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What Would You Like to See Next for Tablet Technology?
by Michelle1214 12:30PM Tuesday Nov 26 2013
Tablets are among the coolest and most widely-used handheld devices ever created, right up there with electric razors, cordless drills and digital cameras. A Pew report this past summer revealed one in three adults in America own a tablet. The tablet – just one of many sci-fi items that made its way to reality – made fictional debuts in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, novels such as Isaac Asimov's Foundation, and in several episodes of Star Trek, in many shapes and forms.

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It's cool that tablet technology is here. And with excellent broadband Internet becoming more available all the time, tablets seem custom-made for the age of portable web access. But what's next in the world of these mobile touch-screen computers? What you you like to see next? Here's some ideas:

Slider keyboard

We'd love to have total screen space, even as we type. A tablet with a slide-out keyboard – like you find on mobile phones – would transform your tablet into a laptop. We'd want hinges and lock options on the screen to tilt it upward for better viewing. The keyboard could be hardware or touchscreen.

What a great concept for: Bloggers on the go, parents in the pickup lane at school or spontaneous emailers who can find broadband access out and about.

Lower prices

Tablet users are likely in a high tax bracket – at least $75,000 in annual income, according to the Pew Research Center. With the iPad starting at $300 for the mini, the most popular tablets can be expensive. Creating a low-cost tablet with only basic features would make it more accessible.

It doesn't have to be fancy.

What a great concept for: School systems, families on budgets, and starving artists.

Integration with the Cloud and gigabit Internet

The more our tablets look and act like our laptops or PCs, the easier it is to work remotely. A keyboard helps. So do innovations such as Microsoft's Surface tablet. Combined with fiber-optic Internet and its unprecedented speed and bandwidth, a tablet could be the only device you'll ever need.

What a great concept for: Mobile offices, journalists, and novelists. Especially with fiber optics from Verizon Internet Service and Google Fiber, integration could mean big things.

Bigger screens – and smaller ones

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Hybrids of laptops and smartphones are referred to as tablets. Those who fall in the size spectrum between smartphones and tablets are "phablets." Expect the multi-sizing to continue, from the monstrous 323x102-inch Microsoft Surface 2 to the influx of 7-inch tablets, and everything in between.

What a great concept for: Web designers and coders, little kids, and anyone who has to sneak Internet access to watch a favorite TV program, check on fantasy sports teams or post that ever-important social media update.

Low- or no-cost 3G/4G radio capability

Wi-Fi is magnificent, when you can get it. When you can’t? There’s 3G/4G radio.Integrated 3G/4G radio comes in handy when you want to use your tablet outside the reach of Wi-Fi. A 16GB 4G iPad retails at $130 more than a Wi-Fi only unit. You’ll also have to take into account charges on data used. Major carriers offer 2GB to 5 GB plans at $30-$50 monthly. Data costs, then, can become prohibitive.

A poll of Gigaom readers recently revealed a preference for Wi-Fi-only tablets (53%) to a need for 3G/4G capability (42%). 3G/4G necessity appears to diminish as Wi-Fi access grows, but reliance on such networks isn’t 100%. T-mobile’s "free data for life" might be the next big thing.

What a great concept for: Virtually all tablet users. Although initially maligned for its fine print and natural exclusions, T-mobile’s solution to the price impediment signals a willingness to make it easier to carry that 3G/4G potential in more devices.

Isn't that good news for all of us?

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Mellow
Premium
join:2001-11-16
Salisbury, MD

Sony Vaio Duo 13

Can't have everything but the Duo 13 comes close.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

2 recommendations

Real Linux tablet

A tablet running real Linux (glibc based), with native drivers (no Android libc translation with libhybris) and using Wayland. With current nightmare of hardware manufacturers in the ARM world, that probably only can happen with Intel based SoCs (Silvermont/Bay Trail), since Intel makes open GPU drivers.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

Slide out keyboard; no way!

with voice command, and transcription software getting better and better phooey with keyboards.

jpbkslave43

@comcast.net

Re: Slide out keyboard; no way!

There are plenty of use cases that would still require a keyboard; imagine a train full of people after work all trying to use voice commands at the same time.

intok

join:2012-03-15

Re: Real Linux tablet

It won't happen unless AMD takes their upcoming 64 bit ARM Cortex A57 offerings out of the server room, in all likelihood since they own their own GPU tech there will be a for real OSS GPU driver for it just as there is for their x86 offerings.

