I don’t doubt that an Apple product would be a nice addition to the market place, would i switch, not absolutely sure, i’d have to relearn how to do the things i already know how to do.

    Apple is known for aesthetically appealing products, that do what they’re intended for. My issue w/ apple, is that they in themselves behave very niche like,
    the price point for their products is also high, and i understand its b/c they’re a smaller company, but sometimes their prices just seem ridiculously high.

    For the most part, their products seem, well researched, and like alot of creativity goes into the process of coming up w/ a good product. i feel like the latest iteration of pc’s was rushed however. The issues that the Macbooks & Macbook Pros had were a tarnish on Apple’s record.

    MS has good ideas…but i feel like the company has become too big and everything gets tangled up in the bureaucracy. They have good ideas, but issues, actually carrying them out to fruition. That & MS desperately needs help with Marketing. DESPERATELY.

  65. I’m a medical student, and a tablet pc user. And i’ve read through the comments and am going to share my two cents.

    I won’t dispute that the current iteration of the tablet pc isn’t perfect, but i will still admit its a hugely useful tool. Windows Vista, improves on the tablet functionality, and i can’t wait until there are more players in the market place.

    In my perspective one of the main reasons that the tablet pc isn’t more popular is marketing.
    I’ve been in love w/ the whole idea of being able to write on your pc, from the first days of grafitti. Honestly, i heard about the Newton after i heard about the tablet pc about 4 yrs ago.

    I think the reason why tablets aren’t more popular, honestly is marketing. i’ve found out about tablets, b/c i’m obsessed w/ technology, but i know before i got my own tablet, and i would rant to friends and classmates about it, noone knew what i was talking about.

    They are rare to find in general retail, and even when stores carry them, their sales associates are clueless, or they are missing vital parts (LIKE THE PEN!!!)

    When i finally got my tablet, and classmates, and teachers saw how i used it, they were in awe. Most people were like if they’d known about it when they were buying their notebooks, they’d have bought that instead of a conventional notebook.

    I think MS has a huge potential market, but honestly the marketing for the tablet pc sucks. The uses are endless from the artistic/creative perspective, engineers, architects…students, lawyers…anybody that uses paper and knows how to write can benefit from the integration of the most intuitive form of recording and the technology available in today’s modern computers.

    Other issues w/ the tablet pc right now..are price point. In terms of power, and screen resolution, i think those are less of an issue, tablet specifications are on par w/ those of other currently available notebooks. I hope now that tablet functionality has been included w/ the Windows Vista OS that more manufacturers will jump into the market place and help to lower the price point.

    I don’t doubt that an Apple product would be a nice addition to the market place, would i switch, not absolutely sure, i’d have to relearn how to do the things i already know how to do.

    Apple is known for aesthetically appealing products, that do what they’re intended for. My issue w/ apple, is that they in themselves behave very niche like,
    the price point for their products is also high, and i understand its b/c they’re a smaller company, but sometimes their prices just seem ridiculously high.

    For the most part, their products seem, well researched, and like alot of creativity goes into the process of coming up w/ a good product. i feel like the latest iteration of pc’s was rushed however. The issues that the Macbooks & Macbook Pros had were a tarnish on Apple’s record.

    MS has good ideas…but i feel like the company has become too big and everything gets tangled up in the bureaucracy. They have good ideas, but issues, actually carrying them out to fruition. That & MS desperately needs help with Marketing. DESPERATELY.

  66. No, it’s about the *consumer* market, not the *business* market.

    Forget about ‘executive niches’ or tablets for firemen, doctors, and nurses. No. That’s not what it’s about.

    An Apple tablet–like the iPod–would be aimed at *consumers* (for the same reasons Will Parker mentions about executives).

    Let’s say you already have a desktop or notebook computer. Even a typical notebook computer (15″ or larger screen) is large and clunky to carry around your house if all you want to do is check e-mail (how often do you check e-mail vs. send e-mail?) or do a quick chat or check the web for the weather?

    No, an Apple tablet will be like an iPod: a consumer accessory as opposed to a full-fledged computer.

    Think of it as an iPod that has touch-screen input and can play movies–and PDFs and web pages and text/audio/video chats!

    It’s more about *displaying* information than about *entering* information. It can enter information, but it’s not optimized for it.

    So it would have to be pretty small and have a small screen. 10 inches maybe? Not sure.

    It will not replace your desktop or your notebook computer. It is an accessory, like the iPod. It’s pure convenience for viewing things, but much bigger than a PDA, whose screens are too small to do anything useful.

  67. No, it’s about the *consumer* market, not the *business* market.

    Forget about ‘executive niches’ or tablets for firemen, doctors, and nurses. No. That’s not what it’s about.

    An Apple tablet–like the iPod–would be aimed at *consumers* (for the same reasons Will Parker mentions about executives).

    Let’s say you already have a desktop or notebook computer. Even a typical notebook computer (15″ or larger screen) is large and clunky to carry around your house if all you want to do is check e-mail (how often do you check e-mail vs. send e-mail?) or do a quick chat or check the web for the weather?

    No, an Apple tablet will be like an iPod: a consumer accessory as opposed to a full-fledged computer.

    Think of it as an iPod that has touch-screen input and can play movies–and PDFs and web pages and text/audio/video chats!

    It’s more about *displaying* information than about *entering* information. It can enter information, but it’s not optimized for it.

    So it would have to be pretty small and have a small screen. 10 inches maybe? Not sure.

    It will not replace your desktop or your notebook computer. It is an accessory, like the iPod. It’s pure convenience for viewing things, but much bigger than a PDA, whose screens are too small to do anything useful.

  68. Lou–Microsoft introduced and nixed a product just like you are talking about; they called it a “Smart Display.” I think it’s a idea likely still a bit ahead of its time.

  69. I agree about Microsoft’s marketing for the Tablets (DRTigerlilly)–it sucks. Like Robert said… if Steve Jobs had introduced the Tablet PC at a keynote instead of Microsoft, the Apple faithful and the press (sorry, sort of redundant) would ooooh and ahhhhh over it like sheep and talk about how it’s yet another example of how innovative Apple is and Microsoft isn’t. (And, of course, the Microsoft fanboys would call it yet another Newton… and the Apple zealots would reply that the Newton was actually a great product… etc. etc. ad nauseam).

  70. I agree about Microsoft’s marketing for the Tablets (DRTigerlilly)–it sucks. Like Robert said… if Steve Jobs had introduced the Tablet PC at a keynote instead of Microsoft, the Apple faithful and the press (sorry, sort of redundant) would ooooh and ahhhhh over it like sheep and talk about how it’s yet another example of how innovative Apple is and Microsoft isn’t. (And, of course, the Microsoft fanboys would call it yet another Newton… and the Apple zealots would reply that the Newton was actually a great product… etc. etc. ad nauseam).

  71. Lou–Microsoft introduced and nixed a product just like you are talking about; they called it a “Smart Display.” I think it’s a idea likely still a bit ahead of its time.

  72. So I’m writing pretty far downthread, and I have a distinction that nobody so far has had: I still use my Newton every day.

    If OS X with Ink can act like a gesture driven system, then it will instantly beat a Windows Tablet PC in quality. I know this because I tried using my wife’s work-related tablet, and the thing was horrible. The pen interface was horrid, in that the system was amouse, keyboard, and keystroke designed system that had a pen grafted on top. With gestures, you don’t have that issue, and the Newton is f%&^ing incredible at being the ultimate paper pad, not really a computer. It just DOES things that a computer should, and it does them nearly 10 years after it was discontinued.

    Does it need to do Photoshop? Well, i’d love it to, and agree with a poster upthread who said that one machine is all that should be required. But the Newton (even now) does ethernet, wifi, and bluetooth. Pretty slick, that.

    Was it a major OS? Scoble, you’re silly for bringing that up. It’s not even worthy of a response.

    The point is, Ink on OS X might be easily modifiable in such a way that the gestures make sense. By gestures, I mean:

    – tap-n-drag for clippings that can be cut or copied, and pasting that is drop pasting or copy-pasting, depending on how you interact with the clipping stored on the edge of the screen (multiple clipboards are possible on the Newton, for example)
    – text manipulation that involves highlighting, drag-n-drop, and more
    – text editing where you instantly convert ink to computer text, and use editing notes (totally intuitive) to either pull together words, separate words, and more
    – simple window manipulation (on a screen that small, it’s important) in which menus and edges don’t take up so damn much space, like in Windows-on-a-phone or whatever other inappropriate place it’s been dumped.

    What’s missing, and what made the Newton unique, was a way of funneling data from app to app. All data was available to all source, and the apps were merely front ends to the databases. That’s great. Can that sort of interoperability of data show up in an Apple machine running CoreData? If SQLlite continues to be important in Leopard, then perhaps.

    The patents from Apple indicate that they are very much moving forward on pen interfaces, just not in public. Jobs admitted to having a PDA ready to go, but not putting it on the market because that market was dying. They are savvy at marketing, after all. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a working unit, but aren’t ready to sell it, yet. If it’s not for the consumer, it won’t come out their door…

  73. So I’m writing pretty far downthread, and I have a distinction that nobody so far has had: I still use my Newton every day.

    If OS X with Ink can act like a gesture driven system, then it will instantly beat a Windows Tablet PC in quality. I know this because I tried using my wife’s work-related tablet, and the thing was horrible. The pen interface was horrid, in that the system was amouse, keyboard, and keystroke designed system that had a pen grafted on top. With gestures, you don’t have that issue, and the Newton is f%&^ing incredible at being the ultimate paper pad, not really a computer. It just DOES things that a computer should, and it does them nearly 10 years after it was discontinued.

    Does it need to do Photoshop? Well, i’d love it to, and agree with a poster upthread who said that one machine is all that should be required. But the Newton (even now) does ethernet, wifi, and bluetooth. Pretty slick, that.

    Was it a major OS? Scoble, you’re silly for bringing that up. It’s not even worthy of a response.

    The point is, Ink on OS X might be easily modifiable in such a way that the gestures make sense. By gestures, I mean:

    – tap-n-drag for clippings that can be cut or copied, and pasting that is drop pasting or copy-pasting, depending on how you interact with the clipping stored on the edge of the screen (multiple clipboards are possible on the Newton, for example)
    – text manipulation that involves highlighting, drag-n-drop, and more
    – text editing where you instantly convert ink to computer text, and use editing notes (totally intuitive) to either pull together words, separate words, and more
    – simple window manipulation (on a screen that small, it’s important) in which menus and edges don’t take up so damn much space, like in Windows-on-a-phone or whatever other inappropriate place it’s been dumped.

    What’s missing, and what made the Newton unique, was a way of funneling data from app to app. All data was available to all source, and the apps were merely front ends to the databases. That’s great. Can that sort of interoperability of data show up in an Apple machine running CoreData? If SQLlite continues to be important in Leopard, then perhaps.

    The patents from Apple indicate that they are very much moving forward on pen interfaces, just not in public. Jobs admitted to having a PDA ready to go, but not putting it on the market because that market was dying. They are savvy at marketing, after all. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a working unit, but aren’t ready to sell it, yet. If it’s not for the consumer, it won’t come out their door…

  74. […] To round out the blog circus, Robert Scoble does his best riff on c:/ongrtlns.w95. Scoble has been known to beat the drum about how “it’s all about ‘user scenarios’, man!” and tablet PCs gots teh mad “user scenarios”. If you can’t use your Mac while stuck head-down in a dumpster with your butt cheeks taped together and oven mitts on your hands and your pants down around (up around?) your ankles and a sock stuck in your mouth (it could happen!), well, don’t come crying to Robert Scoble! Because someone, somewhere sells a Windows-based tablet for exactly that “user scenario”! Advantage Windows! […]

  75. Actually, I was talking about this with a buddy of mine at work.

    A person I used to work with–Mac guy–got a tablet when he started a new position. He absolutely loved it! From what I’ve seen around the Web, most Tablet Zealots are just as “bad” as Mac Zealots. Not that that’s a bad thing…

    But one of the interesting things about an Apple Tablet, IMHO, is that it would take an Apple Tablet to “legitimize” the tablet concept. Sure, Microsoft has had Tablet PCs and a tablet-ready operating system for a few years. And what do they have to show for it? A small cadre of rabid fans, but the Tablet PC hasn’t really been all that successful and groundbreaking for the world at large.

    As I said to my lunch partner, an Apple Tablet would “legitimize” the Tablet concept in the same way that the IBM PC “legitimized” the personal computer. Remember back in the early 1980s, those PCs were cute toys, but real computers came from IBM. When IBM came out with a personal computer, that was the cue for businesspeople to look into them.

    Well, the Tablet PC is an innovative device. And, lord knows, PC makers aren’t known for innovation. So they don’t know how to market it. Microsoft is not known for innovation either, necessarily. But Apple is–and you’re right that if Apple came out with a tablet, everyone would be talking about it.

    The PC world has the problem in that it competes with itself–“Should I buy a $1500 tablet or a $1000 laptop? I dunno–this tablet thing seems weird. It would be ‘safer’ to buy the laptop.” That’s why PC companies build “hybrids”–because nobody wants to take the risk. But, again, why should I pay $1500 for a “hybrid” that I can use as a regular laptop in case this pen thing doesn’t work out when I can buy that $1000 laptop?

    Mac users already took a risk when they went with Apple to begin with, so we can identify Mac users as risk takers. They’re also a pretty vociferous lot, so we’d be hearing alot about how great tablets are. Apple would also provide some much needed marketing for the tablet concept.

