Tablet Computers – Tablets, Tablets Everywhere

by Mike McEvoy on December 14, 2010


Dawn of the Tablet Computers Era

Tablet computers, driven by the launch of the Apple iPad, became one of the hottest technology topics of 2010. In many ways reminiscent of how the netbook computer (remember those?) burst onto the scene in 2007-2008 the tablet computer came out of nowhere in 2010. The accelerated growth of tablet computers is projected to continue well into the future.

According to Gartner analysts “worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to reach 19.5 million units in 2010.” Beyond the current calendar year, “Media tablets are poised for strong growth with worldwide end user sales projected to total 54.8 million units in 2011, up 181 percent from 2010 and surpass 208 million units in 2014.” Looks like a healthy growth curve for tablet computers to say the least.

Gartner defines the term “media tablets” as, “slate devices that support touch and run a lightweight OS such as iOS, Android, WebOS or Meego. Examples of media tablets are the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius.”

Tablet Computers – Manufacturers and Vendors

Companies who have who have already begun shipping tablet computers or will release them in the first half of 2011 include Apple, HP, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Viewsonic, Google, Blackberry (RIM), Toshiba, Asus, Cisco, NEC, Archos, Velocity Micro and a host of others. Competition will be fierce in a crowded field.

With varying sales projections and numerous companies rolling out their own versions of a media tablet computer there are quite a few questions about what 2011 will bring to the tablet computer world. For instance:

  • Can anyone challenge the huge lead Apple has built with the iPad?
  • Are tablet computer sales mainly being driven by early adopters or can tablets make the jump to mainstreet and broader acceptance?
  • How much will the price of tablet computing decrease in 2011 as competition heats up?
  • How broadly will businesses embrace tablet computers?
  • How rapidly will tablet technology, functionality and capabilities evolve?
  • Will your tablet computer replace your laptop? Your smartphone? Your television?
  • What impact will a Google tablet computer running the Android operating system have on the marketplace?
  • What’s the “right” size for a tablet computer? 5 inches? 7 inches? 9 inches? 10 inches?

There are plenty of questions that will play out over time in the tablet computer world. To present some insights into current tablet computers and technology I’ve put together a video compilation from YouTube showing a few of the current tablet computing competitors. Enjoy.

HP Slate 500 for Business

CNET Prizefight: Samsung Galaxy Tab vs. Apple iPad 3G

Hands-on – Samsung Galaxy Tab doing Android in tablet form

iPad review- Consumer Reports

AP Review: How the IPad Won Over a Skeptic

Samsung Galaxy Tab – All the Great Features

Cisco Cius Enterprise Tablet

Toshiba Folio 100 Review

Dell Streak

Much more to look forward to as the era of tablet PCs had just begun. As more of these tablet devices are finally released to the public I’ll be back with more information and insights.



ComputerTooSlowRepair December 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

Good writeup on the tablet PC market. We have an iPad at my place for work for testing and I do say that I could see them being pretty useful as a quick around the house PC. I am most interested in the HP Slate as I think this could be to tablet that competes with the iPad. We will see though.

Mike McEvoy December 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

Glad you enjoyed the Tablet PC post. Yes, the HP Slate is an interesting device. I’m also looking forward to see what the Blackberry People (RIM) will finally launch. The first 3-4 months of 2011 will be a very interesting time in the Tablet Computer space. Still waiting to see how MS/Windows fits into this area along with Apple and the Android OS.

ComputerTooSlowRepair January 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I agree that Blackberry could come up with something pretty good. I have the Torch and I am pretty impressed with the User Interface. I think they could roll something similar out to a tablet.

Chip December 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

I returned my iPad. Between the majority of apps not running full screen and the lack of flash, it was just too expensive for what it provided. I still use my years old TC1100 and although it’s twice the weight, it’s a full powered tablet that out performs the iPad. The new HP Slate 500 looks promising, but too expensive. I might try again when the iPad 2 is announced next month, but for now, my TC1100 upgraded with SSD and Windows 7 is still better than anything I can find.

Mike McEvoy December 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

Hi Chip, Thanks for stopping by. Interesting iPad experience. I think the “no Flash support” aspect is going to be an ongoing problem for Apple. How did you find the processing performance with the iPad?

I believe the TC1100 is a Thinkpad tablet, is that correct? Does the TC1100 support “touch” technology like an iPad or and Android tablet?

I agree that the HP Slate 500 does look pretty interesting. Though pricey. There is going to be a slew of new tablet devices in the next 6 months, including the iPad 2 supposedly. I think the Tablet landscape will look quite different a year from now.

Frank Jovine December 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I love my iPad even though I have always been a PC fan. If I can ever play with it without the wife hogging it all the time.

Hailey January 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I own an ipad and I can say that it’s great. I’ve always been a PC user but ipads rock…

Refurbished Gaming Laptops Gerry March 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Another great article Mike. A little slow getting here since my RSS feed was down. I wonder how you see the shakeout a year from now? Will we all need a Tablet, iPhone and Netbook or Laptop? Seems like the tablet is for personal tasks, and enjoyment, and the Netbook/laptop will be for those who need to do productive work?

Wonder what your thoughts are?

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