Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So Just What Is A "Real" Tablet Anyway?

Over the past year I've heard iPeople & Windows fans make claims that "Android tablets aren't real tablets" along with grandiose assumptions such as "The victim of Windows 8 will be Android tablets" and how the iPad & upcoming Windows tablet are the only true tablets. So just what is the definition of a real tablet anyway? & more importantly to be a tablet does it have to have a Microsoft logo or piece Fruit on it?

In my short write up on the ASUS Transformer TF101 I shared what I use my tablet for & how it fits into my lifestyle. I felt the need to comment again on the usfullness of my so called "non tablet"  after being without power for the past 95 hours after a nasty storm left myself and over 300,000 others in my area without power.

Like most parents when the power goes out we all try to find ways to entertain kids by playing boardgames, cards, & anything else we can do to calm down kids from the 5 to 10 age range. While all of those are great sometimes we still need the help of other entertainment such as a TV show or movie when calling the power company or getting the house setup with candles for the night ahead without power.

One of the best things I ever purchased was a $20 DC to AC 150 watt (200 watt peak) power inverter for our van to power our modified Xbox 1 XBMC unit. Using the inverter I was able to transfer more then 30 of our movies from one of our file servers hard drives by hooking it up to a external HDD enclosure & then to the Transformer's Dock powering the HDD through the inverter while also charging the tablet. Many would say "That's what Netflix is for" how can you run Netflix with no internet & dodgy cell service due to technical issues caused by the storm. While this sort of setup is not a new approach to many of us in the DIY community or those of us that can look at hardware and see potential as these options are unavailable to me on an iPad or other Android based device such as a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The ASUS keyboard with USB ports was a life saver when needing to charge our cell phones to keep in contact with family & find out local information such as Red Cross relief shelters in the area distributing ice & offering a place to cool off from the heat wave that hit in the days after the storm. The tablet provided entertainment for the whole family by playing over 20+ movies , charging 2 cell phones & serving as a partial flashlight while only needing to be charged twice in 95hrs.

So please... next time you decide to talk down an Android based device think about what your counter part can do that you might not be able to & vise versa. Take it upon your self to ask a friend or colleague who may own such a device to give you a real demo as it might just change your mind when you think outside of the box. As the future of portable devices comes down to more then just the latest game or social app or the number of current apps in the respective markets, it still does just come down to the same thing it always has.. the hardware.
Please note that this blog post was not written to insult the family of iPads,  future Microsoft devices or persons. It was meant to point out that yes many of you are %100 correct! it's not a tablet.. it's better then a tablet & most netbooks. I have a device that's marketed & sold as a tablet with a separate keyboard attachment that cost me just a little less then an iPad ( and possibly a Surface tablet) that I was able to do more with then the "real tablets" others claim as well as other current Android devices on the market just can't do. In the end as long as people can see the potential in a device's hardware, build an alternative operating system , & strive to get the most bang for their buck .... the Open Source spirit of Android will always live & show up on devices just as it has in the PC world with Linux for over 20yrs & 50 million plus users later.


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