  76. Actually, I was talking about this with a buddy of mine at work.

    A person I used to work with–Mac guy–got a tablet when he started a new position. He absolutely loved it! From what I’ve seen around the Web, most Tablet Zealots are just as “bad” as Mac Zealots. Not that that’s a bad thing…

    But one of the interesting things about an Apple Tablet, IMHO, is that it would take an Apple Tablet to “legitimize” the tablet concept. Sure, Microsoft has had Tablet PCs and a tablet-ready operating system for a few years. And what do they have to show for it? A small cadre of rabid fans, but the Tablet PC hasn’t really been all that successful and groundbreaking for the world at large.

    As I said to my lunch partner, an Apple Tablet would “legitimize” the Tablet concept in the same way that the IBM PC “legitimized” the personal computer. Remember back in the early 1980s, those PCs were cute toys, but real computers came from IBM. When IBM came out with a personal computer, that was the cue for businesspeople to look into them.

    Well, the Tablet PC is an innovative device. And, lord knows, PC makers aren’t known for innovation. So they don’t know how to market it. Microsoft is not known for innovation either, necessarily. But Apple is–and you’re right that if Apple came out with a tablet, everyone would be talking about it.

    The PC world has the problem in that it competes with itself–“Should I buy a $1500 tablet or a $1000 laptop? I dunno–this tablet thing seems weird. It would be ‘safer’ to buy the laptop.” That’s why PC companies build “hybrids”–because nobody wants to take the risk. But, again, why should I pay $1500 for a “hybrid” that I can use as a regular laptop in case this pen thing doesn’t work out when I can buy that $1000 laptop?

    Mac users already took a risk when they went with Apple to begin with, so we can identify Mac users as risk takers. They’re also a pretty vociferous lot, so we’d be hearing alot about how great tablets are. Apple would also provide some much needed marketing for the tablet concept.

  77. I would be first (at least one of the first) in line should Apple ever decide to release a Tablet running OS X. The Tablet PC is the thing that has brought me the closest to buying a Windows computer, despite my many misgivings about XP (which I use at work).

    Many apps would benefit from the Tablet input, 4 that come quickly to mind are these:

    Aqua Minds NoteTaker
    http://www.aquaminds.com/product.jsp

    Aqua Minds NoteShare
    http://www.aquaminds.com/nsProduct.jsp

    Circus Ponies NoteBook
    http://www.circusponies.com/store/index.php?main_page=notebook&sub=organize

    Devon Technologies DEVONnote
    http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/devonnote/index.html

    To anybody with a Mac, I would highly recommend any of these apps. Devon also has a couple of cool apps called DEVONagent and DEVONthinkThey all have demos available for a trial period. Well worth a look and just crying out for a Tablet to tun on.

  78. I would be first (at least one of the first) in line should Apple ever decide to release a Tablet running OS X. The Tablet PC is the thing that has brought me the closest to buying a Windows computer, despite my many misgivings about XP (which I use at work).

    Many apps would benefit from the Tablet input, 4 that come quickly to mind are these:

    Aqua Minds NoteTaker
    http://www.aquaminds.com/product.jsp

    Aqua Minds NoteShare
    http://www.aquaminds.com/nsProduct.jsp

    Circus Ponies NoteBook
    http://www.circusponies.com/store/index.php?main_page=notebook&sub=organize

    Devon Technologies DEVONnote
    http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/devonnote/index.html

    To anybody with a Mac, I would highly recommend any of these apps. Devon also has a couple of cool apps called DEVONagent and DEVONthinkThey all have demos available for a trial period. Well worth a look and just crying out for a Tablet to tun on.

  79. And I see a lot of them in my neck of the woods (Minneapolis) at coffee shops, etc. BTW–do check out the ThinkPad X41–the build quality is amazing (built like a tank), and the form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc. make it one of the best laptops I’ve seen.

    If this is the best the tablet market currently has, I’m utterly unimpressed.

    $2200 US gets me:

    a single Pentium M at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 12″ screen and a 60GB hard drive.

    That’s not noticeably better than my 17″ powerbook, and I can tell you that I can get a LOT more work done with a 17″ monitor than a 12″ one.

    If we go to it’s replacement, the X60, it’s a little better.

    Up to a 1.83GHz Core Duo, (not Core 2 Duo) CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 100GB hard drive, and the standard wireless. However, it’s still just a 12″ screen. Price? $2400

    This isn’t even available, and it’s already way behind, and overpriced. For that much money, I can get a faster MacBook pro with a bigger, nicer screen, just as much RAM, a bigger hard drive, and have enough left over for an Intous 3 tablet, or a really big graphire tablet.

    If that’s the cream of the Tablet crop, it’s gone a tad rancid.

  80. And I see a lot of them in my neck of the woods (Minneapolis) at coffee shops, etc. BTW–do check out the ThinkPad X41–the build quality is amazing (built like a tank), and the form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc. make it one of the best laptops I’ve seen.

    If this is the best the tablet market currently has, I’m utterly unimpressed.

    $2200 US gets me:

    a single Pentium M at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 12″ screen and a 60GB hard drive.

    That’s not noticeably better than my 17″ powerbook, and I can tell you that I can get a LOT more work done with a 17″ monitor than a 12″ one.

    If we go to it’s replacement, the X60, it’s a little better.

    Up to a 1.83GHz Core Duo, (not Core 2 Duo) CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 100GB hard drive, and the standard wireless. However, it’s still just a 12″ screen. Price? $2400

    This isn’t even available, and it’s already way behind, and overpriced. For that much money, I can get a faster MacBook pro with a bigger, nicer screen, just as much RAM, a bigger hard drive, and have enough left over for an Intous 3 tablet, or a really big graphire tablet.

    If that’s the cream of the Tablet crop, it’s gone a tad rancid.

  81. “most Microsoft workers sit at a desk all day long and have multiple monitors. That doesn’t match the real world most of us work in. ”

    Yes, multiple monitors… that’s why. Throughout the rest of the world, the workers have one monitor but they levitate and constantly change positions with the person next to them, making Tablets SOOOO valuable.

  82. “most Microsoft workers sit at a desk all day long and have multiple monitors. That doesn’t match the real world most of us work in. ”

    Yes, multiple monitors… that’s why. Throughout the rest of the world, the workers have one monitor but they levitate and constantly change positions with the person next to them, making Tablets SOOOO valuable.

  83. And let’s break it down simply, because clearly, Scoble, you no longer deserve to WHORE off of this topic after 4 years of nonsense:

    “Ahh, the rumors have started up again that Apple is working on a Tablet PC. I can’t wait, cause then all the Tablet naysayers will ooohhh, and aaaahhhh, and praise Steve Jobs for being a visionary.”

    You can’t wait (but you will because a full-featured Mac Tablet is not coming for a long time) because you will want one. The naysayers won’t praise anyone for being a visionary, they will praise Apple for doing a product correctly, at the right time, and at the right price rather than mangling it for 6 years and overpromising it’s value and import.

    Done.

  84. And let’s break it down simply, because clearly, Scoble, you no longer deserve to WHORE off of this topic after 4 years of nonsense:

    “Ahh, the rumors have started up again that Apple is working on a Tablet PC. I can’t wait, cause then all the Tablet naysayers will ooohhh, and aaaahhhh, and praise Steve Jobs for being a visionary.”

    You can’t wait (but you will because a full-featured Mac Tablet is not coming for a long time) because you will want one. The naysayers won’t praise anyone for being a visionary, they will praise Apple for doing a product correctly, at the right time, and at the right price rather than mangling it for 6 years and overpromising it’s value and import.

    Done.

  85. John–again, “build quality… form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc.”–these are what make the X41 such a great machine. It’s well-known in the tablet world that in true “tablet” scenarios, the machine has to be about 4 lbs. or less–anything more than that starts to feel like carrying an armful of bricks after awhile. If you want a 17″ screen, dock it to or hook up an external monitor–heck, hook up a 42″ LCD (or two) or even a projector if you want. But a 17″, 7 lbs. laptop? That’s not very tablet-friendly, in the same way that most folks would prefer to take notes on a 6×9 steno book than a ledger-size tome.

    The fingerprint scanner takes care of the authentication issue when the keyboard is closed–another feature that makes the pen-based computing much more enjoyable and convenient (not to mention it works slick).

    The battery life is amazing–I’ve seen close to 8 hours.

    And the build quality of the ThinkPads is legendary–they consistently rate at the top of the charts.

    If we’re talking about straight price and CPU/RAM/hard drive/etc. hardware specs, I wouldn’t suggest the X41–there are plenty of other 17″ (and larger) laptops out there that would gladly accept that challenge. But even then, if you look around a little (rather than simply forking over list price), you can find X41s brand new–from IBM–starting at $1084.

  86. John–again, “build quality… form factor, weight, fingerprint scanner, battery life, etc.”–these are what make the X41 such a great machine. It’s well-known in the tablet world that in true “tablet” scenarios, the machine has to be about 4 lbs. or less–anything more than that starts to feel like carrying an armful of bricks after awhile. If you want a 17″ screen, dock it to or hook up an external monitor–heck, hook up a 42″ LCD (or two) or even a projector if you want. But a 17″, 7 lbs. laptop? That’s not very tablet-friendly, in the same way that most folks would prefer to take notes on a 6×9 steno book than a ledger-size tome.

    The fingerprint scanner takes care of the authentication issue when the keyboard is closed–another feature that makes the pen-based computing much more enjoyable and convenient (not to mention it works slick).

    The battery life is amazing–I’ve seen close to 8 hours.

    And the build quality of the ThinkPads is legendary–they consistently rate at the top of the charts.

    If we’re talking about straight price and CPU/RAM/hard drive/etc. hardware specs, I wouldn’t suggest the X41–there are plenty of other 17″ (and larger) laptops out there that would gladly accept that challenge. But even then, if you look around a little (rather than simply forking over list price), you can find X41s brand new–from IBM–starting at $1084.

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  88. Ryan,

    So now you have what? A machine that’s underspec’d for grahphics work, with a too-small screen anyway. Fingerprint auth is nice, but it’s hardly a selling point outside of a narrow range of use. As far as the battery life goes, well, I’d hope it was good, considering how underpowered the thing is. However, I don’t see “Dog slow for anything other than text processing, but look at how long you can be slow for!” as a real marketing cry, unless you’re Microsoft. In any event, battery life claims without usage habit documentation are of no value.

    By making it underpowered and giving it a tiny screen, you’ve eviscerated the design market’s use of this, which is one of the markets that Robert and the rest keep saying this is targeted at. Hell, on a 12″ screen, Office 2007’s Ribbon becomes a real problem.

    Handwriting sucks for anything other than short notes, as typing is far faster. Handwriting kills multitasking too. I can type for long periods of time and never look at the screen. Handwriting is visual, not tactile, so you can’t do that without looking at the screen. A tablet may be initially less distracting in a meeting, until the lack of eye contact takes over. Along with the lack of speed, not a potent combo. Try correcting typos blind with handwriting, then with typing. Oh, and typing doesn’t just start in a random place on the screen the way a stylus can and does if you aren’t careful.

    So what’s left?

    Short notes in a wider range of positions. For this you pay a premium, and live with an underpowered machine?

    I think not, and based on sales figures, so do a loooooot of others.

  89. Ryan,

    So now you have what? A machine that’s underspec’d for grahphics work, with a too-small screen anyway. Fingerprint auth is nice, but it’s hardly a selling point outside of a narrow range of use. As far as the battery life goes, well, I’d hope it was good, considering how underpowered the thing is. However, I don’t see “Dog slow for anything other than text processing, but look at how long you can be slow for!” as a real marketing cry, unless you’re Microsoft. In any event, battery life claims without usage habit documentation are of no value.

    By making it underpowered and giving it a tiny screen, you’ve eviscerated the design market’s use of this, which is one of the markets that Robert and the rest keep saying this is targeted at. Hell, on a 12″ screen, Office 2007’s Ribbon becomes a real problem.

    Handwriting sucks for anything other than short notes, as typing is far faster. Handwriting kills multitasking too. I can type for long periods of time and never look at the screen. Handwriting is visual, not tactile, so you can’t do that without looking at the screen. A tablet may be initially less distracting in a meeting, until the lack of eye contact takes over. Along with the lack of speed, not a potent combo. Try correcting typos blind with handwriting, then with typing. Oh, and typing doesn’t just start in a random place on the screen the way a stylus can and does if you aren’t careful.

    So what’s left?

    Short notes in a wider range of positions. For this you pay a premium, and live with an underpowered machine?

    I think not, and based on sales figures, so do a loooooot of others.

  90. Don’t forget about that great Newton that they created years and years ago.

    Maybe the hard knocks were a lesson that they know the answers to…

  91. Don’t forget about that great Newton that they created years and years ago.

    Maybe the hard knocks were a lesson that they know the answers to…

  92. John–way to miss the point. You’re asking the car manufacturer why they didn’t make an airplane. Not everyone is going to use one of these for graphics work. The X41 is designed for mobility *first*, not power. If you want to lug around a 12×19 Wacom tablet and a quad-core Mac Pro, by all means, do it. If you want a boogie-board sized laptop that nearly starts your pant legs on fire, then go for it. But if you want a supremely light and portable (YES, that means SMALL, not 17″), easy-to-use, cool-running, rugged, dependable laptop with outstanding battery life, then this should be at the top of your list. Heck, it’s at the top of all the reviews… and the tablets, as I mentioned earlier, are selling just as well as the MacBooks. If, “based on sales figures,” “a loooooot of others” don’t want tablets, then apparently “a loooooot of others” don’t want MacBooks, either.