With 64 bit ARM is supposed to finally have a standardized model for all ARM CPUs instead of the hodgepodge spec they currently have where theres no guarantee that your software will run on another brand of ARM cpu without a recompile. This is why Android uses Java to ensure that the apps are portable across installs so that only the phone and tablet manufacturers need to concern themselves with compatibility compiling.

Keep a close eye out for what happens with AMD's Seattle series ARM server chips.
--
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vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA

Tactile keyboard

I'd like the screen to be able to take on different textures, so when a keyboard appears on the screen, it's possible to feel the key boundaries.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

High Cost

I don't disagree that tablets are owned by higher income types. However, the iPhone seems to span all income levels. Since it costs even more (without a subsidy/payment plan) than a typical tablet, tablet cost isn't why lower income types don't have them. They just need a payment plan.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

2 recommendations

Re: High Cost

Tablets are a luxury item, compared to phones. iPhone is also a luxury item, but subsidized cell phone plans conceal that real price. "What do I owe monthly?" is the question most people ask, not "what is the total cost?"
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: High Cost

Agreed except I don't think tablets are a luxury if the consumer doesn't already have an acceptable primary computing device and a tablet would meet their needs.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
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With the cost of tablets falling monthly, and even weekly, I don't see how they're for higher income types. A Galaxy Tab 2 can be had for $200 at your local big box department store. A Tab 3 can be had for about $300 at your local department store. And with HSN and QVC in business and putting those on interest free payments with only one month down, of about $70 with shipping and taxes for about 4-6 months, anyone can have a tablet. It shows something when they sell out of thousands of those in a matter of a few hours when they're selling them on TV each night.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: High Cost

If a consumer needs a new primary computing device, I agree. However, as a secondary computing device they are probably still a luxury for lower income families.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: High Cost

I would agree with that a few years ago, but not anymore. Payment including rent to own options don't make those items "luxury". Especially when many have 52+ inch TVs and more cable options than someone with a higher income range.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: High Cost

True but there are always the folks who have a nice car parked outside of a trailer. The problem with tablets is they are generally more personal devices and you need several rather than just one. I still think when there's already a decent general computing device, tablets are a luxury for those who should be spending money on more essential things.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: High Cost

Tablets can change user profiles just fine anymore. Have you seen the latest Samsung ads on TV? That's one thing they push. But just because you live in a trailer doesn't mean your poor.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: High Cost

Billionaire Warren Buffet might live in a modest house in Omaha but even he drives an older car. Only an extreme outlier would live in a trailer and not be qualified to have their picture next to the definition of poor.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Reviews:
·Pioneer Wireless

What About

More Durable... from being dropped.
Longer Battery Life
Upgradeable storage
Open Standards... none of the this only works with OUR add ons
Simple to use User Profiles
no bulky PC based management software (i'm looking at you iTunes)
Access to the file system (how many ipads are full of "other")
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: What About

Agree. And much of this could be corrected even with Android, if more companies were able to use the Android Play Store. Google still locks many lower end tablet companies out of that.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
said by buzz_4_20:

More Durable... from being dropped.

Get an Otterbox
said by buzz_4_20:

Upgradeable storage

Most Android-based tablets already have this. Apple's solution to this is "sell your existing one and buy one with more storage".
said by buzz_4_20:

Open Standards... none of the this only works with OUR add ons
Simple to use User Profiles
no bulky PC based management software (i'm looking at you iTunes)
Access to the file system (how many ipads are full of "other")

Yep, Android covers all of these. Apple loves their "we control everything" attitude. Have you seen a third-party OS for any iOS-based device? The answer would be.. no.

Heck, CM can be run on most devices from the high-end tablets to the cheap ones you can buy at Big Lots. I run it on a Kindle Fire and it's smooth and uncluttered. I also run it on *ALL* of my Samsung devices (Captivate, Skyrocket, Note 2, etc) to get rid of all the crapware at&t loves to install.
--
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Black_Mage
My backup spell is Warp
Premium
join:2012-09-12
USA
kudos:1

Give me...

Low cost 3G/4G.I already have what I want in the iPad mini. That cost of 3G/4G really is a carrier issue though not a tablet issue.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

A REAL browser and the death of 'apps' that only run in portrait mode.

I want a real browser that is equivalent to Firefox on a PC instead of having to have a "you-tube" app and a Vimo app, and aflas player app. Get rid of all these stupid apps and make a real browser!

