The problem(s) with tablets…

We all love the idea of tablets, and I have gone on about them recently (eg here). What I would do in this post is point out the four things that I think are wrong with all tablet devices (yes even the holy iPad).

I believe that in the future we will look back in amusement on these first wave of devices due to deficiencies with:

  • Screen
  • Keyboard
  • Battery life
  • Single-user experience.
I explain what I mean below…

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Sun Tzu’s Art of Tablet Marketing

Further to my earlier thoughts on tablets, iPads and Kindles (e.g. here and here) and triggered by an article or two on The Register (here and here) I thought that maybe what is needed here is some insight from Sun Tzu (he who wrote the Art of War, see wiki if this is new to you). I don’t think it gives me much more ability to predict the future than the next Cambridge lamp-post themed blog, but it does give me a better framework to organise my thoughts around than I hand before.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts…

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The Next Kindle – a (loss) Leader in waiting

As I discussed here I think the much rumoured Android / tablet / next Kindle [possibly due Autumn 2011] has a decent chance of being a success. I thought I have covered all the ground as to why, but a new rumour has speculated overnight – the price will be 20-25% below cost in order to build market share and make money later from ebook downloads. Now this shows the power of the ecosystem that Amazon can bring, but I also wonder:

  • Is the technology for eInk + normal colour display so expensive Amazon have no choice; or
  • It his another shot in the forthcoming battle for hearts and minds?
Whatever the answer roll-on October!
Update 18th August – there are two machines apparently coming the 7″ coyote and 10″ hollywood. The latter is quad core, $400 and e-ink plus tablet. Or so the rumours say!

Kindle, Kindle, little star

We all know what the Kindle is and (at least in the UK) it is the ebook reader of choice. I know that in the US the Barnes & Noble Nook has made an impact but that device hasn’t crossed the pond. While I like a good book to hold I see the attraction in e-books particularly access to old titles and convenience of form-factor (plus simpler storage). I have held off getting one mainly as I really want a tablet, so I am keen to understand what the next Kindle (due October 2011?) will be. Ahead of that I thought I would make a some predictions and also speculate on how successful it will be (and is it a threat to the iPad’s global domination?)

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Roberts Stream 83i review


Yes it’s just a piece of domestic technology but (as I will attempt to argue below) this is a deceptive little item that packs a punch and has been a very pleasing purchase.

I think (coupled with some other key bits of technology (some of which are here) it can be part of another step change in user experience. It also gives me an excuse to rave about internet radio as though it were a new invention.!

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Step Changes in Technology

What is this about?

Step ChangeTechnology continually changes and in ICT in particular there is continual change. Some of this is mere produce improvement, some of it is marketing nonsense but some of it is truly game changing or so successful it outstays all predictions. In fact the inability to predict the game changers is part of what makes this so interesting – almost all of the entries were obvious in hind-sight but not at point of release.

The rest of this blog entry is my thoughts on what some of the most important step changes have been – I leave out things like punched cards / tape / home computers as these were all pre-career. Instead I focus on the last 25 years.

I have no doubt missed out a lot – feel free to comment or contact me (see here for details). Thanks for reading!

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Topfield 5800 PVR


Sometimes you buy a bit of technology and wonder how you lived without it; you are taken to a new level in capability and would never do without again. In a bid to re-balance this blog towards its original aspirations I present my review of the Topfield 5800 PVR (or toppy as everyone calls it!)

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