    And for what it’s worth, while it’s not going to win any benchmarks, it’s not as slow as you make it sound. How did people ever get anything done in Photoshop on a 400 MHz Mac, back in the day? At 1.5 GHz, proc-wise, it can handle graphic apps. Just don’t expect it to blow away that Alienware/Dell XPS/MacBook Pro and impress all the girls. (um…)

  93. John–way to miss the point. You’re asking the car manufacturer why they didn’t make an airplane. Not everyone is going to use one of these for graphics work. The X41 is designed for mobility *first*, not power. If you want to lug around a 12×19 Wacom tablet and a quad-core Mac Pro, by all means, do it. If you want a boogie-board sized laptop that nearly starts your pant legs on fire, then go for it. But if you want a supremely light and portable (YES, that means SMALL, not 17″), easy-to-use, cool-running, rugged, dependable laptop with outstanding battery life, then this should be at the top of your list. Heck, it’s at the top of all the reviews… and the tablets, as I mentioned earlier, are selling just as well as the MacBooks. If, “based on sales figures,” “a loooooot of others” don’t want tablets, then apparently “a loooooot of others” don’t want MacBooks, either.

    And for what it’s worth, while it’s not going to win any benchmarks, it’s not as slow as you make it sound. How did people ever get anything done in Photoshop on a 400 MHz Mac, back in the day? At 1.5 GHz, proc-wise, it can handle graphic apps. Just don’t expect it to blow away that Alienware/Dell XPS/MacBook Pro and impress all the girls. (um…)

  94. Not sure I should join the fray, but what the heck…

    re: Tablets and education. I work at a private school with a Tablet initiative and have talked to a lot of other schools about Tablets over the years. I don’t know of one that isn’t actively looking at them. They really are a natural in education-if the real world is any indication.

    re: MS not able to compete against an established market leader. Two words: Excel and Word.

    I think something that is too frequently ignored in these discussions is the time that paradigm shifts take in an established market. People know how to use keyboards and mice on a computer. They have to learn how to use the pen to do those same tasks. It may actually be better for a given task, but it feels worse. At first.

    The same they happened with Windows in the early days. slow acceptance of a less-than-mature product owing (in my experience) in large measure to a reluctance to change and a perceived loss of productivity. At first.

  95. Not sure I should join the fray, but what the heck…

    re: Tablets and education. I work at a private school with a Tablet initiative and have talked to a lot of other schools about Tablets over the years. I don’t know of one that isn’t actively looking at them. They really are a natural in education-if the real world is any indication.

    re: MS not able to compete against an established market leader. Two words: Excel and Word.

    I think something that is too frequently ignored in these discussions is the time that paradigm shifts take in an established market. People know how to use keyboards and mice on a computer. They have to learn how to use the pen to do those same tasks. It may actually be better for a given task, but it feels worse. At first.

    The same they happened with Windows in the early days. slow acceptance of a less-than-mature product owing (in my experience) in large measure to a reluctance to change and a perceived loss of productivity. At first.

  96. Ryan, you miss the point of “Who the hell are they built for”

    First, a 12×19 Wacom tablet has more room than your X41, secondly, I don’t need to. I can use a Macbook Pro and a Wacom 4×6 or 6×9 tablet quite nicely, as when you’re doing real graphics work, you’re…wait for it…not standing up holding a laptop in your arms for an hour. Ooh…look at that. Suddenly, I’m motionless at a desk or table. Where’s the great use of mobility. I also have a rig that blows the doors off your tablet, and I’m not seeing you get 8 hours of battery life running CS 2. Those things don’t like the CPU running at idle.

    I never said everyone wanted a MacBook. But if you want to play sales figures, why do Tablets have such a craptacular part of the market? Why didn’t the UMPC light the world on fire? When you compare tablets to overall portable sales, they suck. If you want to compare tablets to a single manufacturer with 5-6% of world marketshare at best for their entire product line, you can, but it’s misleading.

    If you’re so right about Tablets, then why aren’t they a major part of the laptop market?

    And for what it’s worth, while it’s not going to win any benchmarks, it’s not as slow as you make it sound. How did people ever get anything done in Photoshop on a 400 MHz Mac, back in the day?

    Because back in the day, 400MHz wasn’t crippled-dog slow, it was state of the art.

    Again, where’s the market for Tablets outside of people jotting short notes while standing who don’t need a lot of speed or screen real estate? I can think of several vertical markets that just described, but for general use? The premium ain’t worth it.

    Hell, even when you get away from lenovo and into systems that aren’t underpowered with a wee screen, the price premium is not worth it for something that has an advantage in such a narrow range of uses.

    For the three Toshiba lines, by the time you get them up to as close to the standard config for a MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz model, (the middle of the MBP line), the cheapest one, the Satellite R20 is literally 60 bucks cheaper, and it can’t touch the video display in the MBP. The Tecra M7 has a better video system, but when you configure it out, it’s almost $400 more than the MBP. So again, you’re at best saving $60 for a system that only has a real advantage for light note-taking and basic graphics use. (Take a look at an Intuos, that’s a hell of a lot more than just pen input).

    Looking at Fujitsu, you can get them for much cheaper than a MBP, but the specs suck in comparison. The one you can get even close to a stock middle of the line MBP? Again, almost $400 more, and a 12″ screen.

    On to HP. Yep, same deal. To come in cheaper than a MBP, you give up serious capabilities, including RAM and HD size. When you get close to the MBP specs, the price goes up to around $500 more, and that’s all for a feature that is only a clear advantage in a really limited number of situations.

    Now, if you NEED that feature, and I can think of quite a few situations that do, then the premium and the rest don’t matter, that’s a technical requirement. But for general use? I just don’t think the audience who only want digital notepads is that large, and the Tablet PC sales show this.

    Maybe if Tablets stop being so damned limited, they’ll sell better.

    Oh yeah, your line about “well, if you want uber light with great battery life”. Hmm…there seem to be a lot of laptops that aren’t tablets that fit that description as well, and they too seem to be selling better, or at least as well as the Tablets. Again…one cool feature is obviously not making the Tablets fly off the shelves the way you and Robert insist they are.

    Maybe when Tablet!= Crippled and cheaper, or much more expensive for less computer, then that will change. But for right now? NFW.

  97. Ryan, you miss the point of “Who the hell are they built for”

    First, a 12×19 Wacom tablet has more room than your X41, secondly, I don’t need to. I can use a Macbook Pro and a Wacom 4×6 or 6×9 tablet quite nicely, as when you’re doing real graphics work, you’re…wait for it…not standing up holding a laptop in your arms for an hour. Ooh…look at that. Suddenly, I’m motionless at a desk or table. Where’s the great use of mobility. I also have a rig that blows the doors off your tablet, and I’m not seeing you get 8 hours of battery life running CS 2. Those things don’t like the CPU running at idle.

    I never said everyone wanted a MacBook. But if you want to play sales figures, why do Tablets have such a craptacular part of the market? Why didn’t the UMPC light the world on fire? When you compare tablets to overall portable sales, they suck. If you want to compare tablets to a single manufacturer with 5-6% of world marketshare at best for their entire product line, you can, but it’s misleading.

    If you’re so right about Tablets, then why aren’t they a major part of the laptop market?

    And for what it’s worth, while it’s not going to win any benchmarks, it’s not as slow as you make it sound. How did people ever get anything done in Photoshop on a 400 MHz Mac, back in the day?

    Because back in the day, 400MHz wasn’t crippled-dog slow, it was state of the art.

    Again, where’s the market for Tablets outside of people jotting short notes while standing who don’t need a lot of speed or screen real estate? I can think of several vertical markets that just described, but for general use? The premium ain’t worth it.

    Hell, even when you get away from lenovo and into systems that aren’t underpowered with a wee screen, the price premium is not worth it for something that has an advantage in such a narrow range of uses.

    For the three Toshiba lines, by the time you get them up to as close to the standard config for a MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz model, (the middle of the MBP line), the cheapest one, the Satellite R20 is literally 60 bucks cheaper, and it can’t touch the video display in the MBP. The Tecra M7 has a better video system, but when you configure it out, it’s almost $400 more than the MBP. So again, you’re at best saving $60 for a system that only has a real advantage for light note-taking and basic graphics use. (Take a look at an Intuos, that’s a hell of a lot more than just pen input).

    Looking at Fujitsu, you can get them for much cheaper than a MBP, but the specs suck in comparison. The one you can get even close to a stock middle of the line MBP? Again, almost $400 more, and a 12″ screen.

    On to HP. Yep, same deal. To come in cheaper than a MBP, you give up serious capabilities, including RAM and HD size. When you get close to the MBP specs, the price goes up to around $500 more, and that’s all for a feature that is only a clear advantage in a really limited number of situations.

    Now, if you NEED that feature, and I can think of quite a few situations that do, then the premium and the rest don’t matter, that’s a technical requirement. But for general use? I just don’t think the audience who only want digital notepads is that large, and the Tablet PC sales show this.

    Maybe if Tablets stop being so damned limited, they’ll sell better.

    Oh yeah, your line about “well, if you want uber light with great battery life”. Hmm…there seem to be a lot of laptops that aren’t tablets that fit that description as well, and they too seem to be selling better, or at least as well as the Tablets. Again…one cool feature is obviously not making the Tablets fly off the shelves the way you and Robert insist they are.

    Maybe when Tablet!= Crippled and cheaper, or much more expensive for less computer, then that will change. But for right now? NFW.

  98. Robert,

    In comment #17 above, it appears that you’ve actually admitted that people weren’t buying Tablet PCs. This is rather a reversal for you, isn’t it?

  99. Robert,

    In comment #17 above, it appears that you’ve actually admitted that people weren’t buying Tablet PCs. This is rather a reversal for you, isn’t it?

  100. John–not every laptop has to cater to the needs of graphic artists. The X41 does not. The folks that want one of these do not want to carry around a separate Wacom tablet. It’s integrated right into the unit. What on earth is wrong with that? No one cares if you have a “rig that blows the doors off” the X41… I could certainly go find one that takes the benchmarks up yet another notch–but I will not find it in a package that weighs under 4 lbs… and that is important to some people. I’d say $1,084 isn’t too terrible a price for those that “don’t need a lot of speed or screen real estate” (notwithstanding the fact mentioned earlier that they can hook up an external monitor of any size, if they want). In fact, that’s an absolutely fantastic price for that form factor and quality. And, a Tablet is much more than “just pen input.”

    You make a good point about Toshiba, Fujitsu, and HP, and it’s one that I’ve noticed much moreso in the past couple years. I give Apple credit for dropping their price premium significantly–to the point where they are sometimes less than that of other major manufacturers for the same specs.

    On the other hand, buying directly from the manufacturers’ quoted prices from their websites is a bad idea–usually you can get a significantly better deal if you call. Typically, with Dell I see markups of about 30-40% after configuring the machine with a few options. Like I mentioned about the X41, you can get it for a lot less than list. That said, straight off their site, Gateway sells a decent Tablet for a few hundred less than a comparable MacBook Pro (with a discrete graphics card, although not a very high-end one). (I too look forward to tablets with higher-end video options–that is one area where they haven’t pushed the hardware forward. This should happen with Vista.)

    I should ask… have you even tried running CS2 on an X41? Yes, it doesn’t have a fancy graphics card (unfortunately…), but Photoshop uses the CPU for the dirty work. I’m not saying it’s going to impress anyone used to a Mac Pro or high-end Dell, but load it up with RAM and it will get the job done–just like that 400 MHz machine did back in the day. And yes, of course it’s not going to get 8 hours battery life running CS2 heavily (who ever tried to claim that?)… but any laptop is going to have a reduced runtime under those conditions.

    All I’m saying about market share regarding the tablets is that they equal that of the MacBooks. Does that make them insignificant, irrelevant, and/or unimportant? I don’t think so. Ruggedized laptops serve an even smaller market share… does that mean the idea is pointless? Not at all. Is it a “craptacular” market? I doubt the people in that market think so. Did I ever “insist they are” “flying off the shelves”? Not at all. But since many of these posts have brought up Apple, to keep things in perspective, they are selling as well as the MacBooks. And a lot of people like those. Maybe the current crop doesn’t work for you personally, but is it really a problem for you that just as many people like tablet PCs?

  101. John–not every laptop has to cater to the needs of graphic artists. The X41 does not. The folks that want one of these do not want to carry around a separate Wacom tablet. It’s integrated right into the unit. What on earth is wrong with that? No one cares if you have a “rig that blows the doors off” the X41… I could certainly go find one that takes the benchmarks up yet another notch–but I will not find it in a package that weighs under 4 lbs… and that is important to some people. I’d say $1,084 isn’t too terrible a price for those that “don’t need a lot of speed or screen real estate” (notwithstanding the fact mentioned earlier that they can hook up an external monitor of any size, if they want). In fact, that’s an absolutely fantastic price for that form factor and quality. And, a Tablet is much more than “just pen input.”

    You make a good point about Toshiba, Fujitsu, and HP, and it’s one that I’ve noticed much moreso in the past couple years. I give Apple credit for dropping their price premium significantly–to the point where they are sometimes less than that of other major manufacturers for the same specs.

    On the other hand, buying directly from the manufacturers’ quoted prices from their websites is a bad idea–usually you can get a significantly better deal if you call. Typically, with Dell I see markups of about 30-40% after configuring the machine with a few options. Like I mentioned about the X41, you can get it for a lot less than list. That said, straight off their site, Gateway sells a decent Tablet for a few hundred less than a comparable MacBook Pro (with a discrete graphics card, although not a very high-end one). (I too look forward to tablets with higher-end video options–that is one area where they haven’t pushed the hardware forward. This should happen with Vista.)