Speaking of apps developers that make apps that only run in portrait mode should just hang up their dreams of becoming a programmer. When you have a 10 inch tablet with a keyboard docked to it it's just stupid to have to furn it sideways because some app developer is too lazy to develop their program to run in both landscape and portrait mode.
--
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shmerl

join:2013-10-21

1 recommendation

Re: A REAL browser and the death of 'apps' that only run in portrait mode.

There is a mobile Gecko based browser which uses IPC embedding: »wiki.mozilla.org/Embedding/IPCLiteAPI
It's going to appear in the upcoming Sailfish OS (which is going to be released tomorrow). Firefox on Android also has feature parity with the desktop one.
majortom1029

join:2006-10-19
Lindenhurst, NY
kudos:1
The dell venue 8 pro and dell venue 11 pro both have arm processors which gives you real web browsers. Runs x86 programs and great battery life.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Re: A REAL browser and the death of 'apps' that only run in portrait mode.

How is it running x86 programs on an ARM processor?

latencycheck

@smoothstone.net
So someone who spends hours of programming an app for a device that runs in portrait mode for whatever reason is a bad programmer and is also lazy. But, you, on the other hand, can't be bothered to spend exactly two seconds turning your device. Seems like bad and lazy might be a two way street in this case.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

3 recommendations

Tablet Technology

I can cross three off the list right away.

Keyboard:

You can already get bluetooth keyboards to "attach" to tablets. Makes more sense than a slide out keyboard.

Prices:

Android tablets are pretty low in price now. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10" tablet is only $300. The 7" version is $150.

Cloud Integration:

I can't speak for Apple tablets, but the Galaxy Tab 2 tablets my boys have are pretty well integrated with the cloud as far as Google services go (and even some Amazon services). You can add other things like DropBox if you use them as well.
--
-Jason Levine

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

More battery and then some..

I don't understand why every one things they have to get to the point where their tablet is paper thin. The size of the Ipad 1 and Ipad 2 are just fine. Imagine the battery life they could get if they crammed an Ipad Air into an Ipad 1 or 2 case and used the extra space inside for battery.

I would like to have an Ipad that ran full blow OSX. If they can fit full blow OSX into an Mac Book Air they can certainly cram it into an Ipad.
--
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lordfly

join:2000-10-12
Homestead, FL
Reviews:
·SkyNet360

Re: More battery and then some..

I agree with your observation even though I am not part of the Apple club.

I have an Android tablet that is almost 2 years old. It is an Acer A200 and despite issues and slower than everything of its same price scale, it love it because 1) 10" screen, 2) awesome battery - 12V battery instead of a 3.5 - 5V battery and 3) Since it has a full sized USB port I can hook up any keyboard, mouse or external drive to it. Plus it makes a great portable battery replacement when my phone starts to go low.

I think tablets should stop being OS specific and allow the use of multiple OSes with Multi-boot, bigger storage via SSD and more compatibility with other USB devices such as cameras, scanners, barcode readers, etc.
Alky

join:2001-08-12
Cleveland, OH

Re: More battery and then some..

Yes. How about 1 type A USB port?

lordfly

join:2000-10-12
Homestead, FL

Re: More battery and then some..

Are you commenting to my comment or agreeing with me about needing a full sized USB port? Or commenting to the OP?
Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
I agree, While thin is nice its not like the gen1 Ipad were exactly thick.

Also modern materials and a case that size could make for a more durable unit.
--
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osravens

join:2011-01-26
Cumberland, MD

I Don't Get Tablets

They're just crippled PC's with apps for everything that can be downloaded and monetized by content companies. I get why they love these things, but why do consumers?

They're just completely crippled. I'm much more glad to have my $249 Samsung Chromebook, which I hacked to run Linux as well, I can switch between them with a simple command. I have a keyboard, a larger screen, and much more functionality with the hack.

•••••••

CosmicDebri
Still looking for intelligent life

join:2001-09-01
Port Saint Lucie, FL

Tablets - old idea - finally popular

Doesn't anyone remember Microsoft trying to get people to buy tablets like 15 years ago?? They had them then, but they marketed them to business people, professionals, and service type industries. They could never figure out why no one wanted them. True they were big as laptops, heavy, and only did (gasp) business programs, but they were useful. UPS and FEDEX latched onto them, but that was about it.

It took the smartphone mindset to make them popular. Go figure. People getting tired of squinting to watch the cat videos on a 4" screen, so they leap at the chance to move up to an awesome 7".

