The NBP Group recently reported that laptop sales were only down 1% July 2010 and 1% in August 2010. Although netbook and laptop sales have had steady growth in the past, they are far from being phased out by tablet PCs.
It is now clear that Tablet PCs are a strong competitor to netbooks and laptops and are making large strides but they certainly haven’t won the war. With sells holding strong we will likely see netbooks of the future adapt to their new competition and refuel the fire in the war on lightweight portable computers.
One thing is certain, in order for netbook and laptop sales to grow in the future the companies producing them will need to again create a strong demand for their products. Currently, 14% of consumers plan on purchasing a tablet PC compared to 8% that plan on purchasing a netbook or laptop. Although we can’t know for certain the percentage of people in each group that have the means to purchase in the future, it is clear that the tablet PC has a stronger demand.
With Ipad sales breaching 2,000,000 units already the question must be asked, “Will the tablet PC replace the netbook in the future of small, portable computers?”
One thing is certain, tablet PC’s and netbooks both have advantages and disadvantages over each other and do in-fact serve slightly different purposes. The tablet PC is built for content consumption and very light content creation. With it a consumer can read books, check and send e-mail, watch movies (even in HD), and play games. The netbook on the other hand is built for content creation as well as light content consumption. A standard windows operation system allows the netbook to create most content a standard laptop can create and edit.
Pricing is another factor worth considering. Netbooks can be purchased for $250 – $300 while Ipads are in the $500+ range. Those looking for a cheap mobile computer will have to spend about twice as much for the tablet PC unless prices come down.
In my opinion there will likely be a device in the future that is more content creation friendly than the Ipad but also has the content consumption features that make it appealing. I do not believe tablet PC’s will replace netbooks until a college student can realistically bring a tablet PC to school as an all-in-one solution for their computing needs.
According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Sony is planning to enter the tablet market and compete with Apple by developing a product similar to the iPad. Some analysts assume that this device, whose details are quite limited, will run on Google Android OS though its possible it could run Windows 7 instead. No one yet knows. However, Sony has never been one to undercut its competition on price and therefore we may be looking at a device costing more than the iPad which might hurt its foray into this market.
MSI just revealed the newest addition to its tech lineup at Computex 2010. The WindPad 100 is a 10″ (1024×600 resolution) Windows 7 Home Premium tablet powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor and packing 2 GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD hard drive. The MSI tablet will also feature two USB ports, an HDMI port, as well as a webcam.
Something interesting about the tablet is that is made entirely of plastic. Sadly, it does feel like it, but on the bright side, the WindPad also weighs in at a mere 1.7 pounds. The prototype featured at Computex didn’t have any of the ports listed above, but the final product is expected to output 720p video to an HDTV.
The MSI WindPad 100 tablet is expected to hit the market later this year for a cool $499.
Will it be the next “iPad killer”? I doubt it, but it still seems like a decent tablet.
The device in question is the Asus Eee Pad EP121, a tablet computer that, according to the company, is “a full-featured slate computer that serves as a multimedia player, e-reader, compact PC and Internet device.” It was unveiled at Computex 2010 in Taipei and has a 12-inch touchscreen, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Asus has said that the device is able to run many applications at once, which the iPad cannot do.
Asus also revealed another new device, the Asus Eee 101TC, which is a thinner and lighter device that runs Windows 7 Embedded. Asus’ decision to use Windows on its tablets is probably going to help Microsoft maintain a presence in the still-young tablet market. HP was also going to use Windows in its tablet until its acquisition of Palm.
Via InformationWeek, image via CNET.
Wow. The iPad has turned out to be way more successful than I expected it to be. Apple has announced today that it has sold its two millionth iPad. Keep in mind that this milestone comes less than a month after the sale of the one millionth iPad and less than sixty days after the initial release of the iPad on April 3.
The iPad was released internationally and, according to Steve Jobs in a press release, “customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do.”
Apple has also announced that the App Store now has over 5,000 native iPad apps and over 200,000 apps total. Though Apple has not revealed specific sale figures for each of the iPad models or the number of iPads sold in specific countries, avid Apple watchers are hoping for such statistics at the Worldwide Developers Conference, coming up next month.
Via PC World, image via Apple.
For computer users who want a small, portable device, there exist two options: netbooks and tablets. But how does one decide between the two devices? According to technology analyst Tim Bajarin, the main difference lies in what he calls content consumption vs. content creation. The terms are self-explanatory: content consumption is looking at and absorbing others’ content, while content creation is the making of content oneself.
Content creation takes up 25 percent of the time people spend on computers. The other three quarters of the time is spent consuming content. This distinction is important to make because netbooks (and laptops) are good for content creation, but tablets are good for content consumption.