    I should ask… have you even tried running CS2 on an X41? Yes, it doesn’t have a fancy graphics card (unfortunately…), but Photoshop uses the CPU for the dirty work. I’m not saying it’s going to impress anyone used to a Mac Pro or high-end Dell, but load it up with RAM and it will get the job done–just like that 400 MHz machine did back in the day. And yes, of course it’s not going to get 8 hours battery life running CS2 heavily (who ever tried to claim that?)… but any laptop is going to have a reduced runtime under those conditions.

    All I’m saying about market share regarding the tablets is that they equal that of the MacBooks. Does that make them insignificant, irrelevant, and/or unimportant? I don’t think so. Ruggedized laptops serve an even smaller market share… does that mean the idea is pointless? Not at all. Is it a “craptacular” market? I doubt the people in that market think so. Did I ever “insist they are” “flying off the shelves”? Not at all. But since many of these posts have brought up Apple, to keep things in perspective, they are selling as well as the MacBooks. And a lot of people like those. Maybe the current crop doesn’t work for you personally, but is it really a problem for you that just as many people like tablet PCs?

  102. Like a couple of other posters have mentioned, tablets are being looked at a lot in education. For instance, when lecturing, you often want to write directly on your slides; doing that with a mouse is painful, and carrying a graphics tablet to the classroom along with your laptop is kind of awkward, as well as making it difficult to walk around while you talk.

    My personal desire for a tablet, though, is to mark up student papers. Students now normally turn in their writing and coding assignments electronically, and I want to return their marked-up papers the same way. The fastest way to do this is still to dump everything to a folder, print them out, mark them up manually with a red pen, scan the printouts back to PDFs and send the PDFs back to the students.

    I did purchase a Watcom graphics tablet and used it both on my PC and on my Mac, but neither of them seemed to have any way to simply ink up any kind of document. Using it seemed marginally easier on the PC. On the Mac, it seemed to want to insert either graphics or convert my handwriting to text. I just want markup that travels along with the document, but is separate from it. (That is, I want my students to still be able to compile their programs even after I’ve marked them up.)

  103. Like a couple of other posters have mentioned, tablets are being looked at a lot in education. For instance, when lecturing, you often want to write directly on your slides; doing that with a mouse is painful, and carrying a graphics tablet to the classroom along with your laptop is kind of awkward, as well as making it difficult to walk around while you talk.

    My personal desire for a tablet, though, is to mark up student papers. Students now normally turn in their writing and coding assignments electronically, and I want to return their marked-up papers the same way. The fastest way to do this is still to dump everything to a folder, print them out, mark them up manually with a red pen, scan the printouts back to PDFs and send the PDFs back to the students.

    I did purchase a Watcom graphics tablet and used it both on my PC and on my Mac, but neither of them seemed to have any way to simply ink up any kind of document. Using it seemed marginally easier on the PC. On the Mac, it seemed to want to insert either graphics or convert my handwriting to text. I just want markup that travels along with the document, but is separate from it. (That is, I want my students to still be able to compile their programs even after I’ve marked them up.)

  104. STeve, that’s most likely because Acrobat isn’t supporting that kind of input. Which would be odd, since you’d think that a tablet – style input would work really well for that.

  105. STeve, that’s most likely because Acrobat isn’t supporting that kind of input. Which would be odd, since you’d think that a tablet – style input would work really well for that.

  106. Steve sez: “My personal desire for a tablet, though, is to mark up student papers. Students now normally turn in their writing and coding assignments electronically, and I want to return their marked-up papers the same way. The fastest way to do this is still to dump everything to a folder, print them out, mark them up manually with a red pen, scan the printouts back to PDFs and send the PDFs back to the students.”

    Ever heard of a thing called the Reviewing Toolbar? No? How about Insert Comment?

    Well then, I guess NO ONE has ever found a better way to review and comment on electronic documents than using a pen interface. We better pony up the money for either a Tablet PC or a high-speed scanner, or the students will never know where they went wrong.

    But wait, there’s more:

    “I just want markup that travels along with the document, but is separate from it….I want my students to still be able to compile their programs even after I’ve marked them up.”

    Well, I guess we better get started on some method of embedding comments DIRECTLY INTO SOURCE CODE, or we’re completely screwed.

  107. Steve sez: “My personal desire for a tablet, though, is to mark up student papers. Students now normally turn in their writing and coding assignments electronically, and I want to return their marked-up papers the same way. The fastest way to do this is still to dump everything to a folder, print them out, mark them up manually with a red pen, scan the printouts back to PDFs and send the PDFs back to the students.”

    Ever heard of a thing called the Reviewing Toolbar? No? How about Insert Comment?

    Well then, I guess NO ONE has ever found a better way to review and comment on electronic documents than using a pen interface. We better pony up the money for either a Tablet PC or a high-speed scanner, or the students will never know where they went wrong.

    But wait, there’s more:

    “I just want markup that travels along with the document, but is separate from it….I want my students to still be able to compile their programs even after I’ve marked them up.”

    Well, I guess we better get started on some method of embedding comments DIRECTLY INTO SOURCE CODE, or we’re completely screwed.

  108. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned in this (overlong) thread… eliminating BARRIERS.

    I used a Newton for years. Once the handwriting recognition got straightened out, it was an INCREDIBLY valuable machine to me, and I still miss it. If I could get modern connectivity to it, I might just dust off my Newton 2100 and give it another try…

    Why? Meetings.

    I spend my life in meetings. Sitting down across from someone (or several someones) and opening a laptop erects an immediate and tangible BARRIER between you and them. The form factor is just wrong… it forces you to focus attention on the screen and keyboard, not on the other people in the room.

    A Newton (and I *like* the midsize Newton form factor) was non-threatening. Non-barrier. Once people quit asking questions about it, it was just a notepad. And the software was fast enough that I could create outline-formatted notes in real time, collapsing, expanding, and reorganizing sections as necessary. It was wonderful.

    BUT unlike a paper notepad, when I got back to the office, all the text was immediately available in digital form for future use, indexing, whatever.

    If Apple had (1) waited a year or two for faster processors to be available on Day One, and (2) recognized — like Palm — that the Newton should best be seen as a portable accessory to a “main” computer… well, I think it would have taken over the world. Smaller versions, larger versions, versions with built-in phones… I could see a whole ecosystem emerging.

    In real life, they poisoned their own well, and we STILL don’t have a decent system for notetaking in meetings. Microsoft, to its credit, has OneNote, and it’s good… but it’s still not as functional as the Newt.

    These days, I write on paper and scan it when I get back to my desk… a pitiful substitute. I miss the good old days…

  109. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned in this (overlong) thread… eliminating BARRIERS.

    I used a Newton for years. Once the handwriting recognition got straightened out, it was an INCREDIBLY valuable machine to me, and I still miss it. If I could get modern connectivity to it, I might just dust off my Newton 2100 and give it another try…

    Why? Meetings.

    I spend my life in meetings. Sitting down across from someone (or several someones) and opening a laptop erects an immediate and tangible BARRIER between you and them. The form factor is just wrong… it forces you to focus attention on the screen and keyboard, not on the other people in the room.

    A Newton (and I *like* the midsize Newton form factor) was non-threatening. Non-barrier. Once people quit asking questions about it, it was just a notepad. And the software was fast enough that I could create outline-formatted notes in real time, collapsing, expanding, and reorganizing sections as necessary. It was wonderful.

    BUT unlike a paper notepad, when I got back to the office, all the text was immediately available in digital form for future use, indexing, whatever.

    If Apple had (1) waited a year or two for faster processors to be available on Day One, and (2) recognized — like Palm — that the Newton should best be seen as a portable accessory to a “main” computer… well, I think it would have taken over the world. Smaller versions, larger versions, versions with built-in phones… I could see a whole ecosystem emerging.

    In real life, they poisoned their own well, and we STILL don’t have a decent system for notetaking in meetings. Microsoft, to its credit, has OneNote, and it’s good… but it’s still not as functional as the Newt.

    These days, I write on paper and scan it when I get back to my desk… a pitiful substitute. I miss the good old days…

  110. “Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom? Just tested it on my MacBook Pro with a Wacom Graphire 3 and the 4.95 drivers. Yep. Let me handwrite file names for files and folders.”

    There is a significant difference between the handwriting recognition in OS X and the Tablet PC (whether in XP or Vista).

    I just tested the handwriting recognition too on a MacBook Pro with a Graphire 3 and like you said you can handwrite filenames using the write anywhere feature in OS X. It does make a difference what the filename is though and how you write it. Try installing Vista on the MBP and you’ll see a significant difference between the handwriting recognition in Vista and OS X–using the same Graphire digitizer.

    Open up Safari, for instance, and try handwriting a URL like apple.com. It works just fine if you print (my cursive handwriting is recognized very poorly in OS X) “apple”. Apple written as a single word is recognized just fine much of the time for me. Try appending the “.com” though and you see how the recognizer doesn’t quite understand that the context is supposed to be a URL. It’ll probably recognize the text as “apple. com”. Of course, you can then delete the space between the period and “com” using a gesture, but it would be better if the handwriting recognizer handled URLs better.

    Try the same thing in Internet Explorer in Vista and you’ll notice how the handwriting recognition does a much better job at recognizing this and other URLs. In addition, if there is a mistake, the Tablet provides a UI for making quick changes.

    In terms of URLs, also try handwriting one built from several concatenated words, such as TabletPCPost.com. OS X will most likely split the words up separated by spaces. The Tablet PC does much better at recognizing URLs like this as proper URLs.

    Similar issues appear with filenames. Simple, single word filenames are probably recognized just fine in OS X, however, in my experience the Tablet does much better as the complexity of what is written increases.

  111. “Can you handwrite file names in the OS with your Wacom? Just tested it on my MacBook Pro with a Wacom Graphire 3 and the 4.95 drivers. Yep. Let me handwrite file names for files and folders.”

    There is a significant difference between the handwriting recognition in OS X and the Tablet PC (whether in XP or Vista).

    I just tested the handwriting recognition too on a MacBook Pro with a Graphire 3 and like you said you can handwrite filenames using the write anywhere feature in OS X. It does make a difference what the filename is though and how you write it. Try installing Vista on the MBP and you’ll see a significant difference between the handwriting recognition in Vista and OS X–using the same Graphire digitizer.

    Open up Safari, for instance, and try handwriting a URL like apple.com. It works just fine if you print (my cursive handwriting is recognized very poorly in OS X) “apple”. Apple written as a single word is recognized just fine much of the time for me. Try appending the “.com” though and you see how the recognizer doesn’t quite understand that the context is supposed to be a URL. It’ll probably recognize the text as “apple. com”. Of course, you can then delete the space between the period and “com” using a gesture, but it would be better if the handwriting recognizer handled URLs better.

    Try the same thing in Internet Explorer in Vista and you’ll notice how the handwriting recognition does a much better job at recognizing this and other URLs. In addition, if there is a mistake, the Tablet provides a UI for making quick changes.

    In terms of URLs, also try handwriting one built from several concatenated words, such as TabletPCPost.com. OS X will most likely split the words up separated by spaces. The Tablet PC does much better at recognizing URLs like this as proper URLs.

    Similar issues appear with filenames. Simple, single word filenames are probably recognized just fine in OS X, however, in my experience the Tablet does much better as the complexity of what is written increases.

  112. That still doesn’t explain why the Tablet PC is so poorly designed as to be better than nothing unless you do a lot of note-jotting in many non-sitting postures, and don’t mind paying either $400 or more to do so, or living with a half-assed computer.

  113. That still doesn’t explain why the Tablet PC is so poorly designed as to be better than nothing unless you do a lot of note-jotting in many non-sitting postures, and don’t mind paying either $400 or more to do so, or living with a half-assed computer.

  114. John:

    X41: PC Magazine Editor’s Choice, Laptop Magazine’s Editor’s Choice and Hot Pick, PC World’s Best Buy Award, etc. etc.

    ***************$1,084*****************

    So, $400 more than **what**??? A $684 MacBook?

    If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs. And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop. If you spend most of your time away from your desk–not standing necessarily, but just going from place to place throughout the day–then it makes a huge difference. If you’re not on the run so much and you have to have the absolute fastest laptop on the market and no other, you’ll pick the 17″ (or something else). They both have their place.

    And yes, the tablet functionality is unquestionably useful for many people. If you are in meetings all the time, then keeping notes digitally (and perhaps recording the meetings) can offer a huge benefit, not to mention the advantages of doing work via pen vs. a keyboard. I once sat through a meeting where a vendor came in and typed notes on his laptop the entire time. It was apparent that he was paying complete attention to us… yet every single person in the meeting commented on how inappropriate that seemed–we couldn’t tell if he was taking notes about us, typing an unrelated document, or catching up on email. Maybe it’s just a social norm, but taking handwritten notes–on a paper tablet or a digital one–is far more acceptable to people.

    Anyhow… I just don’t follow your extreme reaction to them… unless, as Scoble suggests, perhaps it’s an Apple “religion” issue. Does everyone have to hate them in order for you to be satisfied?

  115. John:

    X41: PC Magazine Editor’s Choice, Laptop Magazine’s Editor’s Choice and Hot Pick, PC World’s Best Buy Award, etc. etc.

    ***************$1,084*****************

    So, $400 more than **what**??? A $684 MacBook?

    If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs. And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop. If you spend most of your time away from your desk–not standing necessarily, but just going from place to place throughout the day–then it makes a huge difference. If you’re not on the run so much and you have to have the absolute fastest laptop on the market and no other, you’ll pick the 17″ (or something else). They both have their place.

    And yes, the tablet functionality is unquestionably useful for many people. If you are in meetings all the time, then keeping notes digitally (and perhaps recording the meetings) can offer a huge benefit, not to mention the advantages of doing work via pen vs. a keyboard. I once sat through a meeting where a vendor came in and typed notes on his laptop the entire time. It was apparent that he was paying complete attention to us… yet every single person in the meeting commented on how inappropriate that seemed–we couldn’t tell if he was taking notes about us, typing an unrelated document, or catching up on email. Maybe it’s just a social norm, but taking handwritten notes–on a paper tablet or a digital one–is far more acceptable to people.