Seriously, today's tablets are just big smartphones without all that pesky phone stuff. I've been seeing some under $100 ones come round, and I tell the little lady we can get her one if she wants. She asks me what can she do with it?? I've spent weeks trying to come up with an answer other than stupid flash games, or dumb videos. She has no desire to spend more money to do that when she can do that and more on her laptop attached to a full size monitor. Can't do her photo editing on em, web site maintenance, etc.

I heard the economy was bad, but I see even poor folk runnin around with iphones and ipads and ipods.... it's would be funny if it wasn't so sad.... keeping up with the joneses is so 1965ish.......
--
Follow Your Bliss -- Joseph Cambell
I reject your Reality and substitute my own! -- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

latency

@smoothstone.net

Re: Tablets - old idea - finally popular

It is all about perspective. I'd never even think about the lack of ability to do photo editing on a tablet. If I want to be mobile, not fuss with a hardware keyboard or mouse, browse the Internet, watch some videos, play some games, etc it seems just as silly to fire up my laptop or desktop. If I can't remember that actor from that show and want to Google it to get it out of my head same situation. It's not about what a tablet doesn't do or what it does but doesn't do well - it's about what you *would* do with it. If playing stupid flash games or dumb videos is something you'd rather do on a laptop or desktop then that's your perspective. My desktop isn't portable and my laptop is bulky and not touch screen. I use the device for what it does whether desktop versus laptop versus tablet versus smart phone. My friend used a laptop as a control point for his home theater system for years. He switched to a tablet. For him, that use of the device made sense. He would not fathom playing his HD all engrossing super video game on his tablet. If you can't justify buying one for your how you use your devices that makes sense. But knocking tablets because they don't (yet) run Photoshop isn't really a proper "reality substitute."

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

non rape / gouge pricing

subject
YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

Tablets are laptops without keyboards essentially

The subject says it all. Because the browsers available to tablets and smart phones are pitiful at rendering some types of content, and won't even offer to render others (think flash, Apple), a user somehow always ends up back on that laptop or desktop to buy an airline ticket, order cable (yup they still do that somewhere) and the like.

The real blame goes to change. When you change something, you need it to work with the old AND the new. We have failed to do that and this is why one device will NEVER completely replace the other. As my kids say in the car "are we there yet?" The answer is simple.. not for a long time. Sit back and wait (enjoy the ride)!

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
·Verizon Online DSL

Agreed tab are now just laptops/ netbooks

If you look at it logistically once you add a keyboard to a tablet weather it be slide/ usb/ bluetooth / etc. you have essentially just turned it into a laptop /netbook. I find it hilarious just a few years ago that A friend of mine asked me are laptops going the way of the dodo, I answered, no. Never can a laptop be truly replaced by a tablet with there current limitations. Yet because some idiot news reporter was saying laptop were dead as sales of laptops were at all time lows that year compared with tablet sales rising, that reporter was advising people to not buy laptops. News flash fast forward to today and same friend just bought a new Toshiba 17" laptop even though he purchased a new Ipad 3 rd gen last year. Now every manufacture wants to add a keyboard. Even Microsoft didn't launch the surface 2 without an available keyboard available on launch day. Also as I've seen almost 33% of new dedicated laptops now have touch screens Laptops are evolving and changing with the time.

So when will a laptop R&D dept. go " light bulb!" get rid of the hinges, add a low profile roll up screen protector over the screen that can slide over the screen to protect it during travel ( could be hidden in the top of the bezel something tablets are to slim to add on). build a side roller on the edge of the laptop to Allow the screen to slide down/ up over the keyboard and be able to swing & lock in place when raised ( to mimic your standard everyday laptop when opened) this has been tried before it was just before its time. minimize the motherboard room to add more battery space, and make the DVD rom drive bay A hot swap-able for extra options (SSD drives bay, internal extra battery bay, etc).

OK maybe that was what do I want to see in the next gen laptops vs. the question whats next for the tablet, but Am I the only one who thinks of these things?
tanker001

join:2003-04-23
Saint Louis, MO

Removable SSHD

I think what would I would really like to see in tablets are integral, removable SSHDs. SSHDs are becoming bigger and cheaper. The ability to change drives using a latch or even a screw would really expand the versatility. SSHDs would not be a big of an energy hog as a standard HD.
compton

join:2002-02-08
Brooklyn, NY

E-ink

I do a lot of reading on my tablet; so, I would like to see tablet screens with E-ink capabilities.

Sysop2

@bellsouth.net

my 2 cents

I want this with android and color touch screen.

Sysop2

@bellsouth.net
I want this with android and color touch screen.