This April, Apple released iPad. This new
tablet was obviously inspired by iPhone, even using the same operating system,
but with a larger screen of traditional tablets. Once iPad proved what tablet
could do (with the help of marketing budget and considerable commercial of
Apple), suddenly it was easy to convince people that tablets were useful at
One of the most important striking points
of iPad is easy to use. As commercial of Apple said, “You know how to use it”,
of course, it’s easier than almost every Windows computers. A staff of Computeractive
bought it for his mother who had never used the computer before and now she
is proficient in using the tablet.
However, it’s not a good idea for everyone.
Although it’s good at displaying most websites, iPad can’t show anything
created by Flash, so there are overlooked parts in many websites and video
services which don’t work.
Moreover, because iPad runs iOS of Apple,
there is no way to install software you used normally on usual PC or Mac, for
instance Microsoft Word. You are limited to those applications designed specifically.
There are many available applications but some don’t work better. Tasks
requiring computer processors to work harshly often work poorly, because
tablets have processors which are cheaper and weaker, and if you are about to
edit a lot of images or videos, you’d better to associate with versatility and
storage of a laptop or Mac or Windows desktops.
It puts iPad into strange situation: it is
a great computer and very easy to use but we think for everyone, it’s just the
second device if you have already accessed to laptop or desktop for heavier
The best in two worlds
Joojoo runs the operating system based
Another matter is affecting to iPad and in
fact, it influences on any tablets without keyboard. It is not ideal for the
long post. While iPad has word processing application Pages of Apple and you
can connect to Bluetooth keyboard, it is better if you use computer with
keyboard if you need to write anything longer than email.
With that opinion, some companies continue
to create “hybrid” tablets – computers can operate by using touch screen like
tablets or installed standard keyboard.
Recently we have taken a look at Fujitsu
Lifebook T4410, which folded to switch between laptop and tablet, and ran the
norm version of Windows. Lifebook could be more flexible, so it could be the
ideal choice if you just want a computer for typing and tasks based on tablets,
but it is more expensive almost 3 times than Apple tablet.
However, with the “hybrid” tablets, we see
the emergence of new tablets designed to look like iPad. For example, Joojoo is
larger than iPad but it looks similar, with the entire front for a touch
screen. Like iPad, instead of running Windows, it use a special operating
system based on Linux. It’s also cheaper than iPad with $630, including
shipping to the UK.
A tablet which is controlled by pen,
stylus or your finger
HP has a new tablet called Zeen. It is
going to be launched and use Android which is more popular on smartphone. It
aims to read books more than using computers in general. In July, Microsoft
confirmed again that it would sell tablets with Windows 7 because they claimed
that those tablets would be available in the end of this year from companies
including Samsung, Dell and Sony.
Therefore, is tablet or just iPad finally
useful for home users? It’s too early to know. Apple has sold several million
iPad but until we see many similar products later this year, it’s hard to know
if it’s the case happening for just marketing or a real change to tablets which
are good at using both at home and at work.
To make tablets become really popular, they
need to be cheaper but when many devices are sold, the price often decline. At
this time it can’t be assumed that they are replacing most laptops but please
keep an eye on our review about the latest and the best tablets when they are
Fujitsu Lifebook switches between
laptop and tablet
Small, light and cheap laptops don’t need
to be tablet or have touch screen. In reality, computers without touch screen
are usually cheaper.
General category of “netbook” includes a
smaller segment of the kind of laptop with models like Toshiba NB300 and
Samsung N150 which are less than £300 – the price no tablet can hope to catch
If you have a tight budget and don’t mind
older technologies, a model such as Acer Aspire One D250 is available for
less than £200.
We have considered it in Jan, 2009 when
it cost £329 but it is still selling with the reduced price. All of these
computers can handle text, email and surf the web as touch screen model and
in some case, they even do better.