    Anyhow… I just don’t follow your extreme reaction to them… unless, as Scoble suggests, perhaps it’s an Apple “religion” issue. Does everyone have to hate them in order for you to be satisfied?

  116. Robert, no, it ate about three of them, and when I tried to repost after waiting a bit, got a “duplicate comment” error.

    So, $400 more than **what**??? A $684 MacBook?

    You have heard of Dell right? Computer company, Round Rock Texas? Yeah. They make laptops too. Small ones that are cheaper much than a tablet. See, you forget, tablets compete with ALL laptops, not just MacBooks, and they don’t do real well now do they?

    If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ381P/X (3.7 lbs)

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ370P/C (3.7lbs)

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ360P/C (3.7lbs)

    and Wrong AGAIN: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ390PW1 (3.7lbs)

    Hmm…under 4 lbs and powerful. Sony’s are never cheap, but you aren’t getting le crippled specs for it. (wait folks, next reply will be “Well, it’s not under a thousand dollars. See Ryan change his specs. Dance Ryan, Dance)

    And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop. If you spend most of your time away from your desk–not standing necessarily, but just going from place to place throughout the day–then it makes a huge difference. If you’re not on the run so much and you have to have the absolute fastest laptop on the market and no other, you’ll pick the 17″ (or something else). They both have their place.

    That’s funny, because I could SWEAR I take my 17″ beastie with me all over the damned place. Meetings. On Airplanes, (why yes, I even use it in coach, not in the emergency row, and I’m not a tiny guy.)

    Wow, i didn’t realize I haven’t been doing this since I got my first 17″ laptop 3+ years ago. Wonder what I’ve actually been using then.

    And yes, the tablet functionality is unquestionably useful for many people. If you are in meetings all the time, then keeping notes digitally (and perhaps recording the meetings) can offer a huge benefit, not to mention the advantages of doing work via pen vs. a keyboard.

    What, pray tell does recording have to do with a tablet. Oooh, nothing.

    I once sat through a meeting where a vendor came in and typed notes on his laptop the entire time. It was apparent that he was paying complete attention to us… yet every single person in the meeting commented on how inappropriate that seemed–we couldn’t tell if he was taking notes about us, typing an unrelated document, or catching up on email. Maybe it’s just a social norm, but taking handwritten notes–on a paper tablet or a digital one–is far more acceptable to people.

    Right, because on a tablet, you OBVIOUSLY are TOTALLY focused on the task at hand, and couldn’t POSSIBLY be doing anything else. Maybe you and your co-workers need to work on your insecurity issues a bit more. How would not being able to see what he was writing on a tablet *while not paying attention” be magically less rude. What, ignoring you, or appearing to, is better? Please, that’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. What, you work for twelve year olds?

    Anyhow… I just don’t follow your extreme reaction to them… unless, as Scoble suggests, perhaps it’s an Apple “religion” issue. Does everyone have to hate them in order for you to be satisfied?

    You keep missing where I point out that Tablets do have their place, but this inane idea that they’re magically TEH BETTERER than keyboards is exactly as stupid as the idea that speech will take over keyboards as well. You also seem to be deliberately missing the parts where I’m not making this just an Apple thing, that’s you Ryan. All you.

    Like I said, show me a Tablet PC that isn’t useless for anything other than lightweight note-taking or vertical market applications, (where Tablets *excel* by the way) and I’ll show you a product that will sell. What’s out there now is overpriced and underpowered, and your fevered defense of them doesn’t stand up to the fact that every tablet PC maker combined can’t outsell Apple’s *laptop* division alone, much less capture a serious share of the overall portable market. It’s pretty obvious that the Tablet PC has yet to find the problem it’s an answer for.

  117. Robert, no, it ate about three of them, and when I tried to repost after waiting a bit, got a “duplicate comment” error.

    So, $400 more than **what**??? A $684 MacBook?

    You have heard of Dell right? Computer company, Round Rock Texas? Yeah. They make laptops too. Small ones that are cheaper much than a tablet. See, you forget, tablets compete with ALL laptops, not just MacBooks, and they don’t do real well now do they?

    If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ381P/X (3.7 lbs)

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ370P/C (3.7lbs)

    Wrong: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ360P/C (3.7lbs)

    and Wrong AGAIN: http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-SZ390PW1 (3.7lbs)

    Hmm…under 4 lbs and powerful. Sony’s are never cheap, but you aren’t getting le crippled specs for it. (wait folks, next reply will be “Well, it’s not under a thousand dollars. See Ryan change his specs. Dance Ryan, Dance)

    And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop. If you spend most of your time away from your desk–not standing necessarily, but just going from place to place throughout the day–then it makes a huge difference. If you’re not on the run so much and you have to have the absolute fastest laptop on the market and no other, you’ll pick the 17″ (or something else). They both have their place.

    That’s funny, because I could SWEAR I take my 17″ beastie with me all over the damned place. Meetings. On Airplanes, (why yes, I even use it in coach, not in the emergency row, and I’m not a tiny guy.)

    Wow, i didn’t realize I haven’t been doing this since I got my first 17″ laptop 3+ years ago. Wonder what I’ve actually been using then.

    And yes, the tablet functionality is unquestionably useful for many people. If you are in meetings all the time, then keeping notes digitally (and perhaps recording the meetings) can offer a huge benefit, not to mention the advantages of doing work via pen vs. a keyboard.

    What, pray tell does recording have to do with a tablet. Oooh, nothing.

    I once sat through a meeting where a vendor came in and typed notes on his laptop the entire time. It was apparent that he was paying complete attention to us… yet every single person in the meeting commented on how inappropriate that seemed–we couldn’t tell if he was taking notes about us, typing an unrelated document, or catching up on email. Maybe it’s just a social norm, but taking handwritten notes–on a paper tablet or a digital one–is far more acceptable to people.

    Right, because on a tablet, you OBVIOUSLY are TOTALLY focused on the task at hand, and couldn’t POSSIBLY be doing anything else. Maybe you and your co-workers need to work on your insecurity issues a bit more. How would not being able to see what he was writing on a tablet *while not paying attention” be magically less rude. What, ignoring you, or appearing to, is better? Please, that’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. What, you work for twelve year olds?

    Anyhow… I just don’t follow your extreme reaction to them… unless, as Scoble suggests, perhaps it’s an Apple “religion” issue. Does everyone have to hate them in order for you to be satisfied?

    You keep missing where I point out that Tablets do have their place, but this inane idea that they’re magically TEH BETTERER than keyboards is exactly as stupid as the idea that speech will take over keyboards as well. You also seem to be deliberately missing the parts where I’m not making this just an Apple thing, that’s you Ryan. All you.

    Like I said, show me a Tablet PC that isn’t useless for anything other than lightweight note-taking or vertical market applications, (where Tablets *excel* by the way) and I’ll show you a product that will sell. What’s out there now is overpriced and underpowered, and your fevered defense of them doesn’t stand up to the fact that every tablet PC maker combined can’t outsell Apple’s *laptop* division alone, much less capture a serious share of the overall portable market. It’s pretty obvious that the Tablet PC has yet to find the problem it’s an answer for.

  118. John:

    The $1,084 was in response to “and don’t mind paying either $400 or more to do so” and the other $400 remarks you’ve continually made. Is $1,084 such a bad price? And… Dell’s Latitude D420 (3.0 lbs.) starts at about $1,200; the XPS M1210 (4.37 lbs.) also runs around $1,200 to start.

    Those Sony models are quite impressive. The “hybrid graphics mode” is pretty unique, especially if it works as advertised. Power to weight ratio, it’s definitely top of the heap. Nonetheless, none of those has a 17″ screen. And, despite the dramatics of listing 4 examples, they really amount to one laptop model–the SZ–with a few differences in specs (hard drive capacity, processor speed, etc.); you might as well have listed all 22 SZs if you kept going.

    What was so unclear about what I said? I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between “portable” and “luggable.” When our employees come to check out laptops, they routinely say “give me the lightest thing you have.” They don’t *WANT* to take the big, powerful beast.

    Now as for the example of typing during a meeting… I have no clue why you’re arguing that. It’s just not socially acceptable for most folks, *period*. Condescend all you want (my insecurity issues? My word…), the fact of the matter is that taking notes by hand in meetings is seen by most people as being attentive. Typing on a noisy keyboard (albeit very modestly noisy) while other people are talking is considered RUDE. It may make no difference in terms of the quality of product or service whether the salesman was wearing a suit or a thong and a t-shirt with a picture of a middle finger extended in your direction, either… but face it, MOST people are going to respond differently.

    I just don’t understand why your reaction is so strongly negative. A lot of people attend meetings and take notes… isn’t that a good market to target, beyond just the vertical market folks? Many of those same people have those Dell $1,200 laptops, and those aren’t powerhouses, either. It doesn’t matter–it does the job they need it to do, as most folks *don’t* need powerhouse laptops. Yet, with a tablet, they could take it to those meetings where the Dell wouldn’t be appropriate. And, from what I hear from our tablet users, it’s far more efficient to use a pen in many situations than the touchpad (which frustrates many people) or pointing stick (which frustrates probably even more people), and it’s a better alternative than an external mouse. Marking up documents is another great use, especially for folks that aren’t great typists, or simply prefer the pen-and-paper style approach.

    You seem to want to pigeon-hole the usage model, and I just don’t get that. That’s why I suggested *perhaps* it’s an Apple “religion” issue (as Scoble also suggested), because I’ve encountered that sort of irrational anti-anything-Microsoft attitude before, and that often was the reason. I just don’t understand the extreme negativity.

  119. John:

    The $1,084 was in response to “and don’t mind paying either $400 or more to do so” and the other $400 remarks you’ve continually made. Is $1,084 such a bad price? And… Dell’s Latitude D420 (3.0 lbs.) starts at about $1,200; the XPS M1210 (4.37 lbs.) also runs around $1,200 to start.

    Those Sony models are quite impressive. The “hybrid graphics mode” is pretty unique, especially if it works as advertised. Power to weight ratio, it’s definitely top of the heap. Nonetheless, none of those has a 17″ screen. And, despite the dramatics of listing 4 examples, they really amount to one laptop model–the SZ–with a few differences in specs (hard drive capacity, processor speed, etc.); you might as well have listed all 22 SZs if you kept going.

    What was so unclear about what I said? I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between “portable” and “luggable.” When our employees come to check out laptops, they routinely say “give me the lightest thing you have.” They don’t *WANT* to take the big, powerful beast.

    Now as for the example of typing during a meeting… I have no clue why you’re arguing that. It’s just not socially acceptable for most folks, *period*. Condescend all you want (my insecurity issues? My word…), the fact of the matter is that taking notes by hand in meetings is seen by most people as being attentive. Typing on a noisy keyboard (albeit very modestly noisy) while other people are talking is considered RUDE. It may make no difference in terms of the quality of product or service whether the salesman was wearing a suit or a thong and a t-shirt with a picture of a middle finger extended in your direction, either… but face it, MOST people are going to respond differently.

    I just don’t understand why your reaction is so strongly negative. A lot of people attend meetings and take notes… isn’t that a good market to target, beyond just the vertical market folks? Many of those same people have those Dell $1,200 laptops, and those aren’t powerhouses, either. It doesn’t matter–it does the job they need it to do, as most folks *don’t* need powerhouse laptops. Yet, with a tablet, they could take it to those meetings where the Dell wouldn’t be appropriate. And, from what I hear from our tablet users, it’s far more efficient to use a pen in many situations than the touchpad (which frustrates many people) or pointing stick (which frustrates probably even more people), and it’s a better alternative than an external mouse. Marking up documents is another great use, especially for folks that aren’t great typists, or simply prefer the pen-and-paper style approach.

    You seem to want to pigeon-hole the usage model, and I just don’t get that. That’s why I suggested *perhaps* it’s an Apple “religion” issue (as Scoble also suggested), because I’ve encountered that sort of irrational anti-anything-Microsoft attitude before, and that often was the reason. I just don’t understand the extreme negativity.

  120. Stephen F. had a kind of interesting post so I thought I’d respond:

    Jobs saw lots of messes at Apple in terms of programs and losses and saw 2 barriers: an Economic one (a problem, that John C. Welsh and others have pointed out, still exists today) and a Human one. People are still struggling to accept the fully mobile, near invisible always present computer because they still want to minimize it as a tool: they want their computer at their desk where they can walk away from it, they begrudge their laptops and traveling with them, they’re annoying on planes even when you enjoy lugging them out to enjoy a movie or two while in the air… They want to have their laptops only at the right time… They don’t want to always have a tablet… or to need to know if they should be at their desk, have their laptop, or have their tablet… Yes, the technology has advanced and this barrier has eroded some… but then and now, the space for tablets is still largely vertical. Not just the device, but the applications… (Artists, despite the scenario oft-cited by tablet activists, really don’t want or need tablets unless they are specifically and always mobile… that two is a very, very small vertical market. Apple still needed to focus on desktop publishing/graphic design while becoming more of a larger consumer presence in the later half of the 90s…)… The real markets for tablets are: medical, warehousing, civil… And these markets really only need to use a handful of applications… (An even more mobile form factor frequently suits them.) The office space is growing as the technology progresses (it becomes a compelling form factor for notes, meetings, presentations, training… if it is a good all purpose device), but Apple is not strong in this space. The education market is also growing on, and here, true flexibility in the applications and usages is great. But it also seems to me that, yes, limiting and defining the form factor and its ideal usage scenarios is key. Maybe over the next couple of years Apple will feel it is appropriate. (I atill think that Apple will first do so through a “video iPod”-slash-iTV/universal remote controller-type device. But if they had an interesting school/ general purpose/ home media-type tablet … that could be cool… someday… After 5 years of this rumor, I don’t see why a random article in an obscure paper/mag from I’m-too-lazy-to-look with no credibility in covering nevermind predicting future Mac products is any reason to have this conversation or bemoan the lack of widespread tablet use. It’ll work when it works. Until then, somepeople are just cheerleading something that currently really isn’t worth cheerleading for… If you have the need, it can be filled… If you don’t like the current products and think it can be done better, you are probably right. That doesn’t mean someone else made a mistake for not taking the risk of making what you want a reality.

