ComputerWorld Tablet Article Features RESCUECOM

Five Pieces of Advice on Tablets

Tablet Computers: Five Things You Need to Know

Computerworld: Agam Shah
March 25, 2010

Apple's iPad brings tablet computers back into the limelight but will these devices fulfill your needs?

They're not mini-laptops. Tablets are handheld devices with touch screens ranging in size from five to 10 inches. Also called "slates" by PC makers, they include touch interfaces that allow users to surf the Web, play games, view movies and read e-books. One celebrated example is Apple's iPad, which was announced in January and goes on sale this month. Makers expected to start shipping devices later this year include Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

They fill a gap. The rapid growth of mobile Internet and touch screens has created a new class of computing devices for consumers, says Phil McKinney, Hewlett-Packard's CTO. Tablets enable mobile access to online content like newspapers, movies and games. Apple CEO Steve Jobs surfed the Internet and watched a movie on the iPad while sitting on a couch at that tablet's unveiling. He said the iPad is meant to fill the void between the iPhone and the MacBook laptop.

They're Best for fun. Tablets have drawbacks compared to laptops (no keyboard, limited software support), but they work well as entertainment devices and e-book readers. Tablet users need to hang up their PC reliance, says Vira Chen, assistant product manager at Micro-Star International, a Taiwan-based PC maker. A lot of trial and error goes into perfecting these devices, and the most innovative company will win, Chen says.

They Travel Well. The device is mostly for casual use, but tablets could find some business uses. David Milman, CEO of computer repair firm Rescuecom, says that tablets could replace laptops for presentations and working on planes. "Certainly getting through security would be easier with an iPad than with a 4-pound laptop and all of its accessories," Milman says. But tablets could break if subjected to rigorous use, so they need to be designed to be more rugged.

Business uses are limited. Analysts say tablets will suit niche markets, like workers recording field data. But there are obstacles too, says Steve Rausch, director of information services at Gibson General Hospital in Princeton, Ind. "I know our doctors would love the iPad if it could run our software. It's light, comfortable, and something they're used to since they have iPhones," he says. Right now the iPad only runs applications from Apple's App Store

Google Reviews

Patricia Farr
Patricia Farr
in the last week
Rescuecom has once again rescued me. This time from a potential identity theft situation, and then a
...Rescuecom has once again rescued me. This time from a potential identity theft situation, and then after solving that, updating all security and operating systems. All with incredible patience and expertise in what for me was a very distressing situation. My level 3 tech Maddy spent literally days getting everything straightened out and David gave me some tips and advice that I have used. The technicians at Rescuecom are for me the best and most professional, and are always there to help quickly, with understanding and kindness, when you need them most. less
Carol Vaupel
Carol Vaupel
a month ago
I would give him 5 stars.
...I would give him 5 stars. less
Cynthia B. McCoy
Cynthia B. McCoy
a month ago
wonderrful
...wonderrful less
Sue Baran
Sue Baran
a month ago
Jim P. was very good in explaining why a call was inputted and explained the updates that he was goi
...Jim P. was very good in explaining why a call was inputted and explained the updates that he was going to do from both Windows and Rescuecom. After completed he helped with some boot up programs to be disabled to help give me a little more "speed" in startup. Great experience. less
View all Google reviews

Featured in:


Feature Inthe New York TimesFOX NEWSUSA TodayComputer WorldCNNForbes