Ultimately, a user must assess his or her own needs when deciding between a netbook or a tablet. If someone already owns a laptop, a tablet can be a nice supplement for content consumption. Indeed, tablets are optimized for content consumption, much more so than laptops or netbooks. But for users who need to create a lot of content, a netbook is probably a better choice than a tablet.
Via PC Magazine.
Motorola may be in the process of designing a tablet that will run Google’s Android operating system, says a company executive. The executive was answering questions at a conference when the subject came up. He also revealed that Motorola is focusing heavily on Android. The potential device, according to the executive, would be about 7 to 10 inches and would be intended to supplement a user’s TV experience.
This rumor has come about at the same time as another rumor concerning Android devices made by Motorola. Motorola is allegedly working on two new high-end Droid phones that will be released sometime in July with Verizon as their carrier. There has been speculation that one of the phones has already been seen by the public in the form of a prototype found in a gym earlier this week.
Either way, this summer looks to be very interesting in terms of Android devices.
Via PC World, image via PC World.
Marvell Technologies has announced today that it will partner with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create a $100 tablet, named the XO-3. The foundation achieved great success with the XO-1 laptop computer for children in developing countries.
More details about the XO-3 have emerged. It will have a power rating of 1 watt per hour, a multilingual, multitouch screen keyboard, WiFi, high quality video, and Flash 10 Internet. It will be based on an ARM processor, most likely the Marvell Armada 610, and run Google’s Android OS.
According to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte, the XO-3 will eventually have an adaptable screen to allow for viewing in either sunlight or inside. The tablet will allegedly be 10.8 millimeters thick, which rivals the iPad.
The tablet is planned to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011.
Via CNET, image via OLPC.
Starting on Friday, the iPad will be turned loose to countries other than the United States. Apple is releasing it in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany on Friday and in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands sometime in July. Major European carriers that will offer service for the iPad have already announced their data plans.
A researcher with Gartner Inc. has said that the iPad is extremely unique and is in a category of its own when it comes to mobile products. Though other companies are planning to manufacture tablets, at this point the iPad really does not have a rival. Gartner has forecasted that the iPad will count for the majority of sales of touchscreen tablet products this year.
In the UK, computer retailer DSG has exclusive rights to sell the iPad for sixty days. In France, there is no one chain of stores with exclusivity.
Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Apple.
Dell is a very strange company: it has just unveiled a device that it is calling a tablet and is meant to compete with Apple’s iPad. There’s only one problem: this device, called the Streak, looks a lot more like a smartphone than a tablet to me.
The Streak is Android-based and has a touchscreen about half the size of the iPad’s. It has a 1 GHz processor, 2 GB internal storage, up to 32 GB external SD storage, and a 5 megapixel camera. There’s nothing wrong with this device—it actually looks kind of cute—but by no stretch of the imagination would I consider it a tablet.
It is true that the iPad’s OS is a mobile OS and in some ways, the iPad may be more similar to a smartphone than a laptop. But there is a difference between tablets and smartphones, and the iPad is clearly a tablet, while the Streak is much more like a smartphone.
Android has great potential to compete with the iPad but only if it is used on devices that are actually tablets.
Via PC World, image via PC World.
An iPad user recently found out the hard way that iPads are not allowed into Yankee Stadium when she attempted to bring the device to a game but was told that iPads are included in the no laptop rule for Yankee Stadium’s security policy.
A sports blogger called the security department to confirm this and it is indeed true: iPads are banned from Yankee Stadium as a security threat. But even though the ban is kind of silly, the same blogger wondered why anyone would want to bring, much less use, an iPad at a baseball game. That is a good point: if you are going to the game, isn’t the whole point to watch it while you’re there?
Also, the chances of being able to go on the Internet on an iPad during a game are pretty much unlikely due to the sheer amount of people present. One thing is certain: with thousands of people on cell networks all at once, the 3G network will not work on an iPad.
Via Yahoo! Sports, image via BLS Illustration.
Hewlett Packard has acquired both Palm and its WebOS platform, but according to an HP executive in Taiwan, will not be manufacturing any type of netbook with this technology. Instead, HP has plans to create a tablet that is based on the WebOS operating system.
Monty Wong, the Vice President of the Personal Computing Systems Group at HP Taiwan, said that an HP WebOS tablet might be ready by October of this year, but did not offer any further details regarding the device’s release. More details are expected to surface later in July, after the Palm acquisition is finalized.
Furthermore, Wong believes that netbooks are too similar in functionality to laptops, so it wouldn’t make sense to play in that arena. Also, making a WebOS-based netbook that is operated by a mouse and keyboard seems silly because WebOS is a touch-based operating system. It’s better for HP to create a tablet, since touchscreen netbooks and laptops haven’t been big hits in the market thus far anyway.