  121. Stephen F. had a kind of interesting post so I thought I’d respond:

    Jobs saw lots of messes at Apple in terms of programs and losses and saw 2 barriers: an Economic one (a problem, that John C. Welsh and others have pointed out, still exists today) and a Human one. People are still struggling to accept the fully mobile, near invisible always present computer because they still want to minimize it as a tool: they want their computer at their desk where they can walk away from it, they begrudge their laptops and traveling with them, they’re annoying on planes even when you enjoy lugging them out to enjoy a movie or two while in the air… They want to have their laptops only at the right time… They don’t want to always have a tablet… or to need to know if they should be at their desk, have their laptop, or have their tablet… Yes, the technology has advanced and this barrier has eroded some… but then and now, the space for tablets is still largely vertical. Not just the device, but the applications… (Artists, despite the scenario oft-cited by tablet activists, really don’t want or need tablets unless they are specifically and always mobile… that two is a very, very small vertical market. Apple still needed to focus on desktop publishing/graphic design while becoming more of a larger consumer presence in the later half of the 90s…)… The real markets for tablets are: medical, warehousing, civil… And these markets really only need to use a handful of applications… (An even more mobile form factor frequently suits them.) The office space is growing as the technology progresses (it becomes a compelling form factor for notes, meetings, presentations, training… if it is a good all purpose device), but Apple is not strong in this space. The education market is also growing on, and here, true flexibility in the applications and usages is great. But it also seems to me that, yes, limiting and defining the form factor and its ideal usage scenarios is key. Maybe over the next couple of years Apple will feel it is appropriate. (I atill think that Apple will first do so through a “video iPod”-slash-iTV/universal remote controller-type device. But if they had an interesting school/ general purpose/ home media-type tablet … that could be cool… someday… After 5 years of this rumor, I don’t see why a random article in an obscure paper/mag from I’m-too-lazy-to-look with no credibility in covering nevermind predicting future Mac products is any reason to have this conversation or bemoan the lack of widespread tablet use. It’ll work when it works. Until then, somepeople are just cheerleading something that currently really isn’t worth cheerleading for… If you have the need, it can be filled… If you don’t like the current products and think it can be done better, you are probably right. That doesn’t mean someone else made a mistake for not taking the risk of making what you want a reality.

  122. Those Sony models are quite impressive. The “hybrid graphics mode” is pretty unique, especially if it works as advertised. Power to weight ratio, it’s definitely top of the heap. Nonetheless, none of those has a 17″ screen. And, despite the dramatics of listing 4 examples, they really amount to one laptop model–the SZ–with a few differences in specs (hard drive capacity, processor speed, etc.); you might as well have listed all 22 SZs if you kept going.

    Nice dodge, but you said:

    “If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.”

    Obviously you weren’t looking any harder than you needed to support your WAG that there’s no powerful machines under 4lbs.

    What was so unclear about what I said? I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between “portable” and “luggable.” When our employees come to check out laptops, they routinely say “give me the lightest thing you have.” They don’t *WANT* to take the big, powerful beast.

    Again, you said:

    “And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop.”

    which implies that a 17″ isn’t portable. That’s wrong. I’m also willing to bet that if you give them a choice between two light laptops, one underpowered, one powerful, i.e. the Vaio, they’re not going to say “Wow, the weight’s the same, give me the crappy one”.

    Now as for the example of typing during a meeting… I have no clue why you’re arguing that. It’s just not socially acceptable for most folks, *period*. Condescend all you want (my insecurity issues? My word…), the fact of the matter is that taking notes by hand in meetings is seen by most people as being attentive. Typing on a noisy keyboard (albeit very modestly noisy) while other people are talking is considered RUDE. It may make no difference in terms of the quality of product or service whether the salesman was wearing a suit or a thong and a t-shirt with a picture of a middle finger extended in your direction, either… but face it, MOST people are going to respond differently.

    Yet someone tap-tap-taping on a tablet, with their head down, completely checked out is NOT rude? Maybe in your world, but quite honestly, the business world has grown and realized that laptops are not rude, but a way of life. I do presentations in front of 200 people, and damned near all of them have laptops. For me to make them put them away just so *I* was more comfortable would be unforgivably rude and stupid, as it now prevents them from taking notes in the way they find most comfortable.

    I just don’t understand why your reaction is so strongly negative.

    I don’t understand why you seem to be unwilling to accept that a Tablet is not a magic spell, and it’s not inherently better than a keyboard. You’re a total fanboy about them, and you think that because you like them that they’re the best tool for all, and seem bewildered that the vast majority of portable users don’t agree with you.

    A lot of people attend meetings and take notes… isn’t that a good market to target, beyond just the vertical market folks?

    I attend meetings and take notes, and have never wished for a tablet. There are evidently more of me than you based on sales. But I’m sure you’ll explain that away.

    You seem to want to pigeon-hole the usage model, and I just don’t get that. That’s why I suggested *perhaps* it’s an Apple “religion” issue (as Scoble also suggested), because I’ve encountered that sort of irrational anti-anything-Microsoft attitude before, and that often was the reason. I just don’t understand the extreme negativity.

    Of course, it’s all Apple Zealotry. That would be why I say that Active Directory is a FAR better directory service than Apple’s Open Directory. Or that Apple desparately needs its own version of Technet. Or that they should follow Microsoft’s example and have a separate IT tech conference in addition to the WWDC. Because I’m a mindless Apple Zealot. Right. That’s why I also point out Sony products as a counterpoint. Because I’m a Mindless Apple Zealot. I’m sure that tactic normally works well for you, but you should only try it on easier targets.

    As far as the usage MODELS, well, no kidding. I look at where the tablet premium is worth it, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW. I find USAGE MODELS. Of course, you don’t mind pigeon-holing the usage models when it supports your point, but I’m sure that’s completely different.

    I’m pointing at the Tablet’s New Clothes, and saying “No, it’s naked, and it needs to go on a diet too, and get rid of the moles.” You, like other tablet fanboys, get real hurty when people don’t do the tablet dance of joy. I suggest you learn to accept that people are going to not only disagree with you, but have reasons for it that they’ve thought about, and are not going to just change their mind because you really like Tablet PCs.

  123. Those Sony models are quite impressive. The “hybrid graphics mode” is pretty unique, especially if it works as advertised. Power to weight ratio, it’s definitely top of the heap. Nonetheless, none of those has a 17″ screen. And, despite the dramatics of listing 4 examples, they really amount to one laptop model–the SZ–with a few differences in specs (hard drive capacity, processor speed, etc.); you might as well have listed all 22 SZs if you kept going.

    Nice dodge, but you said:

    “If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.”

    Obviously you weren’t looking any harder than you needed to support your WAG that there’s no powerful machines under 4lbs.

    What was so unclear about what I said? I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between “portable” and “luggable.” When our employees come to check out laptops, they routinely say “give me the lightest thing you have.” They don’t *WANT* to take the big, powerful beast.

    Again, you said:

    “And that weight difference isn’t just for “non-sitting postures”–it contributes greatly to the freedom of taking the laptop with you everywhere you go, rather than lugging around some 7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop.”

    which implies that a 17″ isn’t portable. That’s wrong. I’m also willing to bet that if you give them a choice between two light laptops, one underpowered, one powerful, i.e. the Vaio, they’re not going to say “Wow, the weight’s the same, give me the crappy one”.

    Now as for the example of typing during a meeting… I have no clue why you’re arguing that. It’s just not socially acceptable for most folks, *period*. Condescend all you want (my insecurity issues? My word…), the fact of the matter is that taking notes by hand in meetings is seen by most people as being attentive. Typing on a noisy keyboard (albeit very modestly noisy) while other people are talking is considered RUDE. It may make no difference in terms of the quality of product or service whether the salesman was wearing a suit or a thong and a t-shirt with a picture of a middle finger extended in your direction, either… but face it, MOST people are going to respond differently.

    Yet someone tap-tap-taping on a tablet, with their head down, completely checked out is NOT rude? Maybe in your world, but quite honestly, the business world has grown and realized that laptops are not rude, but a way of life. I do presentations in front of 200 people, and damned near all of them have laptops. For me to make them put them away just so *I* was more comfortable would be unforgivably rude and stupid, as it now prevents them from taking notes in the way they find most comfortable.

    I just don’t understand why your reaction is so strongly negative.

    I don’t understand why you seem to be unwilling to accept that a Tablet is not a magic spell, and it’s not inherently better than a keyboard. You’re a total fanboy about them, and you think that because you like them that they’re the best tool for all, and seem bewildered that the vast majority of portable users don’t agree with you.

    A lot of people attend meetings and take notes… isn’t that a good market to target, beyond just the vertical market folks?

    I attend meetings and take notes, and have never wished for a tablet. There are evidently more of me than you based on sales. But I’m sure you’ll explain that away.

    You seem to want to pigeon-hole the usage model, and I just don’t get that. That’s why I suggested *perhaps* it’s an Apple “religion” issue (as Scoble also suggested), because I’ve encountered that sort of irrational anti-anything-Microsoft attitude before, and that often was the reason. I just don’t understand the extreme negativity.

    Of course, it’s all Apple Zealotry. That would be why I say that Active Directory is a FAR better directory service than Apple’s Open Directory. Or that Apple desparately needs its own version of Technet. Or that they should follow Microsoft’s example and have a separate IT tech conference in addition to the WWDC. Because I’m a mindless Apple Zealot. Right. That’s why I also point out Sony products as a counterpoint. Because I’m a Mindless Apple Zealot. I’m sure that tactic normally works well for you, but you should only try it on easier targets.

    As far as the usage MODELS, well, no kidding. I look at where the tablet premium is worth it, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW. I find USAGE MODELS. Of course, you don’t mind pigeon-holing the usage models when it supports your point, but I’m sure that’s completely different.

    I’m pointing at the Tablet’s New Clothes, and saying “No, it’s naked, and it needs to go on a diet too, and get rid of the moles.” You, like other tablet fanboys, get real hurty when people don’t do the tablet dance of joy. I suggest you learn to accept that people are going to not only disagree with you, but have reasons for it that they’ve thought about, and are not going to just change their mind because you really like Tablet PCs.

  124. Geobbels, I find it really amusing that Robert used, as his sole source for this post, the SAME PERSON whose head he was screaming for earlier this year. It seems the Apple Tablet article was written by the same guy who wrote the “Vista having 60% of its code redone from scratch” article that made Robert froth so.

    But I guess when Robert finds even a badly written, meandering article that speaks of the Tablet Cause in a positive way, he’s perfectly willing to forgive and forget in the name of his cause.

    le sigh

  125. Geobbels, I find it really amusing that Robert used, as his sole source for this post, the SAME PERSON whose head he was screaming for earlier this year. It seems the Apple Tablet article was written by the same guy who wrote the “Vista having 60% of its code redone from scratch” article that made Robert froth so.

    But I guess when Robert finds even a badly written, meandering article that speaks of the Tablet Cause in a positive way, he’s perfectly willing to forgive and forget in the name of his cause.

    le sigh

  126. “Obviously you weren’t looking any harder than you needed to support your WAG that there’s no powerful machines under 4lbs.”

    I think you were the one that made the point about the 17″ screen being important. Furthermore, in the very next sentence, I specifically mentioned “some 7 lb., 17″” machine. The SZ is definitely more powerful than the older X41, but the main leg up it has on the X60 is the video card (the Core 2 Duo is not significantly faster than the Core Duo), and Photoshop doesn’t use that for its processing. Granted, there are content creation apps that use the GPU, and there is an advantage to having a dedicated memory bus and memory, but what kind of performance difference are we talking about here? 5%? 10%? You said you have a MacBook Pro… and unless you’re running XP or Vista on there, you’re running Photoshop through Rosetta. You seem content to run Photoshop at a huge performance disadvantage, and yet you complain about a laptop that, spec-wise, is only marginally slower than some of the best out there? It makes one wonder if the performance question is as big of one to you as you make it seem.

    “…7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop.”

    “…which implies that a 17″ isn’t portable.”

    So “laptop” doesn’t imply portable? I even *explicitly* stated: “I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between ‘portable’ and ‘luggable.'” (In the context, “mobile” is the word I’m using to describe what you mean by “portable.”)

    “Yet someone tap-tap-taping on a tablet, with their head down, completely checked out is NOT rude?”

    If you think tablets are about “tap-tap-taping,” you haven’t used one much. Taking notes in a meeting on a tablet is really no different than taking them on paper. Is taking notes on paper considered rude???

    “Maybe in your world, but quite honestly, the business world has grown…”

    Again, condescend all you want. I guess my industry doesn’t count as part of “the business world.”

    “I do presentations in front of 200 people, and damned near all of them have laptops. For me to make them put them away just so *I* was more comfortable would be unforgivably rude and stupid, as it now prevents them from taking notes in the way they find most comfortable.”

