Tablet PCs are devices that have existed for quite sometime. I can remember working at a doctor's office in high school back in the early 2000s where all records were kept on Dell tablets which were transfered from room to room in order to take down and update patient records. Let's not forget about the convertible laptops that are still around.
All of these previous attempts at developing tablet computers have been easily forgettable due to the marketing success of Apple's iPad. Until the iPad revolutionized the idea of a tablet computer, computer companies had given up on the idea that tablet computers could gain successful share of the market. Now we're seeing the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Acer, etc. rushing to develop similar concepts.
|Motorola's Xoom could be the iPads biggest rival, but the price tag may be what keeps it from becoming a mainstream device|
You have to give props to Apple. Not only did they have the guts to try and develop a commercially successful tablet computer, but Apple foresaw that tablet computing could change the shape of the devices we use daily.
I know that's a bold statement, but by observing the habits of casual computer users it becomes obvious that focusing attention on web functionality is key. Most computer users spend their time on the internet, which doesn't require 120 GB hard drives or accelerated graphics cards. Netbook developers saw that potential by offering smaller and cheaper alternatives for Internet access. Unfortunately, the netbook may have only been a brief step in the evolution of efficient web-accessible machines. Google has been developing an operating system through the Chromium project (Chrome OS in particular) that is focused on cutting out most hardware in order to develop a machine dedicated to internet usage. Enter cloud-storage and we're looking at the death of the laptops and netbooks all-together.
|Google's Chromium project opens up the possibility of devices solely dedicated to internet browsing.|
I'm aware that this idea is nothing new, and honestly, I don't believe the death of computers are eminent; however, the need for PCs will diminish, and as more tablets are introduced, many people who were in the market for a new laptop or macbook will suddenly be in the market for a new tablet computer. What will be interesting is how companies like Apple, Google, Motorola, et al will evolve their devices to remain ahead of each other, and how that effects the ever-growing dependence on mobile carriers with 3G and 4G technology that will keep these devices connected.