The Prime Minister of Norway made headlines when he was seen using an iPad while stranded in an airport due to a volcano eruption last month. Not to be outdone, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has acquired his own iPad, which he uses for reading e-books.
Speaking to students at Kiev State University in Ukraine earlier this week, he explained how he did not like e-books previously, but has started reading them with the help of an iPad. The Russian President has a reputation for being technologically savvy: he has been seen using an iPhone and a MacBook Pro and appears to accord more importance to technology than his predecessor Putin, who allegedly does not even use email (at least according to an interview published ten years ago).
Via CNews, image via CNews.
In preparation for the international release of the iPad at the month, Apple is in the process of bringing the iPad App Store to customers outside of the United States. Previously, users had to download iPad apps through iTunes and then transfer them by sync, but with the changes, users will be able to browse and download apps from the iPad itself.
The iBooks application is still not available outside the US, though international users allegedly can use it by making a US iTunes account. Some analysts have said that there are some international readers with iPads.
Via USA News Week, image via Apple.
Chinese computer manufacturer Hongrun Electronic is releasing a new mobile internet device (MID) to the market. The MID700 tablet will feature a 7″ screen with 800×480 resolution, 256MB of DDR2 RAM, and 2 GB of flash storage. It will be powered by an 800MHz Telechips TCC8901 chipset and run on Windows CE 6.0. Other features of the tablet include a mini USB port, an SD card slot, and an HDMI port. The MID700 is also able to support 1080p videos.
There’s no word about how long the device’s battery will last, and unfortunately the resistive touchscreen won’t provide the best experience that money can buy, but the MID700 also supports stylus input. At least it’s relatively small, portable, and somewhat cute. The tablet, pictured below, retails for roughly 980 Yuan, or about $145 U.S.
Watch out Apple! Sony and other netbook manufacturers just might jump into the tablet PC manufacturing business soon. In fact, Sony recently released their new Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks, which feature new Intel Atom processors, as well as several other new features, including an undersized keyboard with a centralized pointing stick, and a touchpad on the right side of the LCD bezel and mouse buttons on the left side of the LCD. The setup is essentially similar to that of a tablet. The Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks also have accelerometers, so users can use the device in portrait mode.
Sony’s newest netbooks will be available in several unique colors: electric orange, neon green, and icy white — definitely sure to catch passerby’s attention. The P-Series netbooks are available for pre-order and start at $800 each for the base model.
We haven’t seen the release of a kid-friendly tablet/netbook device in a while, but Kids Computers has a remedy to that. Their newest device that is aimed at kids is the Intel Classmate Tablet, which can be used both as a tablet and as a clamshell netbook. This computer features a 10.1″ LCD screen with 1024×600 resolution, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive. Other options for memory and storage are 2 GB and an SSD hard drive, respectively.
The tablet’s keyboard is water resistant and the screen is touch sensitive. There is also a pen that’s included with the device so that kids can draw on the screen. Other features of the tablet/netbook include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Windows XP Home. If 2 GB of RAM is purchased with the tablet, it can also be upgraded to the Windows 7 version for an additional cost. The Intel Classmate netbook will be equipped with a 4-celled battery. Pricing starts at $649 for the base model.
Acer is supposed to show off its new device at Computex Taipei, a yearly computer and electronics show that opens on June 1. Chrome OS was designed for netbooks, smartbooks, and tablets. Acer has said previously that it would have a Chrome OS netbook ready by the middle of 2010. There currently is no word about what the device is going to be.
Other netbook manufacturers have expressed interest in working with Chrome OS, including Dell, though it said that it was still evaluating Chrome OS.
What is unclear right now is the relationship between Chrome OS and Android. Android is intended for mobile devices, like smartphones, but some companies have expressed interest in using it on tablets as well. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says that the two will eventually merge.
Via CNET, image via Google.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced recently that his company and Google are going to work together to develop a tablet to compete with the iPad. McAdam did not mention very many details, so the tech blogosphere is bursting with questions.
The first question is why Google has not mentioned its involvement in the tablet. Verizon has spoken openly about it, but Google has not made a single public comment concerning the new device. Google’s silence has led some analysts to believe that Verizon has completely invented the tablet in order to get a better deal with Apple for the iPhone and iPad.
The next question is who would make the Verizon-Google tablet. It’s supposed to run Android OS, which would suggest either HTC or Motorola making it, as these two companies are the most prominent on Verizon’s network to use Android. Furthermore, how much would Verizon influence the tablet? Would it be locked into the Verizon App Store or would is be able to use Android’s marketplace? All these questions will hopefully answered later this week.
Via PC World, image via PC World.