    That wasn’t the situation. If *you* were the one who was talking while looking down, typing away on your laptop (which, in this case, wouldn’t be connected to a projector), with the audience wondering what you were doing, I think many in the audience would also think that is rude.

    “I don’t understand why you seem to be unwilling to accept that a Tablet is not a magic spell, and it’s not inherently better than a keyboard.”

    For some situations, it *is* inherently better than a keyboard. And, for many people, these are not uncommon situations. But you make it sound like it’s an either-or question–that’s not true with a convertible. You get both. What’s *wrong* with that sort of flexibility???

    “That would be why I say that Active Directory is a FAR better directory service than Apple’s Open Directory.”

    Duh. I always am telling people that GarageBand is better than Windows Sound Recorder. (Just joking ;)

    Don’t get me wrong… I would love tablets to start carrying high-end video cards (I already mentioned this… it should happen with Vista), which is really about all they are missing. So answer me this… if, say, a tablet is released that has the fastest mobile processor (with the fastest FSB) available, as much RAM as any other, supports the fastest hard drives on the market, and a competitive price… then are you going to buy one? You seem to want things both ways–you say that tablets aren’t inherently better than a keyboard… so why, then, do you have a Wacom tablet? You say tablets are only good for vertical markets like medical, but are upset because they don’t make one that performs well enough heavy graphics apps? And yet you seem just fine with a laptop that suffers a horrible performance penalty (on OS X) for some of the biggest apps in the graphics market?

    Again, I don’t get it.

  127. “Obviously you weren’t looking any harder than you needed to support your WAG that there’s no powerful machines under 4lbs.”

    I think you were the one that made the point about the 17″ screen being important. Furthermore, in the very next sentence, I specifically mentioned “some 7 lb., 17″” machine. The SZ is definitely more powerful than the older X41, but the main leg up it has on the X60 is the video card (the Core 2 Duo is not significantly faster than the Core Duo), and Photoshop doesn’t use that for its processing. Granted, there are content creation apps that use the GPU, and there is an advantage to having a dedicated memory bus and memory, but what kind of performance difference are we talking about here? 5%? 10%? You said you have a MacBook Pro… and unless you’re running XP or Vista on there, you’re running Photoshop through Rosetta. You seem content to run Photoshop at a huge performance disadvantage, and yet you complain about a laptop that, spec-wise, is only marginally slower than some of the best out there? It makes one wonder if the performance question is as big of one to you as you make it seem.

    “…7 lb., 17″ desktop-replacement laptop.”

    “…which implies that a 17″ isn’t portable.”

    So “laptop” doesn’t imply portable? I even *explicitly* stated: “I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between ‘portable’ and ‘luggable.'” (In the context, “mobile” is the word I’m using to describe what you mean by “portable.”)

    “Yet someone tap-tap-taping on a tablet, with their head down, completely checked out is NOT rude?”

    If you think tablets are about “tap-tap-taping,” you haven’t used one much. Taking notes in a meeting on a tablet is really no different than taking them on paper. Is taking notes on paper considered rude???

    “Maybe in your world, but quite honestly, the business world has grown…”

    Again, condescend all you want. I guess my industry doesn’t count as part of “the business world.”

    “I do presentations in front of 200 people, and damned near all of them have laptops. For me to make them put them away just so *I* was more comfortable would be unforgivably rude and stupid, as it now prevents them from taking notes in the way they find most comfortable.”

    That wasn’t the situation. If *you* were the one who was talking while looking down, typing away on your laptop (which, in this case, wouldn’t be connected to a projector), with the audience wondering what you were doing, I think many in the audience would also think that is rude.

    “I don’t understand why you seem to be unwilling to accept that a Tablet is not a magic spell, and it’s not inherently better than a keyboard.”

    For some situations, it *is* inherently better than a keyboard. And, for many people, these are not uncommon situations. But you make it sound like it’s an either-or question–that’s not true with a convertible. You get both. What’s *wrong* with that sort of flexibility???

    “That would be why I say that Active Directory is a FAR better directory service than Apple’s Open Directory.”

    Duh. I always am telling people that GarageBand is better than Windows Sound Recorder. (Just joking ;)

    Don’t get me wrong… I would love tablets to start carrying high-end video cards (I already mentioned this… it should happen with Vista), which is really about all they are missing. So answer me this… if, say, a tablet is released that has the fastest mobile processor (with the fastest FSB) available, as much RAM as any other, supports the fastest hard drives on the market, and a competitive price… then are you going to buy one? You seem to want things both ways–you say that tablets aren’t inherently better than a keyboard… so why, then, do you have a Wacom tablet? You say tablets are only good for vertical markets like medical, but are upset because they don’t make one that performs well enough heavy graphics apps? And yet you seem just fine with a laptop that suffers a horrible performance penalty (on OS X) for some of the biggest apps in the graphics market?

    Again, I don’t get it.

  128. I think you were the one that made the point about the 17″ screen being important. Furthermore, in the very next sentence, I specifically mentioned “some 7 lb., 17″” machine. The SZ is definitely more powerful than the older X41, but the main leg up it has on the X60 is the video card (the Core 2 Duo is not significantly faster than the Core Duo), and Photoshop doesn’t use that for its processing.

    Le SIGH. Ryan, Again, I shall QUOTE YOUR OWN WORDS:

    “If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.”

    You said that. Specifically. No powerhouse machines under 4lbs. Just admit you were wrong and move on. You’ll feel better. really. Your tech claims are ridiculous. Testing has shown that thanks to the SIMD and other improvemens improvements, (and Photoshop does use SIMD) the Core 2 can be up to 30%-40% faster then the Core Duo with Photoshop. Maybe in your world 30%-40% isn’t significant, but it is in most everyone else’s. As well, there’s a lot going in the video card these days, like OS operations, that free up the CPU for application ops, which does make everything run faster.

    So “laptop” doesn’t imply portable? I even *explicitly* stated: “I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between ‘portable’ and ‘luggable.’” (In the context, “mobile” is the word I’m using to describe what you mean by “portable.”)

    Personal opinion. My 17″ is HIGHLY portable. You may feel different but “feelings” don’t in fact apply to everyone. I know a lot of people who are highly mobile with a 17″. It’s not a 20 pound kaypro.

    If you think tablets are about “tap-tap-taping,” you haven’t used one much. Taking notes in a meeting on a tablet is really no different than taking them on paper. Is taking notes on paper considered rude???

    Plastic on plastic is not as silent as plastic on paper. I’ve been around a lot of tablets, and since i’m not used to them, I’m more aware of their idiosyncrasies. As well, if you’re busy staring at the screen, and not at the people who are talking, quite possibly to you, then yes, that is rude, whether paper or no.

    Again, condescend all you want. I guess my industry doesn’t count as part of “the business world.”

    If you get your panties in a bunch over someone taking notes on a laptop, you may be in business, but you’re not terribly professional.

    That wasn’t the situation. If *you* were the one who was talking while looking down, typing away on your laptop (which, in this case, wouldn’t be connected to a projector), with the audience wondering what you were doing, I think many in the audience would also think that is rude.

    But since I can type properly, I don’t have to look down constantly. I can look up at the person speaking. In fact, while I have to look down sometimes, it’s FAR less than someone who’s writing. As well, how would a tablet allow the audience to see what I was doing? What, it’s projecting what I’m writing out of its own back?

    For some situations, it *is* inherently better than a keyboard. And, for many people, these are not uncommon situations. But you make it sound like it’s an either-or question–that’s not true with a convertible. You get both. What’s *wrong* with that sort of flexibility???

    Yes, for SOME situations it’s better. Specifically quick note-taking and limited vertical market use where input is limited and a keyboard is impractical. That’s what I’ve been saying. Where I completely disagree with you is your contention that the $400 premium that a tablet imposes over a laptop with similar specs is worth it for the vast majority of users. Obviously the vast majority of users agree with me considering that with 5 major PC vendors selling tablets, their COMBINED SALES are no better than Apple’s TOTAL laptop sales. *You* make it sound like this is something everyone wants or SHOULD want, but that’s obviously not been the case. You also made most of your supporting arguments NOT around pen input, but around size and weight, both of which are, as I have shown repeatedly, solvable without any tablet functionality whatsoever.

    So answer me this… if, say, a tablet is released that has the fastest mobile processor (with the fastest FSB) available, as much RAM as any other, supports the fastest hard drives on the market, and a competitive price… then are you going to buy one?

    No. My workflow would not benefit in the slightest from one, nor would most people’s. Most of my workflow is writing and a good bit of scripting. Heavy writing isn’t comfortable with a pen, and you’d have to be insane to program with one.

    You seem to want things both ways–you say that tablets aren’t inherently better than a keyboard… so why, then, do you have a Wacom tablet?

    For very specific uses that I don’t do all the time. Note my Wacom is portable between my laptops and my desktops, whereas a tablet is not portable in the same way. As well, my 17″ MacBook will smoke your X41 on any graphics application operation you care to pick.

    You say tablets are only good for vertical markets like medical, but are upset because they don’t make one that performs well enough heavy graphics apps?

    You seem to like strawmen a lot. Yes. Because vertical markets like the medical profession make heavy use of taking short notes while standing. I’d be silly not to point out this is an ideal situation for a tablet. It’s also one where the performance penalties don’t really matter, and when you look you find, SHOCK, that the medical market IS making use of tablets. Isn’t logic fun! It is TABLET SUPPORTERS that keep making them out to be great for graphics pros, yet then admitting they’re all rather underpowered for that task.

    And yet you seem just fine with a laptop that suffers a horrible performance penalty (on OS X) for some of the biggest apps in the graphics market?

    Snerk. Right. You’re now talking about Adobe and *Rosetta* and trying to make a *software* problem which Adobe has already given a general date for it’s solving, (Q1 2007), and has already released software that isn’t hampered by Rosetta, (Acrobat 8). You also conveniently leave out Video editing, and the software running in OS X for that is most certainly not hampered by Rosetta.

    Again, I don’t get it.

    Try not using fanboyism as the primary thrust of your arguments, and you’ll get it more often.

  129. I think you were the one that made the point about the 17″ screen being important. Furthermore, in the very next sentence, I specifically mentioned “some 7 lb., 17″” machine. The SZ is definitely more powerful than the older X41, but the main leg up it has on the X60 is the video card (the Core 2 Duo is not significantly faster than the Core Duo), and Photoshop doesn’t use that for its processing.

    Le SIGH. Ryan, Again, I shall QUOTE YOUR OWN WORDS:

    “If tablets don’t work for you, fine. Yes, you sacrifice power for mobility–I don’t see *any* powerhouse machines under 4 lbs.”

    You said that. Specifically. No powerhouse machines under 4lbs. Just admit you were wrong and move on. You’ll feel better. really. Your tech claims are ridiculous. Testing has shown that thanks to the SIMD and other improvemens improvements, (and Photoshop does use SIMD) the Core 2 can be up to 30%-40% faster then the Core Duo with Photoshop. Maybe in your world 30%-40% isn’t significant, but it is in most everyone else’s. As well, there’s a lot going in the video card these days, like OS operations, that free up the CPU for application ops, which does make everything run faster.

    So “laptop” doesn’t imply portable? I even *explicitly* stated: “I never said the 17″ wasn’t mobile… but there’s a difference between ‘portable’ and ‘luggable.’” (In the context, “mobile” is the word I’m using to describe what you mean by “portable.”)

    Personal opinion. My 17″ is HIGHLY portable. You may feel different but “feelings” don’t in fact apply to everyone. I know a lot of people who are highly mobile with a 17″. It’s not a 20 pound kaypro.

    If you think tablets are about “tap-tap-taping,” you haven’t used one much. Taking notes in a meeting on a tablet is really no different than taking them on paper. Is taking notes on paper considered rude???

    Plastic on plastic is not as silent as plastic on paper. I’ve been around a lot of tablets, and since i’m not used to them, I’m more aware of their idiosyncrasies. As well, if you’re busy staring at the screen, and not at the people who are talking, quite possibly to you, then yes, that is rude, whether paper or no.

    Again, condescend all you want. I guess my industry doesn’t count as part of “the business world.”

    If you get your panties in a bunch over someone taking notes on a laptop, you may be in business, but you’re not terribly professional.

    That wasn’t the situation. If *you* were the one who was talking while looking down, typing away on your laptop (which, in this case, wouldn’t be connected to a projector), with the audience wondering what you were doing, I think many in the audience would also think that is rude.

    But since I can type properly, I don’t have to look down constantly. I can look up at the person speaking. In fact, while I have to look down sometimes, it’s FAR less than someone who’s writing. As well, how would a tablet allow the audience to see what I was doing? What, it’s projecting what I’m writing out of its own back?

    For some situations, it *is* inherently better than a keyboard. And, for many people, these are not uncommon situations. But you make it sound like it’s an either-or question–that’s not true with a convertible. You get both. What’s *wrong* with that sort of flexibility???

    Yes, for SOME situations it’s better. Specifically quick note-taking and limited vertical market use where input is limited and a keyboard is impractical. That’s what I’ve been saying. Where I completely disagree with you is your contention that the $400 premium that a tablet imposes over a laptop with similar specs is worth it for the vast majority of users. Obviously the vast majority of users agree with me considering that with 5 major PC vendors selling tablets, their COMBINED SALES are no better than Apple’s TOTAL laptop sales. *You* make it sound like this is something everyone wants or SHOULD want, but that’s obviously not been the case. You also made most of your supporting arguments NOT around pen input, but around size and weight, both of which are, as I have shown repeatedly, solvable without any tablet functionality whatsoever.

    So answer me this… if, say, a tablet is released that has the fastest mobile processor (with the fastest FSB) available, as much RAM as any other, supports the fastest hard drives on the market, and a competitive price… then are you going to buy one?

    No. My workflow would not benefit in the slightest from one, nor would most people’s. Most of my workflow is writing and a good bit of scripting. Heavy writing isn’t comfortable with a pen, and you’d have to be insane to program with one.

    You seem to want things both ways–you say that tablets aren’t inherently better than a keyboard… so why, then, do you have a Wacom tablet?

    For very specific uses that I don’t do all the time. Note my Wacom is portable between my laptops and my desktops, whereas a tablet is not portable in the same way. As well, my 17″ MacBook will smoke your X41 on any graphics application operation you care to pick.

    You say tablets are only good for vertical markets like medical, but are upset because they don’t make one that performs well enough heavy graphics apps?

    You seem to like strawmen a lot. Yes. Because vertical markets like the medical profession make heavy use of taking short notes while standing. I’d be silly not to point out this is an ideal situation for a tablet. It’s also one where the performance penalties don’t really matter, and when you look you find, SHOCK, that the medical market IS making use of tablets. Isn’t logic fun! It is TABLET SUPPORTERS that keep making them out to be great for graphics pros, yet then admitting they’re all rather underpowered for that task.

    And yet you seem just fine with a laptop that suffers a horrible performance penalty (on OS X) for some of the biggest apps in the graphics market?

    Snerk. Right. You’re now talking about Adobe and *Rosetta* and trying to make a *software* problem which Adobe has already given a general date for it’s solving, (Q1 2007), and has already released software that isn’t hampered by Rosetta, (Acrobat 8). You also conveniently leave out Video editing, and the software running in OS X for that is most certainly not hampered by Rosetta.

    Again, I don’t get it.

    Try not using fanboyism as the primary thrust of your arguments, and you’ll get it more often.

  130. This is getting ridiculous.

    “Snerk. Right. You’re now talking about Adobe and *Rosetta* and trying to make a *software* problem which Adobe has already given a general date for it’s solving, (Q1 2007), and has already released software that isn’t hampered by Rosetta, (Acrobat 8).”

    And you’re accuse me of dodging? I’ll distill this:

    You (composite of your statements): performance is of primary importance to me and cannot consider a poorly-performing system

    You: CS2 user, Intel Mac user

    But CS2 on an Intel Mac? That means emulation mode (no SIMD), huge performance penalty regardless of hardware. Contradiction.

    Did I say it was aimed at graphics pros? No. Did I describe in detail common situations where many people could find them useful? Yes. But no, they’re only useful in vertical markets. More like “le choke.” And please… don’t tell me you type out notes while giving presentations. (And yes, you can certainly display what you’re writing with a tablet–hook up a projector… I think someone else here mentioned how useful that can be, already. I thought you said you’ve been around them a lot?)

    And… for the last time… $1,084… let me get my calculator… oh wait, that’s not $400 more than a $1,200 Dell. But please, continue to use that non-fact ad nauseam.

    As you said, even if it had great performance, you wouldn’t buy one anyways–even though it simply gives you the *FLEXIBILITY of BOTH a keyboard and tablet* (which you already use), so what’s the point??? I’m sure if your MBP had a tablet built-in, you’d never use it, right? Yeah, right.

  131. This is getting ridiculous.

    “Snerk. Right. You’re now talking about Adobe and *Rosetta* and trying to make a *software* problem which Adobe has already given a general date for it’s solving, (Q1 2007), and has already released software that isn’t hampered by Rosetta, (Acrobat 8).”

    And you’re accuse me of dodging? I’ll distill this:

    You (composite of your statements): performance is of primary importance to me and cannot consider a poorly-performing system

    You: CS2 user, Intel Mac user

    But CS2 on an Intel Mac? That means emulation mode (no SIMD), huge performance penalty regardless of hardware. Contradiction.

    Did I say it was aimed at graphics pros? No. Did I describe in detail common situations where many people could find them useful? Yes. But no, they’re only useful in vertical markets. More like “le choke.” And please… don’t tell me you type out notes while giving presentations. (And yes, you can certainly display what you’re writing with a tablet–hook up a projector… I think someone else here mentioned how useful that can be, already. I thought you said you’ve been around them a lot?)

    And… for the last time… $1,084… let me get my calculator… oh wait, that’s not $400 more than a $1,200 Dell. But please, continue to use that non-fact ad nauseam.

    As you said, even if it had great performance, you wouldn’t buy one anyways–even though it simply gives you the *FLEXIBILITY of BOTH a keyboard and tablet* (which you already use), so what’s the point??? I’m sure if your MBP had a tablet built-in, you’d never use it, right? Yeah, right.

  132. You (composite of your statements): performance is of primary importance to me and cannot consider a poorly-performing system

    You: CS2 user, Intel Mac user

    But CS2 on an Intel Mac? That means emulation mode (no SIMD), huge performance penalty regardless of hardware. Contradiction.

    Today class, we learn about the dangers of assuming you know the other person. Me no primarily CS2 user.

    Me: OS X admin, Windows Admin. (turns around, yep, there’s my Active Directory class cert), and part – time Linux Admin, running XP/Vista/Ubuntu in virtual Machines on my MacBook.

    You’re also trying to turn this into a Tablet vs Mac issue. That’s not the case, but it’s the only way you can come out anything ahead, and you know what, I’ll bet that CS2 in Rosetta, (which is NOT emulation, try actually reading some valid data on it instead of what the other fanboys tell you), on my Macbook is STILL faster than on your X41. So even in a translation environment, I’ve got a faster CS2 Machine. However, that’s not the point. You can’t point at any tablet PC that is a better overall fit as a portable for a designer than a fast laptop. You can’t do it by limiting your search solely to Macs, and you sure can’t do it with Wintel OEMs.

    Oh, and by the way, Rosetta does support Altivec, the PPC vector architecture. So you’re wrong three times: 1) Not emulation. 2) Not called SIMD on PPC. 3) Rosetta supports Altivec.

    Did I say it was aimed at graphics pros? No. Did I describe in detail common situations where many people could find them useful? Yes. But no, they’re only useful in vertical markets. More like “le choke.” And please… don’t tell me you type out notes while giving presentations. (And yes, you can certainly display what you’re writing with a tablet–hook up a projector… I think someone else here mentioned how useful that can be, already. I thought you said you’ve been around them a lot?)

    Again, a narrow vertical market is simply not an intelligent investment for Apple, especially since none of those vertical markets are part of their core markets. Actually, I DO type notes when i give presos. See, on a Mac, PowerPoint and Keynote both have advanced presenter tools that allow me to do this. The slides are displayed on the projector, the speaker tools, including notes that I can edit while talking are displayed on my laptop. With PowerPoint 2004, I can easily jump between entire sections of my preso if I think the audience will benefit, and all the audience sees is the slides.

    And… for the last time… $1,084… let me get my calculator… oh wait, that’s not $400 more than a $1,200 Dell. But please, continue to use that non-fact ad nauseam.

    Oh please, hypocritical much? You care to compare EVERY laptop out there with similar specs to the X41? you’d have to look, since other than tablets, no one’s running old crap like that, but I can, and have found sub 1000 laptops with equal or better specs than the X41. You haven’t been really right on a single tech point yet. I still love the “No fast laptops under three pounds” statement. That’s a gem it is. Try Google, it saves you from these little problems.

    As you said, even if it had great performance, you wouldn’t buy one anyways–even though it simply gives you the *FLEXIBILITY of BOTH a keyboard and tablet* (which you already use), so what’s the point??? I’m sure if your MBP had a tablet built-in, you’d never use it, right? Yeah, right.

    You’re right. My workflow would not benefit in the slightest from a tablet, so why should I buy one. If I got one for free when I next upgrade my laptop, would i use it? Occasionally, but only in things like Photoshop. Sure as hell not for note-taking, I find the inability to multitask that longhand forces upon me to be far too limiting. My fingers know how to type, why would I want to give that up?

    You’re just getting whiny because when you have to actually just support the tablet functions, the best you can currently do is to say “Vertical Markets (which have them in abundance already and are most Tablet sales), quick notes while standing, and way underpowered graphics machines.” The funny thing about that last one is that most designers I know, (and I know a few on the mac and windows sides) don’t want to draw on the screen, because they don’t want their hand getting in the way of what they work on. The like having the tablet out of the line of sight, and two uncluttered monitors to work on.

    So really, the idea the designers are going to jump on tablets, (come the day when they aren’t underpowerd), doesn’t really have a lot of backing other than Tablet Fanboys.

  133. You (composite of your statements): performance is of primary importance to me and cannot consider a poorly-performing system

    You: CS2 user, Intel Mac user

    But CS2 on an Intel Mac? That means emulation mode (no SIMD), huge performance penalty regardless of hardware. Contradiction.

    Today class, we learn about the dangers of assuming you know the other person. Me no primarily CS2 user.

    Me: OS X admin, Windows Admin. (turns around, yep, there’s my Active Directory class cert), and part – time Linux Admin, running XP/Vista/Ubuntu in virtual Machines on my MacBook.

    You’re also trying to turn this into a Tablet vs Mac issue. That’s not the case, but it’s the only way you can come out anything ahead, and you know what, I’ll bet that CS2 in Rosetta, (which is NOT emulation, try actually reading some valid data on it instead of what the other fanboys tell you), on my Macbook is STILL faster than on your X41. So even in a translation environment, I’ve got a faster CS2 Machine. However, that’s not the point. You can’t point at any tablet PC that is a better overall fit as a portable for a designer than a fast laptop. You can’t do it by limiting your search solely to Macs, and you sure can’t do it with Wintel OEMs.

    Oh, and by the way, Rosetta does support Altivec, the PPC vector architecture. So you’re wrong three times: 1) Not emulation. 2) Not called SIMD on PPC. 3) Rosetta supports Altivec.

    Did I say it was aimed at graphics pros? No. Did I describe in detail common situations where many people could find them useful? Yes. But no, they’re only useful in vertical markets. More like “le choke.” And please… don’t tell me you type out notes while giving presentations. (And yes, you can certainly display what you’re writing with a tablet–hook up a projector… I think someone else here mentioned how useful that can be, already. I thought you said you’ve been around them a lot?)

    Again, a narrow vertical market is simply not an intelligent investment for Apple, especially since none of those vertical markets are part of their core markets. Actually, I DO type notes when i give presos. See, on a Mac, PowerPoint and Keynote both have advanced presenter tools that allow me to do this. The slides are displayed on the projector, the speaker tools, including notes that I can edit while talking are displayed on my laptop. With PowerPoint 2004, I can easily jump between entire sections of my preso if I think the audience will benefit, and all the audience sees is the slides.

    And… for the last time… $1,084… let me get my calculator… oh wait, that’s not $400 more than a $1,200 Dell. But please, continue to use that non-fact ad nauseam.

    Oh please, hypocritical much? You care to compare EVERY laptop out there with similar specs to the X41? you’d have to look, since other than tablets, no one’s running old crap like that, but I can, and have found sub 1000 laptops with equal or better specs than the X41. You haven’t been really right on a single tech point yet. I still love the “No fast laptops under three pounds” statement. That’s a gem it is. Try Google, it saves you from these little problems.

    As you said, even if it had great performance, you wouldn’t buy one anyways–even though it simply gives you the *FLEXIBILITY of BOTH a keyboard and tablet* (which you already use), so what’s the point??? I’m sure if your MBP had a tablet built-in, you’d never use it, right? Yeah, right.

    You’re right. My workflow would not benefit in the slightest from a tablet, so why should I buy one. If I got one for free when I next upgrade my laptop, would i use it? Occasionally, but only in things like Photoshop. Sure as hell not for note-taking, I find the inability to multitask that longhand forces upon me to be far too limiting. My fingers know how to type, why would I want to give that up?

    You’re just getting whiny because when you have to actually just support the tablet functions, the best you can currently do is to say “Vertical Markets (which have them in abundance already and are most Tablet sales), quick notes while standing, and way underpowered graphics machines.” The funny thing about that last one is that most designers I know, (and I know a few on the mac and windows sides) don’t want to draw on the screen, because they don’t want their hand getting in the way of what they work on. The like having the tablet out of the line of sight, and two uncluttered monitors to work on.

    So really, the idea the designers are going to jump on tablets, (come the day when they aren’t underpowerd), doesn’t really have a lot of backing other than Tablet Fanboys.

  134. […] I just saw on my Google Reader river that Scoble mentioned that there are rumors floating around again that Apple is doing a tablet Mac, which is a market segment subject to a fair degree of criticism. Why? Because zeitgeist sentiment never really embraced the tablet PCs, more or less calling them a solution to a problem nobody really has. As attractive as the idea looks on paper, it just hasn’t picked up steam like some thought it would. Some have, sure. But many? No. […]

  135. We couldn’t possibly agree more, Mr. Scoble…see, what we think everyone is missing is that Apple is going to do a tablet like the ill-fated “Mira” project from Microsoft…now that the bandwidth is finally there with 802.11n, the time is ripe (pardon the Apple pun)…check the story over at our site, http://www.applerecon.com :)

  136. We couldn’t possibly agree more, Mr. Scoble…see, what we think everyone is missing is that Apple is going to do a tablet like the ill-fated “Mira” project from Microsoft…now that the bandwidth is finally there with 802.11n, the time is ripe (pardon the Apple pun)…check the story over at our site, http://www.applerecon.com :)

  137. Apple Tablet may be launched this Christmas or possibly as early as September and might cost $800.00 with Verizon as the carrier. I hope this will be another great rally for apple earnings. I will buy one of this for sure. I am a great fan of apple product so started collecting all the information (more than 200 sites) about Apple Tablet(News, Videos, Pics, Pre reviews, Rumors etc.,). If you are interested take a look at the below link
    http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/apple-